FAQs

About Us


Finishes


FSC®, LEED, SFI and CARB

  • What does FSC mean?
  • Are your products FSC certified?
  • What does LEED mean?
  • Are your products LEED point eligible?
  • Why don't you list your LEED points?
  • What is SFI?
  • What is the new California formaldehyde regulation?
  • What composite wood products are covered by the new regulation?
  • How does this affect the World's Most Eco-Friendly Engineered Flooring?
  • Engineered vs Solid Flooring

  • When should I use engineered flooring?
  • How are solid and engineered flooring different?
  • Can solid or engineered flooring be installed over radiant heat?
  • What is your substrate made of?
  • What is the difference between floating, gluing, nailing or stapling flooring?

  • Measurements

  • What are the square foot measurements (and how do I calculate them)?
  • How are nominal and actual measurements different?

  • Specifics

  • What is heart pine?
  • What is American Gothic?
  • What does 'fresh sawn' mean?
  • What is the difference between sap wood and heart wood?
  • How do you get the character marks on your Settlers' Plank line?
  • What is the Janka hardness rating scale?
  • Why don't you carry bamboo?
  • Can I purchase small amounts for woodworking projects, frames, etc?
  • Do you have a minimum order requirement?
  • Can you accomodate single width orders?

  • About Us

    Where does your wood come from?
    Our reclaimed wood is salvaged from a variety of sources, primarily barns and industrial buildings being demolished. These structures were often built with materials harvested from Virgin forests, and the woods show beautiful tight growth rings, rich patina, and character from previous use. We also work on occasion with materials salvaged from other interesting sources; water tanks, wine vats, shipping crates, and rafts used in the logging industry.

    How many board feet have you kept out of landfills?
    At least 20,000,000 so far.

    How is your facility eco-conscious?
    We "pioneered" in-house recycling in our industry, through the use of boilers which burn our waste wood to power our kilns, and heat our shop. There's virtually no smoke or ash generated because of the extremely high temperatures. Our sawdust is recycled into pellets for home heating, our electricity is generated through wind-power, and our office is heated with an incredibly efficient hydronic heating system. Did we mention that we recycled an entire bowling alley to make our shop? 

    Do you sell directly to consumers?
    Yes, we do! In some areas, we have local dealers/contractors that we'll refer you to whenever possible.

    What region(s) can you ship to?
    Pioneer Millworks ships worldwide. We can ship anywhere, though to cut down on your costs and the environmental impacts of transportation we'll ship from one of our shops in Oregon or New York.

    What wood species do you have available?
    The better question might be what species aren't available? Of course we have our standards: like our famed 100% reclaimed Settlers' Plank oak, the Australian-sourced karri, and the ever-rare chestnut, but just in case you want something else there's our fresh sawn selections in FSC certified cherry, hard maple, birch, and ash. Still, if you don't find exactly what you desire, call or email us. We have 9 acres of timbers and an insatiable passion to please you.

    What is your widest available flooring?
    In our reclaimed & FSC Certified flooring, we mill up to a 9 1/2" face width, though special orders can be taken for floors as wide as our available stock allows. 

    How do we know old wood is safe, free of lead, DDT, creosote?
    Pioneer Millworks uses various testing methods and outside laboratories to test materials for contaminants, and eliminate those which are problematic. Creosoted timber is never used in any of our products. While all reclaimed material containing original paint remnants is tested for lead by our acquisitions team, we cannot guarantee that any material is 100% free of lead. When a batch of material is tested for lead paint, we randomly select sample pieces for testing. If all of the sampled pieces test negative, we feel confident in presenting the material as being non-hazardous in terms of lead paint. For legal reasons, we cannot however proclaim it 100% free of lead paint. There is always a possibility that there is a minority of untested material within the batch that may have residues of lead paint. The only way to guarantee that material is 100% free of lead paint is to apply a nontoxic faux finish to unpainted reclaimed material.

    Why is wood eco-friendly?
    Wood is a renewable resource, plain and simple. It grows in forests around the world in a seemingly infinite variety of species. When managed properly, as in an Forest Steward Council Certified forest, wood can be harvested for generations. When compared to other structural methods like steel and concrete, the "embodied energy" in wood is significantly less, due to its relative ease of harvesting and milling. Reclaimed wood takes this life cycle one step further, by keeping waste from demolition projects out of landfills, and reducing the need for harvesting trees. 

    What are your terms and conditions?
    Pioneer Millworks has created various grades and descriptions to quantify as best we can the board stock and finished product ordered. Due to the quirkiness and variability of our sources, these descriptions are very good, but not perfect guidelines. For this reason, we request that our customers review and agree to our terms and conditions. View them here .

    What methods of payment do you accept?
    Payments by Check and ACH Wire Transfer help us maintain our competitive pricing. For your convenience, we also accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover payments for orders totaling $5,000 or less. Please note: All purchases require 50% deposit to initiate order and 100% payment prior to shipping All orders under $2,000 require payment in full to initiate order All orders with 2 week or less lead time require payment in full to initiate order and may be subject to rush fees A returned check fee of $50 will be charged for all checks returned to us

    What is your ACH Funds Transfer/Wire Transfer information?

    Please click here to email us, and we’ll be happy to send you our wire/ACH info.

    Who should I make my check payable to and where should I send it?

    Pioneer Millworks, Inc.
    1180 Commercial Drive
    Farmington, NY 14425

    Still have questions? Send us an email .

     

    Finishes



    What finishes do you have available?
    Pioneer Millworks does not sell finishing products. We prefer to stick to what we do best, making beautiful materials from reclaimed wood. We're happy to recommend products based on species, intended use and eco-sensitivity.

    Do you recommend different finishes for different floors?
    The short answer is yes - the type of finish used will be dictated by the type of flooring, coupled with the use of the material, environmental considerations, and the desired final appearance of the wood.  Call us, and we can help guide you through these questions!

    Are your flooring products available pre-finished?
    We are happy to pre-finish any of our products to make your installation even easier. For most jobs, we recommend either a hardwax oil or a water-base poly finish. These standard finishes of ours are low-VOC and applied in-house by our experienced staff. Other finishes such as Commercial Grade Aluminum Oxide, custom stains, shou sugi ban burning, and conversion varnishes are also available upon request. 

    How do hardwax oils and poly finishes differ?
    Hardwax oils are applied in one coat to the wood surface. This single coat bonds molecularly with the wood to provide a protective layer. It also tends to deepen the wood's hue slightly and can be easily touched up. Polyurethane is essentially a plastic layer that is applied in liquid form (we recommend water-based), which sits on top of the floor and forms a solid, clear barrier after 3 - 4 coats.

    What are VOCs?
    Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) are organic chemical compounds which evaporate quickly from finishes, adhesives, solvents, etc. often emitting toxic smelling odors. This has become a "Buzz-term" recently, as buildings have become better insluated, increasing our exposure to these compounds.  Low VOC finishes, such as hardwax oil and water-based polyurethanes, are the best options to reduce VOC's indoors.

    What treatments does Pioneer Millworks offer to get a Class A, non-combustible finish (ASTM E-84)? 
    We are well-versed with using flame retardants on wall paneling given our extensive experience in commercial applications of our reclaimed wood. The primary treatment we use is applied in our shop and penetrates into the surface to give a class-A rating. In most cases, this will darken the wood slightly, but it doesn't sit on top of the wood enough to produce a noticeable sheen. Some species or types of reclaimed wood absorb the treatment more than others, and we can work with you to develop samples to meet both the visual and performance characteristics you need. Still have questions on finishes? Send us an email .

     

    FSC, LEED, SFI and CARB



    What does FSC mean?
    FSC is an acronym for the Forest Stewardship Council™.  This is an independent, not-for-profit organization which was established to promote responsible forest management.

    Are your products FSC certified?
    All of our reclaimed wood products (including our eco-engineered wood flooring) are FSC Certified (FSC-C109137). You might ask why we carry FSC certification for a wood which is recycled, and therefore already an environmentally sound choice?  We think it is worth it for you to know without question that the wood you purchase from us is 100% recycled.  Pioneer Millworks was one of the very first companies to become FSC Certified for Recycled Wood in 2007, and we are one a handful of companies in the industry that fully manufacture our flooring - in other words, no part of manufacturing goes out of the country or to any other manufacturing facility. Our FSC certification includes three categories: mixed, pure and reclaimed.

    What does LEED mean?
    LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED was created by the United States Green Building Council. It is a program for establishing standards for environmentally sound construction. Meeting certain specific criteria, different levels of LEED certification are awarded.

    Are your products LEED point eligible?
    Yes! The points/credits available for materials vary based on a variety of criteria. Call us - we can point you in the right direction.

    Why don't you list your LEED points?
    Because geography, material types and percent used can affect the eligible LEED points, it's best to talk with a local LEED AP to find out what our products will qualify for in your area. Pioneer Millworks also has LEED AP's on staff and can help answer basic questions.

    What is SFI?
    SFI is an acronym for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. This is a forest industry-sponsored (non-independent) organization which is more directly related to the harvesting of fresh-sawn woods. Their goal is to promote continued sustainable forestry practices, and to help market fresh-cut lumber as a green "certified" option.

    What is the new California formaldehyde regulation?
    In April 2007, the California Air Resources Board (CARB
    ), a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency, voted to implement new limits for formaldehyde emitted from composite wood products. These new limits will be implemented in two phases starting January 1, 2009. When the final limits are fully in place in 2012, the regulation will establish the toughest production standard in the world for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. The California regulation governs the formaldehyde in both raw composite wood panels and finished products sold or used in California. Both imported and domestic products are regulated and must be third-party certified and clearly labeled to indicate they meet California's requirements. Learn more on CARBs website .

    What composite wood products are covered by the new regulation?
    The regulation applies to hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard (MDF) and all products (such as furniture, cabinets, flooring, store fixtures, moldings and millwork, countertops, decorative household items, doors, etc.) made with those products. Composite wood is a popular material for consumer products because of its design flexibility, structural properties, and inherent environmental benefits. In particular, particleboard and MDF are manufactured from recycled and recovered wood residuals and other by-products diverted from the solid waste stream, making them among the greenest building materials in the world.

    How does this affect the World's Most Eco-Friendly Engineered Flooring?
    Pioneer Millworks' engineered flooring is covered by the regulations.  We are categorized as a fabricator, therefore we do not need to test the final product. Although not required, Pioneer Millworks has the test data from our plywood supplier with tractability. The plywood we use has phenol formaldehyde which is excluded from the regulations as it causes no health risk. The only thing that would contribute to the formaldehyde levels in our finished product is the glue used to attach the wear layer to the plywood. Our glue has minute levels of formaldehyde and under the regulation is deemed to be at a zero level. Still have questions on FSC, LEED, SFI or CARB? Send us an email .
     

    Engineered vs. Solid Flooring



    When should I use engineered flooring?
    Engineered flooring is perfect for any dry below-grade (basement) application, or for areas where the floor needs to be floated, glued down to concrete, or placed over radiant heating systems. While solid woods can often be used in the same applications above grade, our engineered flooring is a more stable option, and it helps to increase the available yields from limited species.

    How are solid and engineered flooring different?
    Solid floors are a full 3/4" thick, and milled to the width you specify, at the longest lengths possible.  Solid floors are best suited to installations where the floor is blind or face nailed into the subfloor, above grade. Engineered floors are 5/8" thick overall, with a 3/16" "wear layer" of wood, and are 1' to 8' in length.  Engineered floors are perfect for installation over virtually any subfloor, whether concrete or conventional construction, and can also be installed below grade.

    Can solid or engineered flooring be installed over radiant heat?
    Both our solid and engineered flooring can be installed over radiant heat. The specifics of the installation are dictated by the type of radiant heating system you're using. Give us a call to talk more about the best option for your project.

    What is your substrate made of?
    The platform, or backer, of our eco-engineered wood flooring is an FSC Certified plywood. 

    What is the difference between floating, gluing, nailing or stapling a floor?
    Engineered floors are typically installed by floating (gluing the tongue & groove together), or by gluing the floor down to the subfloor using a polyurethane adhesive, which will allow the floor to move naturally.  Solid flooring is typically nailed or stapled through the tongue, or nailed through the face on wider planks, into the subfloor below. Call us, and we can work with you to determine the best installation method for your project. Still have questions engineered and solid flooring? Send us an email .
     

    Measurements



    What are the square foot measurements (and how do I calculate them)?
    Square footage is calculated by multiplying the length in feet by the width in feet.  You'll usually want to add another 7% to 12% for cutting and installation waste. Check out our calculator tool available on any of the product pages.

    How are nominal and actual measurements different?
    Just like a 2 x 4 is not really a 2 inch by 4 inch piece of wood, our flooring is specified in whole inch increments.  The actual face width after milling is 1/2" less, so for example, a 6" plank will have a face width of 5 1/2". Not to worry, we ship you the proper square footage of your order measured off the actual face width after milling, so you don't have to perform any complex calculations. Still have questions on measurement? Send us an email .
     

    Specifics



    What is heart pine?
    Heart Pine is the heartwood of the Longleaf Southern Yellow Pine tree (Pinus Palustris).  The Virgin old-growth forests covered the southern US from Virginia over to Texas, and the wood was harvested extensively through the 1800's because of its sheer size and strength.  While only a small percentage of these original forests remain today, our Heart Pine is sawn from timbers that were cut from the original logs long ago. Companies will label a floor as "old growth" but it doesn't necessarily mean it was cut 100 years ago - it could be the recent cutting of an old, old tree today. Despite being a species of Pine, it has remarkable hardness, 1200 on the Janka scale, making it nearly as hard as Red Oak.

    What is American Gothic?
    Since the reclaimed wood industry doesn't have a specific governing grading agency, each company is left to develop their own grades. American Gothic is one of our grades, created by sawing blanks from large timbers reclaimed primarily from barns & agricultural buildings, leaving each plank with a clean, smooth surface.

    What does 'fresh sawn' mean?
    Fresh-sawn woods are those which have been cut from newly harvested trees, and not from reclaimed wood. Some companies tout their fresh-sawn woods as "Old Growth", which is a confusing claim, and it does not mean that the wood is any older than a typical fresh-sawn wood. 

    What is the difference between sapwood and heart wood?
    Heart wood is the centermost portion of the tree, and is the part that "died off" as the tree grew. It is harder than the sapwood, and because it is not actively carrying nutrients it is more dimensionally stable when the wood is cut into flooring planks. Sapwood is the living outer portion of the tree just under the bark. It is generally lighter in color and softer than the heart wood due to the continued work of the sapwood in carrying water from the roots to the leaves. In our flooring, the percentage of heart wood & sapwood can vary - be sure to check out our grade specifications to see how much of each you will see in your floor.

    How do you get the character marks on your Settlers' Plank line?
    We are careful not to remove what history and original wear these boards have - we leave the character, saw marks and original patina in place. We don't add fake marks - Mother Nature, time, and the countless years of hard use on a farm are to thank for the rich character in our floors.

    What is the Janka hardness rating scale?
    The Janka scale provides a consistent numerical reference of hardness for various species of wood.  The higher the number, the harder the wood.

    Why don't you carry bamboo?
    One could fill several pages with information as to why Bamboo is a poor choice for flooring. (We filled one, see our bamboo specific page.) Lack of durability, elimination of natural species in favor of bamboo farming, unsafe/unethical labor practices, harsh chemical adhesives, embodied energy in bringing the product to market....the list goes on. A unique reclaimed wood floor from Pioneer Millworks will add far greater value to your project, and the materials will far outlast Bamboo, saving you money on a new floor down the road.  Plus, you'll feel a much better using our flooring, knowing that your wood came from our very own shops, right here in one of our two manufacturing locations in upstate NY and outside Portland OR - staffed by some of the best craftsmen in the industry. Still have specific questions? Send us an email .

    Do you have a minimum order requirement?
    Yes, we have a minimum order of $1000, and while orders of lesser amounts can be accommodated with sufficient lead time, we do add handling and setup charges to offset the time involved in preparing smaller projects.

    Can I purchase small amounts for woodworking projects, frames, etc?
    Our minimum order is $1000, and while orders of lesser amounts can be accommodated with sufficient lead time, we do add handling and setup charges to offset the time involved in preparing smaller projects. If you'd like any specific pricing, let us know ((link to get a quote form)) where you're located, as well as some ideas on what material you might need including dimensions and quantities.

    Can you accomodate single width orders?
    A single width order, especially of any size, can sometimes be challenging depending on stock and the found material dimensions. This is why a vast majority of our work is done in random widths. As an example, if we are making all 6" planks, everything thats 7", 8" 9", etc has to be ripped down, and we start losing a significant amount of material in production that can't be used elsewhere because it is to narrow. That wood has still been acquired and processed up to that point, so there's obviously cost associated with it. In addition to the physical constraints a single width puts on production, there's also the environmental aspect of such an order. Random widths allow us to make the best use of our resources, preserving as much of the wood we reclaim as possible. By generating more waste through production of a single width, we're adding to our waste stream and using a lot more embodied energy to the process, both of which work against the environmental benefits of using reclaimed wood.