Dutch Master Craftsman Introduces New Standard Of Hardwood Flooring to U.S.

Master Craftsman Tom Goddijn is on a mission – to bring European style and quality to the U.S. A native of the Netherlands who has worked for no less than the Queen of the Holland on her Royal Residence, Tom is a disciple of the hard wax oil movement. This European tradition uses natural plant-based oils and hand-texturing to treat wood floors, harnessing techniques developed in the workshops of flooring masters. Tom plans to champion the natural beauty and aesthetics of the hard wax style through The European Wood Company this summer.

There’s nothing in the U.S. market quite like his beautiful, textured, hand-crafted planks. “There’s no comparison…I do everything I can to enhance the beauty of the wood for a genuine, natural look.”

A master of his craft, Goddijn is constantly experimenting with color and technique. Designing and installing hard wax wood floors for over 30 years has created a passion for wood and beautiful design that drives Tom creatively and produces breath-taking results. “I love the poetry in the grain of European oak.” His goal? “Creating something exclusive and luxurious.”

“We’ve developed an exclusive type of finishing, a hybrid system, you could call it,” explains Fabienne Goddijn, Tom’s wife and co-owner. “It has the advantages of a lacquered floor, and the appearance of an oil finish.” How is that achieved? Fabienne smiles. “That’s a secret technique of Tom’s.” Suffice it to say, the technique used produces an extremely durable floor with a matte finish, excellent for high-volume spaces.

Tom’s floors don’t just make sense aesthetically; they also meet the needs of commercial businesses and interior designers. When working with high traffic areas, designers of commercial interiors need flooring that’s easy to maintain and environmentally-friendly, not just beautiful. “Our floors are not only beautiful and unique, they make sense from a business sense as well,” explains Fabienne. “The waxes are made from natural vegetable oils. They’re easier to repair than urethane lacquer finished floors when damaged. Everyone thinks urethane lacquer finished flooring is more durable, but a urethane lacquer floor can be more difficult to recoat when scratched or damaged.  A hard-wax floor costs much less to maintain in the long run than a finished floor, because you can repair a damaged area more easily, and re-oil a specific area. It’s practical from a commercial point of view and the floors look stunning.”

Tom used to ship his floors to the U.S. from Europe, which made for long wait times for clients chomping at the bit for his designs. Now, with the ability to manufacture on-site at his San Diego-based workshop, producing a unique color or custom wood surface doesn’t take quite as long, even if Tom is spending hours manipulating the wood structure to meet his exacting standards. Traditional hand processing methods involve a number of techniques, from bleaching and brushing, to chiseling, scraping and distressing.

Tom sometimes uses ten techniques or more to get a design just right. “The high quality of his technique is going to shake up the flooring industry,” predicts one San Diego based interior design firm, that is so enamored of Tom’s technique they are backing Goddijn as he strikes out on his own with his independent flooring company this August.

Source: European Wood Company

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