Gerry Frey and his wife Alison wanted a new, unique floor for their beach house in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Gerry had a stack of lumber which had made its way from Louisiana, through a meatpacking plant, and eventually landed in his warehouse in New Jersey. Gerry saw the potential for beautiful reclaimed flooring for his family’s beach house.
Gerry met with the Wide Plank Floor Supply team in order to make his dream of turning this lumber into flooring a reality.
The Freys had designed the beach house on their own and picked everything out. As Alison puts it, they are “living in paradise.” The Freys wanted the practice of designing the interior of their home to extend to their flooring.
“It’s different from any other house we go into in Kiawah,” says Gerry. The Frey family wanted to ensure that their floors were equally unique, which is why they chose Wide Plank Floor Supply to take on their custom flooring project.
Making Choices for their Flooring
The wood itself is a beautiful and unique combination of Douglas fir and reclaimed heart pine. With the Wide Plank Floor Supply team guiding them through every step and every decision, the Freys made the choice to go with engineered wide plank flooring because this lends the floor added stability in an environment where this is needed due to fluctuations in humidity.
Engineered planks will hold up much better when faced with humidity changes. Engineered flooring is less susceptible to cupping or crowning than solid flooring. This added stability is also important for wide plank floors in general, and was especially important for this project, which includes planks up to 15” wide.
The Frey family picked out a neutral color for the floors so that any future changes to the paint or the furniture in the house wouldn’t clash with the flooring. They also decided on a neutral finish which highlights and accentuates the natural beauty of the reclaimed wood, which is full of knots and other fantastic character marks.
Because the floors are reclaimed, they contain beautiful burls and nicks, as well as the original patina of the lumber, which is very difficult, if not simply impossible, to replicate with new wood. The resulting floors are truly one-of-a-kind, which is exactly what the Freys were hoping to create with this project.
The Wide Plank Floor Supply Process
Once the Freys decided to work with us, we transported the wood to our milling facility, where we kiln-dried it and then milled it into varied-width engineered planks between 8” and 15” wide, and finally applied the Frey’s color and finish of choice.
Our “made-to-order” milling process means that we custom-mill our for every new customer. This is a distinct difference from the experience you’ll get with big box stores. With our floors, no two floors and no two projects are alike! We custom mill all of our floors to meet the specifications, tastes, and needs of each individual customer, making us the perfect choice for the Freys, who wanted to be hands-on in the process of designing the floors.
The ability to mill a board above 8” is difficult for most large mills, but is made completely possible due to the nature of our process, making the Frey family’s floor truly unique.
The milling, finish system, and coloring is nearly limitless when you work with Wide Plank Floor Supply.
Another benefit that the Freys experienced was that the contractor they selected for the project worked directly with the Wide Plank Floor Supply team, making the process much easier for the Freys. “It was a seamless process,” says Gerry.
A Walk-Through of the House
When you walk through the house, the burls truly stand out and make themselves prominent due to the neutral finish and color that the Freys chose. “It’s almost like each plank has a little story to tell, with the knots and the grooves and…the knicks,” says Alison.
The floors were installed in throughout the house, including in the hallways, bedrooms, living room, family room, and dining room.
In the living room, the floors perfectly complement the white furniture and white walls, as well as the wooden furniture chosen by the Freys.
In the family room, we can see that the blue accents, in various hues, are complemented perfectly by the neutral tones of the flooring.
The width of the planks varies between 8” and 15”. Varied-width wide plank floors such as the flooring created for the Freys tend to lend the space a more rustic look. This is due to the fact that traditionally, wood used for flooring was milled into different widths based on the grade of the lumber.
In addition, boards over 10” like those included in this project are reminiscent of floors in the 18th and 19th centuries, when planks were much wider than the traditional strip flooring that was prominent throughout the later half of the 20th century.
The Freys are very happy with their choice! “It really is an enhancement to our house,” says Alison.
These floors will last a very long time and will match any interior design changes and upgrades that the Freys decide to make in the future.
Schedule an Appointment for One-of-a-Kind Flooring for Your Next Project
We were so excited and grateful to help the Freys turn their dream flooring into a reality, and we would be delighted to help you do the same for your next project!
If you’re local to the greater Philadelphia area, you are welcome to come visit our wide plank showroom for a complimentary tour! This tour will let you chat with our team members and browse a number of different wide plank floors we have installed throughout the our showroom.
You don’t have to have your own repertoire of lumber like the Freys did – we can source the wood for you and take it from sourcing right through to coloring and finishing.
Our wood flooring experts will guide you through every step of the process just as we did with the Freys to determine all of the right choices for your project, and then we will create your very own custom wide plank flooring from start to finish.