Sevierville company sells first-of-its-kind hemp flooring
The family-run Tennessee Wood Flooring is making an environmentally-friendly flooring out of, of all things, industrial hemp.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Sevierville family business says it has a first-of-its-kind product on the market.
If you’re a fan of shows like “Fixer Upper,” you may recognize Tennessee Wood Flooring’s top seller: reclaimed hardwood. The company sells a lot of barn wood and say they think hemp ‘hardwood’ is the next big thing. Turns out, it’s great for the planet, as well.
“It’s such a super plant, and it’s so good for the environment,” Steve Casey said.
Steve runs the show at Tennessee Wood Flooring, but you’ll find most of his kids working the saws and taking orders. Now with hemp hardwood coming off the line:
“We’re going to do all we can to make it take off,” Casey said.
Steve said he’s heard all the hemp and CBD jokes and gets a lot of questions about the smell.
“You have the bowl mass that’s in the CBD that comes off of the top of the plant. This is actually the leftover stalks,” Steve Casey said.
Those stalks may be a secondhand usage for hemp, but it’s still making the Casey family money.
“After they pressed into blocks, we stabilize the hemp stocks ourselves,” Steve Casey said.
When we visited, Steve’s son Elijah was splitting the hemp blocks.
Elijah’s a fourth-generation woodworker. He’s a chemical engineer who came back home to help out.
After Elijah takes the hemp from the saw, the hemp board gets dried, glued and bound to a birch plywood. A few more steps and it’s off to market. Steve says this stuff is durable.
“It’s actually a little more dense than hickory which is the hardest,” Steve told us.
Orders so far have come from California, Colorado, and Oregon. Since this is the first-of-its-kind ‘wood,’ Steve says it is not cheap.
“I mean if you have a prefinished authentic reclaimed floor (in) $10 in price points, a regular solid oak and hickory $6-7, so it’s in the higher end of the price points,” Steve said.
The bulk of the business is still dominated by reclaimed hardwood. Most come from within 100 miles of Sevier County. The hemp is no different, arriving by truck from Kentucky. Plus hemp is good for the Earth, removing carbon.
“There’s nothing else that does that. And it takes no nutrients out of the ground,” Steve said.
He said repurposing hemp and turning it into a ‘wood’ is a natural fit for the family business.
“The Appalachian people are the original conservators.”
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