French oak is highly durable and well-managed by French foresters, who’ve been growing them sustainably for over 350 years. These forests maintain a well-kept equilibrium, with a protection policy that ensures no more trees are taken than can sustainably be replaced.
French oak has a tighter grain than other oak species and is commonly favoured due to its high tannin level (a class of astringent used in tanning). These qualities allow it to stain well, absorbing more colour and producing a longer-lasting finish.
Benefiting from the perfect ground and climate, the trees of the Lorraine Forest, in the North East of France, are recognised for their quality and beauty, traits that are endowed in their fine, richly coloured grain. The floors manufactured from this timber represent a timeless, indisputable elegance, refinement and wealth.
Demand will always exceed supply for these French boards due to their reputation and slow growth to maturity. And that's just the way we like it — quality first, no matter how many centuries it takes.
Enhancing the interior to achieve a healthier environment for the people using right space.
Thin object any finished material applied over a floor structure to provide a walking surface.
A history that has inspired artisans the world over.
Colbert, the First Minister of State to King Louis XIV, is anxious to endow the Kingdom of France with a powerful navy, and so decides to plant more than a million hectares of oak trees. The specially selected trunks and branches from this protected forest were to provide the ship building industry with raw, high-quality materials.
The old marble floors of the Palace of Versailles are replaced by a parquet (“small compartment”) geometric French oak pattern, making them easier to clean. These same boards still stand strong today.
Original Scierie du Rupt de Mad sawmill in the Lorraine region of France begins its life, supplying timber to the local coal mill. The sawmill is run by a watermill, providing power to the band saw.
Some of our best boards are lain in the earth to mature and dry until the tension is just right, awaiting the right project and buyer two centuries later.
I begin my first trip to France and discovered a culture awash in history made vibrant by the materials they use.
M. Rutten purchases the Scierie du Rupt de Mad sawmill, which until that point was in the process of liquidation. Rutten invests heavily in machinery and infrastructure to update the mill and keep it running.
Purchasing a disused cattle barn in the Limousin, I began to purchase containers of reclaimed wood from around the UK, as well as manufactured and solid French oak flooring boards.
With both new and reclaimed wood for flooring, stairways and furniture, Foret has a number of suppliers across the UK and France, adding to the legacy of our wood by giving it a new home in New Zealand.