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We understand that quality wood products are an investment, and we want our customers to feel confident and informed. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for below, please reach out and we’ll be happy to address your questions.

What is Vertical Grain “VG” Douglas Fir?

Vertical grain or “quarter sawn” indicates how the wood is sawn, isolating the sections where the grain of the wood is standing on edge versus laying horizontally. This means that you can visually follow each individual grain along the length of the board face. Only a specific portion of each log may be cut to have these characteristics, making for a ridged, clean-looking piece for flooring or shiplap. Douglas Fir trees make famously strong and durable building materials with the least amount of shrinkage.

How long should I let my wood acclimate before installing?

Acclimation is crucial, especially with flooring. When you receive your materials, place them indoors (preferably into the room where it will be installed). The wood should be stacked and “stickered” between layers for good airflow, as air movement is key and your home’s moisture content may differ from that of the newly arrived flooring. Our materials are kiln dried and heat treated, yet moisture content varies, especially if you live outside of the Pacific Northwest. The moisture content of the subfloor should align with the moisture content of the flooring, allowing for seasonal expansion and contraction. All flooring moves, yet proper acclimation with natural wood reduces the chance of cracks and gaps appearing. The acclimation process can take days or weeks, yet two weeks is often sufficient. We suggest buying an inexpensive probe moisture meter for wood, and if you’re using an installer, they will be familiar with this process.

Why do you sell boards in random lengths?

Traditionally, all wood products were installed in random lengths. Unlike box stores and high-volume outfits where “you get what you get,” everything from Whidbey Millhouse is 100% usable and custom cut. We don’t allow flaws like loose knots, pitch pockets, or profile deviations through quality control as each inch of each board is carefully inspected, with any flaws being trimmed out. Our goal is to provide the longest lengths possible, and if a trimmed off piece isn’t large enough to be useful, it will not be included in the shipment. In a typical order, you’ll receive many full-length boards (depending upon the length of the unit of raw materials we start with) and some shorter lengths. Often just 0-5% of your order will be “shorts.” Our Vertical Grain Douglas Fir flooring will not be cut shorter than two feet and shiplap will be at least three feet. We can allow up to 24 feet for local deliveries and pickup, but we maximize a length of 12’ with shipping, as we need to build pallets with protective cladding and longer shipments are prone to damage. Larger specified length orders are possible, yet are much more expensive due to the materials waste created by such requests.

Can you deliver?

Yes! We deliver to job sites and residences within Western Washington and sometimes beyond. The fee varies, yet many customers find this service helpful. Ideally, a forklift would be on site to unload our truck, yet in the case of residential curbside delivery, parking and access can be tricky. We ask that someone over 18 years of age be home to accept delivery and help unload. If your order is large and no forklift is available, it may be necessary to hire help. As part of the delivery fee, our driver will help unload, yet please note we do not deliver inside the home. We also ship with nationwide logistics companies, and if the maximum length of the order is under eight feet, a lift gate may be used to set the unit on the ground.

How long will it take to receive my order?

The time it takes to receive your finished product can vary. Often, we have popular products on hand and ready to ship within days, however, at times, our materials are run to order. A 3-5 week wait can be expected in some circumstances, and sometimes longer if the rare raw materials are unavailable or if the order is very large. Our best advice is to inform us of your building timeline, order early, and pay in advance. Remember to allow extra time for shipping, delivery, and proper acclimation of the finished product once on site.

Does wood from Whidbey Millhouse come prefinished?

No. We only sell natural and unfinished products, yet in many cases, our wood comes ready to finish. It’s typical to lightly sand the surface of flooring for uniformity after installation, as this allows the wood fibers to accept your choice of finish evenly across the surface. Please note that pre-painting or coating too thickly can cause problems with our precision milled “easy fit” tongue and groove joints.

What finish should I use on my natural wood?

There are many answers here and each situation is different. Floors are subject to far more wear than walls and ceilings. For walls, ceilings, and trim, we’ve seen wonderful results with clear water-based polyurethane. Crystal-clear varieties are sold from various manufacturers and are specifically formulated for floors and high-traffic areas. These are the least expensive and easiest to use finishes for many and offer satisfactory results with little in the way of fumes or smell. Oil-based polyurethane finishes penetrate the wood fibers a little deeper, take longer to dry, and certainly have more fumes, however, they are often more durable. Some of the highest quality finishes include natural oil-based formulations that penetrate deeply into the wood, strengthen the wood fibers, and offer amazing results. Traditional Scandinavian finishes are often used on our Clear Wide Plank flooring and involve treating the raw wood with a lye solution, ending with a traditional “soap wax” finish for a slightly whitewashed and pickled look. Your installer should be familiar with a variety of applications, and there are also many resources for DIY projects.