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Feature Story


Memphis Hardwood Flooring, You Can Live On It
By Terry Miller

Jim Duke serves as director of sales at Memphis Hardwood Flooring in Memphis, Tenn.
Memphis, Tenn.—Nestled in downtown Memphis, you will find not only blues, barbeque and the roaring Mississippi River, but you will also find 100-year-old Memphis Hardwood Flooring, a company that has contributed to both the rich history of the city and hardwood industry over the years.

Shortly after the beginning of the 20th Century, in 1905, Memphis Hardwood Flooring was established. From decade to decade for over 100 years…as people settled, Oak flooring was the standard from cabin to castle. Even today, as young families buy older homes and bring them back to life, they find under the worn and tattered carpet a beautiful Hardwood floor installed decades ago. They love it…and they can “live on it,” which is what Memphis Hardwood Flooring strives to do, make flooring people can live on.

For a century, the company has recognized the dependability of the great Oaks, marketing their products under the name, Chickasaw.

“We market our Red and White Oak unfinished strip flooring throughout the
An employee is shown here grading some flooring. Memphis Hardwood Flooring markets their Red and White Oak unfinished flooring under the Chickasaw brand name.
country, all under the Chickasaw brand, which is probably one of the best-known brands in the industry, if not the best,” said Jim Duke, director of sales.

Memphis Hardwood Flooring’s unfinished strip flooring is offered in 3/4-inch x 2-1/4 inch, Clear plain Red and White Oak, Select and Better quartered Red and White Oak, Select plain Red and White Oak, No. 1 Common and No. 2 Common. All 3/4-inch x 1 1/2-inch strips are offered in No. 1 Common and Better. Soon, Memphis Hardwood Flooring will be manufacturing the wider width wood flooring.  All grading is done according to the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Assoc.’s grading specifications.

On the lumber side, 4/4 Red and White Oak are the primary products manufactured by Memphis Hardwood Flooring. Other species include Poplar and Ash. In addition to the lumber that is milled for the flooring business, Memphis Hardwood Flooring also supplies customers that include furniture plants, kitchen cabinet manufacturers, millwork and moulding producers and distribution yards.

Jim Duke and Eddie Anderson, plant manager of the Memphis flooring mill, inspects the quality of a piece of flooring.
Quality is and has been for 100 years a priority at Memphis Hardwood Flooring, just one of the reasons among many that their turnover rate among customers remains very low.

All flooring products are polywrapped, with end-caps and the company logo. Taking another step in assuring quality and moisture content is always kept in mind at Memphis Hardwood Flooring.

“From the time the lumber is processed or when it’s kiln-dried, it’s under a shed. Our lumber goes through a tracked process that keeps it under shed all the way through from the beginning to the end until it’s ripped, cut-up, manufactured into flooring and then packaged with the polywrap. Moisture content is a very big concern for us,” Duke commented.

Memphis Hardwood Flooring also goes the extra mile for quality by having a supreme team of employees and rigorous standards. Their lumber inspectors are certified by the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc., one of whom has been an
This neon sign was erected in front of Memphis Hardwood Flooring Co. manufacturing plant in the early 1950’s, and it still shines with the same message. 
employee for over 35 years.

Additionally, the company is concerned with environmental issues and supports industry environmental efforts.

“Our loggers are involved with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Memphis Hardwood Flooring takes pride in the way we manage our own timberlands and those that we cut,” Duke said.

Memphis Hardwood Flooring participates in the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Assoc., National Wood Flooring Assoc., North American Wholesale Lumber Assoc., National Hardwood Lumber Assoc. and Southwestern Hardwood Club.

From the East Coast to the West Coast, long-term supplier and customer relationships are cherished by Memphis Hardwood Flooring.

“We’ve been selling to some of our customers since we started the business in 1905. They attribute their whole beginning to Memphis Hardwood Flooring’s work in the lumber industry many years ago. Working hand-in-hand with them, helping them develop and grow their business, we have helped some companies to become very successful.

Bo Pellusch, plant manager of the Grenada, Miss., flooring mill and sawmill, is standing in front of a new Hasko side matcher.
We know what we are capable of doing well and we have stayed with it, not trying to deviate far from the business we know,” Duke said.

Like the Oaks, Memphis Hardwood Flooring has stood the test of time. It’s versatility, durability and charm helps customers get the most for their dollar, while providing consumers with warmth and richness in the office or at home. One thing is for sure about the products at Memphis Hardwood Flooring…You Can Live On It.    

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A cant is shown here moving through the bandmill at Memphis Hardwood Flooring’s sawmill in Grenada, Miss.



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