The Story of Dinesen Flooring

, , , , , , , By Catherine

We’ve been drooling over pictures of amazing Scandinavian interiors for a while now, and we’ve noticed that one common threads that links them all is a fantastic floor: Special tiles, a herringbone pattern, or very wide, white-washed wood planks. That is probably how we got to know about Dinesen, Denmark’s leading manufacturer of exclusive flooring.

Dinesen was founded in 1898 by Hans Peter Dinesen, a master builder. He was unable to find wood of the quality he wanted, so he started up his own sawmill in the small town of Jels in Denmark under the name Jels Savvaerk (Jels Sawmill). For many years, the sawmill produced whatever the local community asked for. In 1965, the company was contacted by an architect who needed unusually long floorboards as part of the restoration work on Sønderborg Castle. The solution was to use custom-made Douglas planks which made quite an impression with lengths up to 15 metres, and as wide as 45 centimeters. It created an exceptional effect, and the order was a definite success. The company became the preferred floor producers for homes, castles, museum, hotels, restaurants and churches in Denmark and abroad.

Today, Thomas Dinesen is the fourth generation to run the proud family business, which he took over in 1989. Together with his partner Heidi, they decided to concentrate the production exclusively on floorboards. In celebration of the company’s 100th year anniversary in 1998, the company changed its name to Dinesen.

The Wood
Douglas fir is harder than other firs and has far fewer knots. The trees can grow up to 60 metres high and have a diameter of almost 1 metre. Originally Douglas comes from the west coast of North America, where it grows from California, in the south, to British Columbia, in the north. Douglas was introduced in Europe in 1827 and it is from the European forests that Dinesen sources its Douglas for the exclusive planks. The trees are between 80 and 120 years old. They come from forests that through generations have been treated with the highest respect for nature.

Pledge of Quality
Since its foundation, quality has been the guiding principle in Dinesen’s production of wooden floors and a pillar of the company’s prestigious reputation. Dinesen sources Douglas fir from well-nurtured European forests where the respect for these trees and their surrounding environment has been inherent for generations.Dinesen only uses the best trees and they are all replanted. Every tree is selected according to requirements of colour, tree rings, knots and harmony. The production of the solid planks is a meticulously controlled process, and the look and the colour of the knot is also tested and repaired or replaced if needed. The planks are usually finished with lye and white soap or white oil, which truly provides the elegance and sophistication Dinesen is known for.

Simple and Stylish
Dinesen Douglas floorboards are produced in lengths of up to 15 m, widths up to 45 cm and thicknesses up to 3.5 cm. The large floorboards create long, clean lines that add a unique sense of elegance and calm to any room. Many designers and architects swear by Dinesen’s floorboards, as they provide endless possibilities for aesthetic and functional solutions in the design of a wide variety of spaces from living rooms, offices, kitchens and bedrooms to museums, galleries, hotels and restaurants. Today, you can find Dinesen flooring at the Nimb Hotel in Copenhagen, the Brandhorst Museum in Munich, and the Saatchi Gallery in London, among others.

Photos: Courtesy of Dinesen

Three generations of Dinesen. The current owner, Thomas Dinesen (4th generation) is in the middle of the picture:

Dinesen Sawmill – The wood was lifted and handled manually:

A man working in the sawmill:

A beautiful Dinesen floor adds warmth and prestige to a room:

The floor planks can be as wide as 50 centimeters and measuring up to 6 meters:

Dinesen flooring create an elegant style to hotels, restaurants, museum and galleries around the world:

Dinesen Heart Oak with the elegant dovetail joints:




  1. Danielle
    9 Jul 2012 / 19:13

    Love it. Great story!

  2. Karla
    6 Jan 2013 / 14:58

    Super interesting story, great history and a beautiful product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *