Timber! 7 Wood Finishes Every Architect Should Know About

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There’s no debating that wood has magnetism like no other. It’s warm and inviting, full of character, and possesses biophilic appeal. So it comes as no surprise that timber and grain patterns often find their way into interiors and have even inspired products of other material categories such as ceramic and glass (go to any tile trade show and see if you can find a single manufacturer not offering a wood-mimicking product).

If you’re in the market for timber, consider these seven recent products, which include flooring, wall and ceiling cladding, as well as furniture and countertop materials.

Bolefloor’s planks are made by maximizing usable area within the natural edges of tree trunks.


With a tagline of “Life is not a straight line,” Dutch manufacturer Bolefloor produces planks (also shown at top) which result in less waste by utilizing the maximum area within a tree trunk’s live edge and matching these to other planks. These curved floorboards — which measure between six and 12 inches in width by 9¾ feet long — can be specified with beveled, unbeveled, grooved, or ungrooved edge joints for easy installation. Unblemished or rustic finishes (with knots, cat-paw markings, and sapwood, for instance) are available, as are a wide variety of colors.

Charred Wood by reSAWN Timber is offered in natural, but also vibrant, tones.

reSAWN’s Charred Wood also comes in a range of black finishes.

reSAWN Timber: Charred Wood

reSAWN applies the Japanese charring technique of shou sugi ban to cypress, black walnut, red oak, or reclaimed hemlock, then finishes the woods with colorful oil for an even more striking aesthetic. Recently, the manufacturer added 18 new colors to this line of wood products, ranging from neutrals to heavily saturated hues such as pink and cyan. All but two of the new colors are suitable for both interior and exterior cladding in commercial and residential settings. Different levels of black finish are also offered and result in dramatic backdrops.

Corà Parquet’s ContinuumFloor presents a subtle or high-contrast stripe effect on floors or walls.

Corà Parquet: ContinuumFloor

Make a graphic statement with stripes or subtle contrast. Suitable for both flooring and wall cladding, this series offers a selection of wood species — Iroko, Merbau, and European oak, to name a few — in monochromatic or multicolor pre-finished boards of assorted dimensions. The stripes work horizontally or vertically on walls; additionally, a protruding board can be integrated into vertical wall installations to create depth and accentuate lines.

Smith and Fong’s DecoPalm, made entirely of reclaimed palm wood, creates highly dimensional walls.

Smith and Fong: DecoPalm

This dimensional wall panel boasts eco-friendly characteristics: it’s composed entirely of reclaimed palm wood; contains no added formaldehyde; and complies with California Section 01350 for VOC emissions. The units are produced in a six-by-48-inch format and interlock for a seamless, monolithic appearance. DecoPalm is also well-suited to ceiling applications.

TorZo’s Striata and Striata Fusion can be applied on furniture and walls.

TorZo Surfaces: Striata and Striata Fusion

Douglas fir beams originally intended for concealed structural components or scaffold planking are transformed into stunning, striated panels infused with acrylic for durability and stability. Suitable for interior wall paneling, furniture, and horizontal surfaces, Striata comes in a natural wood tone, while Striata Fusion injects pops of color, from onyx to sapphire. Three sizes up to 47 by 95 inches are available.

Red Hook Hardwood flooring from Architectural Systems offers vintage character.

Architectural Systems: Red Hook Hardwood

Evoking the industrial lofts and factories of the eponymous Brooklyn neighborhood, the Red Hook flooring collection boasts character via its rustic and distressed finish. The planks are engineered European oak in a 7½-inch width and length of 36 or 72 inches, have a four-millimeter wear layer, and natural hard-wax oil finish. FSC-certified, the flooring product is also CARB compliant. Eight stain colors are offered.

Viridian’s Granary Plank is sourced from beams of deconstructed granaries and warehouses.

Viridian Reclaimed Wood: Granary Plank

This line of solid-strip paneling and flooring actually derives from structural beams reclaimed from deconstructed granaries and warehouses throughout the Pacific Northwest. A blend of Douglas fir and pine, the product comes in two styles: Granary Plank Smooth Face Naily sports dark holes and black oxide stains, while Granary Plank Antique offers even more vintage character, incorporating the nail holes but also aged patina and faint saw marks. In addition to flooring and wall cladding, it’s ideal for tabletop surfaces.

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