CENTERPIECE™ – A Swedish heartwood block floor
Centerpiece™ is a block flooring made of heartwood from the Swedish forest. The trees pitch and rings create a striking pattern i the floor. Each wood block is unique and tells the story of the life of a tree. Small marks from twigs makes beautiful accents in the floor. It comes in two designs: Basic, a rectangular block of spruce, and Hex which is a hexagonal block of birch. The floor is delivered as loose blocks that will be glued down, sanded and then finished on-site. The result is a stable, durable and beautiful floor with a unique appearance.
Production and forestry
The floors are sustainable in many ways. From forest to finished floor, the environmental impact is low. The blocks are made from a 100% renewable resource. The entire production is located i Sweden and transportations are few and short. For installation and surface treatment, we can recommend many non-toxic, environmentally friendly products with great result. Wood block floors are extremly durable and can be sanded and treated endless times. They are almost impossible to wear out and never out of fashion.
The trees for our production are carefully selected. The firtree we use grow in forests around Gothenburg and our birch comes from forestry in Mid-Sweden. All timber come from from small clear cuts, selective logging and thinning. The blocks are cut out from the center of the tree, the heartwood. That way we manage to manufacture timber products from quite small trees. We need a homogenous quality of wood for our production and it is important to get it right from the beginning. Poor quality of timber can not be compensated for later on. Heartwood is difficult to dry without cracks and the timber must be quickly collected and transported to us. If left for too long after cutting, stains and cracks start appearing and the quality of wood decreases rapidly. We always visit the forests and discuss with land owners and forest managers before buying wood. Keeping production local and small-scale is necessary to achieve high quality.
The first prototypes of our floors were made from firtrees from our own property in the north of Sweden (Kallbygden, Åre kommun), drying the wood in a home-built drier in the garage of our vacation house and finishing the blocks in a tiny wood workshop in the basement. Our idea was to use heartwood instead of sapwood. This proved to be a lot harder than we expected. We have put a lot of time and resources to solve the complicated task of drying heartwood without cracks. As the business grew our property became too small and we moved the production to Gothenburg, where we also live and work as architects. The production is still a small scale business, family owned and completely based in Sweden. Today we do the drying in a special wood drier in our workshop in Högsbo Industriområde. The main part of our production is located here and we also keep stock and a small showroom.
History of endgrain flooring
Wood block floor is a very old type of flooring. It is much stronger than boarded wooden floors and has historically been used even for road paving. It was considered a good choice close to castles and mansions since it is a ”quiet” paving that efficiently reduces sound from horses and chariots. There are still some wood paved roads left in the USA and Europe.
Endgrain wood is strong and durable, but also a warm comfortable floor for standing and walking. Therefore, it has been installed in many industries as an alternative to concrete or stone floors. The Ford River Rouge Factory (Michigan, USAi) known for caring about the workers, had an end grain floor made from wooden hexagons, about 90 years before we started making Centerpiece Hex. Wooden blocks, similar to our Centerpiece Basic, appear in the stone paving of Wall Street on Manhattan.
Today, endgrain wooden floors appear in many different interiors, from public spaces such as conference rooms and entrance halls to private residences.
Instructions on how to install our floors can be found here
“We are very happy with the result” / Hydria Fastighets AB
“Very pleased with the quality!” / Arne Algeröd, owner Mats och Arne Arkitektkontor
“We are very pleased with our podium and tell all our visitors about the end grain blocks from small scale forestry ” / Swedish Energy Agency
“Thank you for your e-mail and for asking if I am happy with the delivered goods. That kind of follow-up of a project is not common here in Norway, but it is very good/…/ I am very satisfied with the floor and the installation / Private customer