Home Front: Sustainable Style

Four generations strong, the family-owned Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring boasts certification by the Forest Stewardship Council.


Oprah Winfrey and the Vice President of the United States have something in common — and no, we’re not talking political leanings. Both live in homes that contain flooring from Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring, a family-owned company in tiny Emlenton (population 625 in the last census), a 90-minute drive north of Pittsburgh.

The company’s distinctive hardwoods — which feature rift and quarter-sawn boards that create better stability — also are found in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Trump Tower in New York City, Yale University and a number of other far-flung locales.

“We ship all over the country,” says Jessica Hickman, marketing director at Allegheny Mountain Hardwood.

Through years of trade-show participation, the family has cultivated relationships with some of the nation’s top flooring installers, which is how word got out to the contractors for celebrities. Allegheny Mountain produces products for projects ranging from local hunting camps to world-class concert halls and museums.

Hickman and her brother, Jake, constitute the fourth generation to work in the family business, which also includes Hickman Lumber and Hickman Timber Management.

The original sawmill began operating in 1938 under the direction of Hickman’s great-grandfather, Harry Hickman Jr., who used a crosscut saw and a team of horses to cut trees on his forested property.

“They were just making a living though the depression and had a farm,” Hickman says of her great-grandfather and his wife, Eleanore. The sawmill became successful, and in 2000 — after years of operating a hardwood lumber dimension plant, which produced lumber cut to standardized widths and depths — the family formed Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring.

The company emphasizes responsible timber management and was one of the first in Pennsylvania to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which guarantees sustainable management of forests. Hickman says the flooring has been used in a number of LEED-certified buildings.  

501 Main St., Emlenton; 800/867-9441, hickmanwoods.com

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