Heart Pine Wide Plank Flooring
Widest Planks Available
Familiarizing oneself with the qualities of heart pine requires a little knowledge about American history, traditional building practices, and silviculture. It’s well worth the effort, though, because it is a special wood.
Heart pine is actually the heartwood of the longleaf pine tree, a species that once covered almost 100 million acres of the southeastern United States. But the tree was harvested with wild abandon—its beautiful, slow-growth, dense wood was ideal for everything from ship’s masts, to the flooring in plantation-era homes, to the beams and timbers in industrial revolution era mills and factories—leaving its population decimated.
Family-owned and -operated Vermont Plank Flooring sources sustainably harvested heart pine from one of Alabama’s few remaining stands of slow-growth longleaf pines.
We’ll work directly with you as you choose the lengths, widths, and finish that highlight the beauty of this durable wood while meeting your design criteria. And we’ll then hand select and mill the planks specifically for your project, creating exquisite wide board flooring that will turn your home into a feast for the eyes.
And because we keep our entire process in-house and our overhead low, we will do it affordably.
Although pine is generally considered a softwood rather than a hardwood, heart pine is different. The long leaf pine’s secret is life in the slow lane, taking 200–400 years to reach maturity. That unhurried demeanor creates a heartwood with tight growth rings and a strength, stability, and density on par with red oak or walnut. Freshly cut, heart pine possesses a yellowish hue, but over time its resin content pushes the coloring toward a pinkish tan or comfortable russet. The grain is dense with some figures, swirls, and cathedrals, and is punctuated by the occasional knot.
What Size Heart Pine Planks are Available?
At Vermont Plank Flooring, the mature heart pine we regularly access enables us to mill planks up to 11 inches in width, occasionally wider. And our plank lengths are generally between 6 and 16 feet long. Boards that long and wide result in an expansive feel that makes small rooms feel bigger and large rooms feel luxurious because there are fewer seams to distract the eye, creating a vision of unbroken expansiveness.
Tell Me More About Heart Pine’s Durability
Heart pine’s superior physical properties made it an essential pillar of a good portion of America’s early architecture. The builders of many 18th and 19th century homes, buildings, mills, and factories—especially in the Southeast where longleaf pine was endemic—relied on heart pine for both the structural aspects and finish details of their projects. And as those older structures age out and fall into disuse, the heart pine within them is being actively reclaimed and re-used, a testament to its durability. For those looking for that deep historical connection—and the ultimate in sustainable re-use—Vermont Plank Flooring also actively sources reclaimed heart pine, in addition to virgin timber, and will happily mill it to your specifications.
What Will Heart Pine Look Like in My Home?
Longleaf pine has been nicknamed heart pine both for the plentiful heartwood its slow growth produces, and for the rich, warm amber hue heartwood acquires over time. The grain is dense and primarily straight, but with some swirling figures and knots. The wood possesses a dynamic balance of color, tone, and richness heralding itself as an architectural classic, yet simultaneously suggesting comfortable compatibility with generations to come.
Like its cousin eastern white pine, wide plank heart pine flooring accepts stains well, providing opportunities to explore darker or lighter motifs and numerous opportunities to highlight the wood’s traditional aspects or push it in a more contemporary direction. Vermont Plank Flooring’s custom finish sampling shop can work with you to explore the possibilities.
Where in My Home Is Heart Pine Flooring Best Suited?
Heart Pine’s relative durability and hardness makes it perfectly suited for areas of your home that are at the heart of the action—the kitchen, living room, family room, or actively used hallways and stairs. Due to its lovely warmth and richness, heart pine also provides a welcome invitation, enhancing the comfort of bedrooms, dining rooms, and open multi-use spaces.
For bathrooms, basements, or any location apt to experience wetness or moisture, we recommend Vermont Plank Flooring’s wide width engineered heart pine flooring, which provides stability and water-resistant security.