WoodWise: Green, efficient & on time

BOULDER COUNTY – Have you ever installed or renovated wood floors? WoodWise

If yes, you’re probably wincing as you recall the mess, dust, pain in the back and knees, the expense and general discomfort of the experience. There also are those among us who hired someone else to do the job. The phone book is replete with the numbers of handy folks who will happily try to install or refinish a floor for you. Good luck with that!

Boulder County residents and businesses have become sensitive to environmentally sound building and maintenance practices over the years and therefore need only to remember one name when it’s time to get the floors done: WoodWise.

The company’s reputation as a no-nonsense, on time, fairly priced, full service wood flooring business long precedes its appearance on these pages. Its green practices and use of sustainable products are WoodWise hallmarks – the company’s signature, if you will. Yet, believe it or not, Boulder hasn’t always given a hoot about nasty chemicals and such. “For years, our local business was almost 100 percent solvent-based,” says WoodWise owner Clarence Harrison. “Now that trend is reversed and almost all of our finishes meet the standards set for low volatile organic compounds.”

There’s more. The company vehicles that transport WoodWise staff and materials run on clean burning alternative fuel. Waste from the job is recycled, reclaimed, used for firewood or even given away, such as the hardwood dust that’s collected and used to make pellets for wood stoves.

Harrison has been working in the sanding and finishing business for more than 25 years. He’s known to be hands on in an industry where the old guard tends to step back and let the young hands get dirty. Clarence can’t imagine missing an opportunity to get to know the homeowner, plan with the business owner and work alongside his crew. “People are understandably sensitive to the idea of strangers tromping around their home,” he explains. “The one on one interaction makes a difference. A referral after the job is over is the highest compliment I can receive.”

WoodWise’s recent refinishing of the floors at Boulder’s Frasca Food & Wine, 1738 Pearl St. in Boulder, illustrates how seriously the company takes its mission to provide as green an atmosphere as possible, start to finish. Frasca’s clientele make up a large percentage of WoodWise’s residential customers; it couldn’t be a better fit.


Readers likely will have enjoyed Frasca’s food and wine in the tradition of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northern Italy. The area’s traditional “frasca” – an informal gathering for farmers, friends, and family – is all but a memory, but it remains the restaurant’s inspiration. Simple wines and cheeses are the order of the day.

Frasca keeps in its cellars more than 200 varieties of wine – affordable, stimulating choices designed to complement chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson’s sophisticated cuisine.

Friuli’s natural beauty is mirrored in the intimate dining rooms of the restaurant itself. The floors are very rare hardwood that would require not just a trained hand but also minimal disturbances to the restaurant’s other features and the utmost speed in getting the job done. These points were not negotiable.

“This was our first experience with WoodWise,” says Frasca’s director of private events, Cristin Napier. “We knew that Clarence had a great reputation and was very experience\d.”

WoodWise staff captured dust as their sanders produced it so as not to add particles to the brown cloud. It’s something of a delicate art to push a weighty sander around the floor and give it an incredibly close shave, but the team worked quickly and meticulously during this stage. Next they babied Frasca’s floors with a sealer coat of a water-based finish (no solvents), which brought new life to the colors in the wood grain. By the time two more commercial grade coats were dry a day later, Frasca was back in business.

“We are very happy with the job they did,” adds Napier. “They were very professional, easy to communicate with, and they left the dining room in perfect condition.”


Harrison is keenly aware that referrals drive business, and he works diligently for every single one. Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic gold medal marathon runner and WoodWise client, has not had a better experience with a local contractor. “Clarence is the easiest to deal with, his bids and timelines are great, and most importantly I never have to call him back.”

Hardwood flooring is one of the most stunning additions you can incorporate into your home. Wood floors add warmth, beauty and elegance that other floor coverings cannot offer. Call Clarence today to schedule a personal visit in

your home or business.

For more information on WoodWise and their services call 303.442.7777 or visit woodwiseboulder.com.

By Darren Thornberry, At Home\


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