Floors with Flair

BY WARREN COBB | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

Since the Lowcountry of South Carolina was first settled in the 1670s, Charlestonians have been known for their discriminating tastes. Hardwood flooring company Charleston One Source carries that tradition forward.

Founded in 2005, Charleston One Source is owned by Tom Werner and Pat Devaney. The two men have spent years cultivating relationships with producers of specialized hardwood flooring products. Their emphasis is on the value of craftsmanship, a philosophy that, combined with the expertise of Werner and Devaney, makes Charleston One Source a resource for “floors with flair” in the Carolinas and beyond.

Werner says their relationships with two primary suppliers—Union Church Millworks of Virginia and Goodwin Heart Pine of Florida, both small, family-owned companies with decades of experience—give them confidence that they are delivering the highest quality products. It also allows Werner and Devaney to know the full history of their wood from the source to the mill to the home.

But that’s only part of the story. “The history of our floors is important to our customers,” Werner says, “but they are also concerned with looks and functionality. From a pristine, vertically grained antique heart pine floor, which befits a historical Charleston parlor, to a true hand-scraped walnut or cherry, or even a rustic antique oak, which is equally at home in a beach or mountain retreat, our floors are for living on. They reflect our customers’ tastes and lifestyles.”

AccentsCharlestonOneVer2Image1
AccentsCharlestonOneVer2Image2
AccentsCharlestonOneVer2Image3

Of course, the flooring synonymous with historic Charleston is antique heart pine, and Charleston One Source has the best selection available. Once harvested in the late 18th to early 20th century, longleaf heart pine logs were lashed onto rafts and floated to riverside sawmills. The vast majority of those logs were milled into massive beams to build factories and warehouses during the Industrial Revolution. Each trip downstream, a few logs broke away from the rafts. A few of those logs contained so much resin that they sank to the river bottoms where they have been preserved for over a century.

When it comes to antique heart pine, some people prefer the history and character of floors made from reclaimed beams, while others prefer the deeper tones of floors made from the Goodwin’s River- Recovered heart pine logs. At Charleston One Source, you get to see, and choose from, both.

Charleston One Source also carries antique barn woods and sustainably grown Appalachian Mountain hardwoods, such as walnut, cherry and oak. The showroom is decked out in these products from floor to ceiling. They have a dazzling array of flooring, paneling, beam and mantel options each with a singular history.

“We have recently revamped our website, which allows anyone to view the great projects we have been a part of, but the showroom is still the best way for clients to envision what their floor will look like in their homes,” Devaney says.

Charleston One Source’s floors stand out for their colors and patina, as well as for all the elements that add to a floor’s special character: grain, knots, imperfections, saw marks, nail holes and wear marks. While hand-scraped floors seem like a new trend, prior to the invention of modern sanders in the 1930s, all wood floors were hand scraped. Great care was taken in the finest homes to get the floors perfectly flat, while tradesmen opted for a more “serviceable” look that resulted in the textures we associate with hand-scraped floors today.

Today, Charleston One Source’s craftsmen custom hand scrape floors in textures ranging from a gentle “footworn” scrape to an “aggressive” scrape complete with chatter marks. With all the available options, including long lengths and wide planks, Charleston One Source’s customers can custom-design a floor that is perfect for them.

Selecting a floor can be a daunting task. But with Charleston One Source at your side, the process is easy and educational.

Warren Cobb is a freelance writer from Folly Beach, South Carolina.