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Whitethorn's Hardwood Flooring FAQs

Over the past 20 years producing hardwood flooring products we noted that several sets of questions were often repeated by many callers, customers and visitors to our shop. A review of the questions answered below may be helpful to you in your search for quality California hardwood flooring.

We grouped frequently asked questions about our tongue and groove flooring products into several topic areas:

| Ordering information
| Companion products

| Technical characteristics
| Flooring installation


Ordering information:

What species of hardwoods does Whitethorn Hardwoods keep in stock as flooring?

We maintain stocks of both Tan Oak and Madrone flooring. We also produce limited flooring runs in other species of California hardwoods. Please call us if your flooring plans require one or more additional species of our hardwoods.

Is there a minimum flooring order?

No, there is no minimum flooring order volume. We fill any and all order sizes as quickly as possible. If you wish to make a particularly large order please call ahead to ensure availability and timely delivery for your project.

For more details call Mike Markam at 707/986-7412 or email Mike at


Companion products:

Do we offer baseboard in Tan Oak and Madrone?

We stock Coronado style of baseboard in both Madrone and Tan Oak. We also stock a Colonial window and door trim style in both woods. We can repeat these molding styles in other woods when needed.

What about stair tread stock and riser material?

We stock stair nosing lengths that are prepared to lock into our flooring for use on stairs. We make up 11inch plus stair treads, as needed. We have riser stock in 15/16th" thick material that can easily be planed to any lesser thickness as needed in both Tan Oak and Madrone.

Is it possible to buy cabinet grade lumber to match the flooring offerings?

Yes, if you would like to continue California Hardwood products in other aspects of your house then we could be an excellent source for those woods. We stock cabinet lumber, mantel pieces, slabs for tables and head boards, etc. Our goal is to make these woods available to woodworkers and home builders in as many forms as possible. That would include door and window jambs, wainscot, etc.

Technical characteristics:

Is your flooring kiln dried?

Yes, we kiln dry all of our flooring. In addition all of our flooring kept in climate controlled storage areas until time of shipment.

How thick is the flooring?

It is milled to the traditional ¾" flooring size. Our flooring can be sanded and refinished many times adding decades to the life of your flooring installation.

What are the widths offered?

We mill our flooring to 2 ¼", 3 ¼" and 4 ¼" widths. In Tan Oak we also offer a 5" "plank" pattern.

What are the flooring lengths?

Our goal is to match the standards set by the National Hardwood Floor Association. This means that our sizes range from a short of 12" to a long of 7' 9", with an average length of 3' in our Select and Better product. In the Character grade product the goal is a short of 10" and a long of 7' 9", with an average length of 3'.

Is the flooring hard and durable, how does it rate against eastern hardwood standards?

The Janka rating for hardwoods is the industry standard for hardness. The Janka rating for Tan Oak is 1400 and for Madrone 1460. Eastern Red Oak is rated at 1290 and Eastern White Oak at 1360. The higher the rating the more durable it is for flooring.

Is the flooring provided 'end-matched'?

No, it is not. The product is precision end cut. End matching is done to lightly secure the ends of each piece of flooring, it is not essential. End matching is machined to a looser fit than side matching. Side matching is what determines how well the flooring will perform. Our machining for side matching is as good as any on the market.


Flooring installation:

Do we install flooring?

No, we are a manufacturer of Northern California hardwood flooring. We sell the product to contractors, flooring companies and the general public.

Do any of your flooring species need special installation techniques?

No, there are no special considerations for our species. Standard installation practices apply.

What is the recommended "acclimation" period for the wood prior to floor application?

Our woods should be acclimated as any other species of hardwood flooring. Generally two weeks are recommended. And remember that proper acclimation means the wood is stickered in the house/room that it is intended to live in. Storage in a garage temporarily can pose additional acclimation problems. This applies to any wood choice one makes for flooring.

Is the flooring pre-finished?

No, the flooring is traditional kiln dried and unfinished ¾" tongue and groove hardwood flooring.

How important are flooring finishes? Do you recommend a specific finish for your products?

There is no one best choice of finish for all applications. The proper choice of flooring finish will involve several elements including durability, ease of application, environmental concerns, appearance, level of gloss, coverage and the cost of materials.

Water based and oil based products have different durability ratings as do specific brands of products in each category of finish. One's personal sensitivity to the outgassing of products may be of particular importance as well. The appearance and gloss of the final product will also vary significantly between product categories and brands. Certain areas of the country will have differing rules regarding availability of finishing products. Always experiment with samples to ensure your goals for your project are met. Some finishing products cost twice as much as others although the cost of finish as a percentage of overall cost may be minimal.

Lastly, flooring installers will have their own ideas on what products you should use. Respect their opinions, ask questions and understand what the finished product will be like and why. Choice of finish is a critical element of your flooring project.

Whitethorn FAQs:

We often field questions about a variety of elements in our wood processing operations. The FAQs (Frequently Asked Qustions) linked to below address the most common questions we receive.

Whitethorn's Log Milling FAQs

Whitethorn's Wood DryingFAQs

Whitethorn's Hardwood Flooring FAQs


We are woodworkers first and wood merchants second

Our supplies are limited - Our hours are variable
Please call ahead for an appointment

Whitethorn Hardwoods: a division of Whitethorn Construction
P.O. Box 400, Whitethorn, CA 95589
707 / 986-7412