The History of Carlisle

Our roots go back over 400 years.

When the first colonists arrived in New England in the 1600s, they found large, virgin forests of huge, mature trees. Naturally, they cut down the biggest trees for timber to build their homes. Of course, home building was a lot different back then. The early settlers built homes to last a lifetime. Generally, their first house was also their last house. And because they didn’t have the time to constantly repair and replace warped, cracked or excessively worn boards, the wood flooring had to be especially tough to stand up to heavy use by the large, busy families of the era.

It didn’t take long for these early New Englanders to realize that the long, wide planks cut from the heart of the big, old-growth trees had a denser grain pattern and less moisture than the outer sapwood. This made heartwood far less likely to splinter or warp. Plus, the strength imparted by the tight grain pattern gave it the durability to last practically forever.

Over the years, however, the lessons of making wide plank wood floors primarily out of heartwood were lost in the frenzy of growing demand. In the quest to build more homes cheaper and faster, it became acceptable to use younger and younger trees with very little heartwood. Less developed trees led to shorter, narrower planks.

Fortunately, some ideas are just too good to die. Carlisle rediscovered this lost art of making wide plank floors primarily from heartwood back in 1966, when we made our first pine flooring. Since then, we’ve built a legendary reputation by taking a solid lesson from the past, to create extraordinary floors with a long, beautiful future.