Pioneer Millworks’ New Line of Wood Flooring Is a Match Made in Design and Sustainability Heaven

  |  March 13, 2024

Photography By Tim Wilkes courtesy of Pioneer Millworks

When Rochester interior designer David Senise couldn’t find a European-style wide plank flooring that matched the needs of his clients’ home renovation, he knew he could turn to Farmington-based Pioneer Millworks to develop a custom floor that checked all the right boxes. Senise needed a specific color and tone that tied the spaces of the home together, could stand up to the wear and tear of pets, and most importantly, was sustainably made. After months of testing and design iteration, Senise and Pioneer Millworks dreamed up the Natural Expressions Collection: an entire line of sustainable, domestically made engineered wood flooring in 12 colors inspired by the natural world.

Interior designer David Senise. Courtesy of Pioneer Millworks.

“For me personally, developing this collection with Pioneer Millworks was a wonderful opportunity to create a more natural look and feel than other flooring options on the market and provide a truly modern palette for designers and homeowners to utilize that is also healthy and responsible,” says Sensie.

“The really special thing about this collection for us is that we created it in-house with David Senise. He had the vision, and we created the finishes from scratch to match and achieve that vision,” says Tony Harlow, Finishing Specialist at Pioneer Millworks.

Courtesy of Pioneer Millworks.

At the heart of the Natural Expressions collection is Pioneer Millworks’ domestic, sustainably harvested Forest Stewardship Council-Certified Casual White Oak, which is primarily sourced from a family-run business in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania. The boards are produced by utilizing the upper section of an Oak tree above the first branches, which gives them their  signature character while minimizing waste during production.

Courtesy of Pioneer Millworks

To achieve the eight-inch European wide plank style while adding the stability and durability that many homeowners are looking for, the White Oak is placed on top of Pioneer Millworks’ nine-ply engineered wood substrate. This drastically reduces the potential movement, cupping, or shifting typically seen with solid wood floors at that size and allows the flooring to be installed in a variety of different locations, such as over concrete, above in-floor heating systems, and below grade in basements.

Each board is available up to 12 feet in length (compared to the 6-to-7-foot options that are more common) giving the engineered flooring an identical appearance to solid wood flooring once installed, and it even be sanded and refinished several times just like solid wood, so they can last a lifetime.

Coffee Bean. Courtesy of Pioneer Millworks.

The 12 exclusive colors for the Natural Expression Collection are all based on Senise’s experience designing some of the most beautiful homes in the Finger Lakes. From whitewashed Shoji White to rich Royal Acorn and inky Osaka Black, each color draws inspiration from textures and tones in the natural world.

Prior to receiving their finishing coats from a UV roll coater (which evenly brushes the all-natural Hard-Wax oil finish in, then cures it in a UV oven at the end), each board is brushed with nylon brushes to bring out its unique character. “That depth of grain we get from the brushing process is what gives all these colors such a dynamic appearance and accentuated grain pattern,” says Tony Harlow, Finishing Specialist at Pioneer Millworks.

Courtesy of Pioneer Millworks.

True to Pioneer Millworks’ mission to create reclaimed and sustainable wood products that are good for both people and planet, the Natural Expressions line is just one of the many ways the company is helping homeowners, designers, architects, and builders create beautiful spaces that are healthier for the environment, the people who build them, and those who will enjoy them for years to come.

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