Blog

Feb 13 2017

Douglas fir for historic preservation, restoration, and replica finishes

By KC Eisenberg

Many old homes, and many new homes being designed in a historic style, make use of Douglas fir for trim, flooring, cabinetry, and other interior finishes. Douglas fir is an iconic wood for period homes and represents an important era in American history.

Douglas fir was a popular choice for homes built in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Its warm amber color tones, distinctive grain patterns, and high strength-to-weight ratio contributed to this popularity. An ample supply of high-quality old growth lumber coming from the vast forests of the Pacific Northwest also contributed: A market was built to capitalize on this prolific native species.

Over time, the market changed and tastes began to evolve toward the modern marvels of the twentieth century. Hardwood flooring was replaced with synthetic carpet; wood trim was covered in vivid enamel paints; and wood countertops and furniture were replaced with patterned, shiny laminates. Today, it can be hard to find the authentic Douglas fir finishes needed to replicate and restore the period homes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Fortunately, Sustainable Northwest Wood offers a wide array of Douglas fir products that can be used for historical preservation, restoration, and replica projects. And in a reflection of contemporary values, all of these products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure the good management and sustainable practices of the forests that produce them.

Our Douglas fir products include:

  • 3 1/4” CVG (clear vertical grain) Douglas fir flooring, in stock and ready to go
  • Mixed grain and CVG plywood for cabinetry and furniture
  • CVG fir solid surfaces in butcher block and plank styles
  • Mixed grain and CVG lumber ready to be milled into trim, stair treads, decorative beams and mantels, and other interior accents