The Danish flooring company Dinesen demonstrates remarkable craftsmanship and a knowledge of wood. Dinesen’s passion for wood is evident when talking to fifth-generation owner Thomas Dinesen and the company’s employees. We visited the head office and production facility in the small town of Jels in Jutland, where it all began 117 years ago.
Master builder Hans Peter Dinesen founded the company in 1898 when he could not find wood of the quality he required to produce wood products to the local community. Today, the company focuses solely on providing wooden planks, and demand comes from all over the world.
“Manufacturing wood flooring at our high level of quality is like creating a meal at a gourmet restaurant. We need the finest raw materials, and we need to know how they were grown. Then, we need to treat the raw materials with passion, care and commitment in order for the rest of the process to succeed. Both the raw materials and our commitment are crucial to the final result”, explains Dinesen.
Most of the wood the company provides is sourced from the Black Forest in Germany and the best European forests. Douglas firs in the Black Forest grow under the best conditions because they grow on steep hills, making them stronger as they fight to endure the steep terrain. As a result, the quality of the wood is better. The Douglas firs Dinesen uses are between 80 and 120 years old. Dinesen also produces oak planks from trees that are as much as 200 years old.
When walking through the production area, you can see how much attention to detail the employees put into their work. Each plank goes through 10 pairs of hands before it is finished. One of the steps is a quality control, during which employees manually replace knots that are not good enough. That is dedication.
“It is natural for a more than 100-year-old tree to have a few knots that are no longer fresh. In such cases, the knot is removed and replaced with a suitable knot. And it means that those living with the planks can do so with a good conscience and can enjoy the excellent craftsmanship”, says Dinesen.
Dinesen offers Douglas, Oak, HeartOak and GrandOak planks, all made to order. They deliver floors up to 15 metres long and 50 cm wide. It is not uncommon for customers to have planks delivered via crane. You might have seen Dinesen’s floors if you have ever been to the Saatchi Gallery in London or have dined at noma in Copenhagen, where the company’s HeartOak floors have been installed. During our visit, the company told us about a brand new project: the new Design Museum in London, which was designed by architect John Pawson, a big Dinesen fan.
Last year, the company opened a new showroom in Copenhagen with a view of the lakes. It was designed by OEO Studio, and it is divided into two halves showing the company’s two collections: Tree of a Kind and Extraordinary by Nature. One very striking element is the pavilion installation in the Tree of a Kind section, where a 15-metre long Douglas table welcomes you to the showroom. Moving to the other side, you enter an apartment complete with living room, library, kitchen and wine cellar.