Wood sanding: view from the French manufacturer Chêne de l'Est

Wood sanding: view from the French manufacturer Chêne de l'Est

A spotlight is placed on the wood market with French company Chêne de l’Est, one of whose directors, Jean-Michel Bach, we met and interviewed.

What is your company’s area of specialty?

JMB : Historically, we have been manufacturers of solid wood parquet, mainly oak. We have also bought a parquet maker in the Vosges that specializes in multilayer parquet. Our customers are just as likely to be wholesalers as they are decoration professionals and architects. France accounts for 60% of our turnover, the rest being exports.


How would you characterize your offer?

JMB : By its very great diversity of finishes. We are recognized for our ability to offer special and unusual finishes for all kinds of aesthetic requirements.

We are also experts in ageing. Imitating old flooring or parquets is an art that requires highly specialized technical skills.

The same applies to so-called «natural» parquets designed to look like untreated wood. These finishes involve a lot of work: it is therefore essential that the wood is perfectly prepared at the sanding stage.


And in terms of colours?

JMB : The palette is almost endless, ranging from the lightest to the warmest, from whitest loft-style to the deepest black, and taking in sand-grey and metallic grey, almond green, red and every possible shade of brown: mahogany, spice bread, walnut stain, cocoa, coffee…

And naturally, brushed-varnished, brushed-oiled, varnished or oiled versions are staples.


A family firm created in 1960, Chêne de l’Est produces ready-to-lay solid and multilayer parquets and flooring. All the steps in the production process take place in its workshops, the main one being in Hambach in Moselle.


Major trends in wood

Jean-Michel Bach identifies several trends:


  • Architects are mainly looking for «natural» parquets, essentially in small widths (70 mm). Aged or contemporary, fresh sawn parquets are very popular, appreciated for their texture.

  • The general public generally prefer wide boards (170-190 mm) where the «natural» type of finish is less sought after.

  • Multilayer parquet sells very well in small widths (170/220 mm), or very large widths (250/450 mm).