Brandon and I just recently returned from Somerset Hardwood Manufacturing Mill trip to Somerset, Kentucky. Somerset Hardwood has been a really great vendor of wood flooring for us at Home Based Carpet and Flooring, located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Locally Sourced Wood Flooring
Their mill is located in Somerset, Kentucky and the hardwood they manufacture there comes from forests within a 150 mile radius of Somerset. They own some of their own trees and also purchase trees from independent sources. The logs undergo a rigorous examination to determine the age, specie and quality of the wood. I met a man at the saw mill who inspects and qualifies each and every log that comes into the saw mill that is to be used in the manufacturing process.
Upon our arrival in Somerset we were invited to a private cruise on the Somerset houseboat which is docked at Lees Ford Marina on Cumberland Lake. There were seven or so Somerset Mill reps who were a part of the boat trip out on beautiful Cumberland Lake. Dinner was served while we cruised the waters that include some 4 counties in Southern Kentucky. The cruise lasted about 4 hours and we met other Somerset dealers from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Friday morning we toured the saw mill and then went to the finishing plant. This is where they plane the wood into the lengths and widths of the particular product they are making that day. We were able to see Character Grade made that day.
The styles made are Color Collections, Specialty Collection, Home Style, High Gloss Color Collection, Value Collection, and American Country Collection. It was really interesting the number of inspections that Somerset makes during the manufacturing process. And prior to finishing they go to great lengths to dry out the lumber before it ever goes to the finish plant.
The Wood Flooring Manufacturing Process
They have large kilns that can hold up to 200,000 board feet of material. Material is dried for up to 90 days to get the moisture level down to about 6%. When logs are brought in initially they are 60-70% moisture weight; so it is very important to get the moisture out of the wood prior to finish work. After the wood has dried they begin milling the wood to the spec that will create a finished product. It could be 3/4″solid or 1/2″ engineered. All Somerset Hardwood flooring is now proudly made in the USA.
The boards continue down the line for sanding, staining and urethane. There are 5-7 coating applied . The aluminum oxide is also added during this step. During this process UV treating is applied for non fading and colorfastness. The boards then proceed down the line where inspectors look for any defects and pull those boards from the line. Its interesting how Somerset used any and all scrap to recycle into mulch and landscape material and also use their own material scraps to fuel the kilns.
Finished Wood Flooring
The planks are finally packed into Somerset cardboard boxes for shipping to the next distributor. Each box contains instructions printed on the back of every box for installation instructions. This was a mill trip that we just totally enjoyed. The folks at Somerset Hardwood Flooring treated us just great. The learning process was excellent and certainly will help us for years to come in advising our customers about wood flooring. Our total thanks go out to the staff at Somerset Hardwood Flooring Company in Somerset, Kentucky. Home Based Carpet Flooring sells and installs carpet, laminate flooring, luxury vinyl tile, and hardwood flooring. Professional certified installation.