The “Tree of Life”: A Profile on the Mesquite Tree

We’ve all at least heard of mesquite wood.

But what actually makes the wood unique? Here we will dive a bit deeper into the unique aspects of the lumber, from where it is found to what differentiates it from the rest of the forest (or rather… the desert).

The Tree

Mesquite trees are found in most dry parts of the world, from West Texas to Bahrain. It is the most common shrub (small tree) in the south-west United States (1), and is actually a member of the legume family. There are three common species of mesquite trees; honey mesquite, screwbean mesquite, and velvet mesquite.

Mesquite trees are exceedingly useful.

“More than 200 plants and animal species depend on the mesquite tree for survival and reproduction. Bees in arid areas rely on its pollen to produce food for their young and honey for the winter. Deer, javelina, coyotes, jackrabbits, skunks, turkey, quail, and doves greedily consume the beans along with livestock of all kinds.”aneyefortexas, Chihuahan Desert Blog

The beans of mesquite trees have been used in history as coffee replacement and as a basic food source when all other food would run out. The pollen of the tree can be made into a unique honey, and the beans are still used today as livestock feed when pasture grasses are all eaten or destroyed by drought. Mesquite gum has medical treatments, such as to alleviate sunburn and to ease stomach distress, and the leaves of the tree could help to reduce headaches (1).

mesquite beans

The wood itself is extremely handy for firewood and building material. It seasons well, with minimal shrinkage or warp (3). “In the late 1800s, citizens of San Antonio paved the streets leading to their Texas shrine, the Alamo, with mesquite slabs. In testament to mesquite’s durability, remnants of the wood still surface from the activity of street maintenance”, Wood Magazine. It is commonly used as firewood for smoking meats as well.

For use in the home, it is most well known for its deep and red-toned color. For more advantages of using mesquite wood in your house, check out our post from January 2017.

Velvet_mesquite

The mesquite tree has a trusted reputation in the American south-west and in many parts of the world. By more than one party it has been dubbed the “Tree of Life” because of the many uses and benefits it affords.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.desertusa.com/flora/mesquite-tree.html
  2. https://aneyefortexas.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/mesquite-the-wonder-tree/
  3. http://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/wood-species-2/mesquite

How to Decorate a Home with Mesquite Wood

The right kind of wood can bring a living space together.

Used in the right places, in the right amounts, with the right finish, mesquite wood can add a rich tone to any room in the house. But how much should be used? And for which elements, flooring, furniture, or other accents such as countertops?

Along with the wood, we must consider the colors, textures, and shapes of the other features of the house, such as textiles, glass, and other materials. It’s a lot to think about, but this is where we can really have fun creating a future home.

Where to Use Mesquite Wood

So where should you use mesquite wood in the home?

Because of the rich tone and texture of mesquite wood, it is used best in visible spaces. Countertops, mantles and tables are obvious spaces to display this kind of wood. If used in such a way, it is wise to get your mesquite wood finished properly to protect its color, texture and shape.

Next up is mesquite staircases, which can make beautiful additions to homes. As heavily foot trafficked wood, again the finish is important to maintain the woods integrity. Finally, mesquite wood flooring is another obvious way to bring together your home (for more specific information on how to install this type of flooring, read this article).

3Hoover-Stairs

Matching Mesquite with Other Types of Wood

The key with using any wood in the home is how it is paired with other types of wood. From a purely aesthetic perspective, it is far more appealing to use more than one type of wood, as opposed to using just mesquite, or just oak.

Let’s start with tone.

Most woods have either a warm, reddish undertone, or a grey undertone. Mesquite wood has a distinctly red undertone, and therefor it is best paired with other similar colored wood.

For example, if mesquite wood is used on your kitchen or dining room, use a similar colored or finished wood on window trims, cabinets, wall moulding, and other home decor.

Adding in the Extras

The best policy when choosing decoration in the home is to mix-match hard and soft textures. Wood is naturally a hard, flat texture. Naturally, soft and rugged rugs, pillows, and throw blankets are simple contrasting elements.

Shapes are also important. Wood is typically linear and rooms are typically rectangular or square. Help to mix things up with round objects such as bowls, plants, and curved or rounded patterns.

For a fantastic example, see how this house used a mesquite wood bookshelf in combination with multiple other elements.

Final Thoughts

Mesquite wood can rightly be the main attraction in any living space, but it should not be the only attraction. In isolation, mesquite wood is not enough to complete a room. But in combination with other woods, textiles, shapes, colors and textures, along with high quality finishing, mesquite wood is a beautiful, beautiful addition.

 

 

More Inspiration:

Many Advantages to Mesquite Wood

If you are considering installing hardwood floors in your home, one of the best types of wood to use is mesquite. Mesquite is known for being beautiful, tough and able to stand up to just about anything. You will absolutely love the way that it looks when it is in your home, and you will be able to enjoy it for years to come. The color and the grain characteristics buried deep within the wood made it a very attractive option for homeowners.

But as the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at the University of Arizona notes, mesquite wood is also great for a variety of other reasons that have nothing to do with hardwood flooring. Let’s explore some of the many benefits of mesquite.

Mesquite WoodPerfect for Barbecuing or Fires

Mesquite wood burns very slowly and generates a lot of heat. If you build a fire with it, it will last for a long time and it will provide you with the warmth you are looking for. It can also be used to cook, and the smoke that it generates adds a very distinct flavor to meals when you use it for that purpose. It is most often used to prepare smoked barbecue, and anyone who’s tasted mesquite-smoked chicken, pork or any other meat knows just how fantastic it is.

Drought-Resistant and Low Maintenance

Mesquite trees don’t require much water and are known for being very tough and durable. They can survive for a long time without any water and can provide shade and a home for wildlife in parts of the country where other trees will not survive due to the local weather conditions. This also makes mesquite wood very resilient and low maintenance, which is why it’s perfect for use in flooring any many other applications.

Elegant and Durable Furniture

Because mesquite wood is extremely hard and dense, it is ideal for creating things like furniture. Items made from mesquite wood will last for decades and require very little maintenance or care to stay in great shape. Many woodworkers have also turned to mesquite for decorative woodworking over the years. Mesquite wood offers them many options and gives them the chance to create pieces that will stand the test of time.

Installing hardwood flooring in your home is a big investment, so before you do it, you should consider which type of wood you ultimately want to use. Faifer & Co. recommends mesquite wood to those homeowners who value both beauty and durability, and we know that you will be blown away by your new mesquite flooring. Reach out to us at 830-216-4189 today to learn more about our flooring options.

Dress Up Your Fireplace With a Mesquite Mantel

Now that winter has arrived, temperatures are at less than ideal highs. This will lead many homeowners to light up their fireplaces as a nice little way to keep warm on cooler nights. However, instead of having just a plain old mantel surround your fireplace this winter, upgrade it with help from Faifer & Co.

Mesquite MantelsOur mantels are made from reclaimed mesquite hardwoods that were previously being used on Texas ranchlands. By doing this, your new mesquite mantel will not only have an authentic, rustic Texas feel, but it will also be a truly unique addition to your home.

If you have a specific idea of how you want your mantle to look, we offer a wide variety of wood options. You may be looking for a mantel that is very simple, but is an improvement on what you have now. We have simple cut mesquite hardwood that will give you exactly what you’re looking for and leaving you staring in awe at your new mantle.

Now on the other hand, if you want more of an all-natural look, Faifer & Co. has you covered there as well. Some of our hardwood looks like it was taken right out of the woods. This will give your mantel that outdoorsy feeling all while your fireplace warms you and your family up.

Before creating our mantels, each piece of wood undergoes a drying and finishing process to make sure it will keep its natural warmth and detail as long as you have it. The first step is having the pieces kiln dried to reduce the moisture content. Then when that is done, they are cleaned of all sapwood that may be left. Any cracks or holes in the hardwood are filled in with a clear or black System Three epoxy which not only covers up any apparent holes, but also strengthens the piece as well. The last step is having the mantels finished with Waterlox or pure tung oil that will give it a shine you will enjoy for a long time

If you would like more information about our mesquite hardwood mantels, call Faifer & Co. today at 830-216-4189!

Mesquite Stairs: From the Ground (Floor) Up

Mesquite StairsIt is safe to say that the staircase is one of the most important components of any house. Sure, they get us up to the second floor, but if done right, they can be so much more than that. Properly constructed stairs can be a beautiful centerpiece for any home, and the first step to creating stairs that you can be proud of is by building them with the best type of wood available.

We recommend mesquite.

Why Mesquite?

Well, it all comes down to quality and reliability. We believe that mesquite is simply the best wood to use for projects that you want to truly last the test of time. Mesquite has proven time and time again to be the best type of wood in terms of hardness and stability as well as ease of use, making them the perfect option for constructing long-lasting stairs.

The beauty of mesquite cannot be praised enough. This wood is reclaimed from Texas ranchlands, and we use only the best pieces that offer gorgeous detail and aged charm. When all of this is combined, you end up with an impressive staircase that would look beautiful in any entranceway, living room or basement.

Even better, any staircase that you create with Faifer & Co. and our fine mesquite is fully customizable to your home and preferences. We offer all the tools and pieces you need, including risers, nosings and reducers, allowing you to create your staircase the way you want it. Whether you’re constructing straight stairs or a spiral set, and regardless of height, elevation or aesthetic preferences, one thing is for sure – the look, strength and resilience of mesquite cannot be beat!

If you are planning to remodel your stairs or are building a wholly new staircase from scratch, get your materials from Faifer & Co. We have the know-how and materials you need to create elegant staircases, and have the flooring components to match throughout the rest of your home as well. To learn more or to order mesquite wood for your building project, call us today at 830-216-4189.

Mesquite: Long-Lasting and Durable

Mesquite Flooring When it comes to the materials you decide to use for your flooring, there is a lot to think about, especially when it comes to wood. There is more to the decision than just picking something that looks nice. You want to find a dependable wood that will not only fit your motif, but that is also stable enough to withstand the many feet that will walk upon it for the next few decades.

Many people may think that all types of wood are separated only by type, but there is more to it. Hardness and stability are major factors that must be considered when considering your hardwood flooring.

Did you know that there is actually a test made just to determine hardness?

That’s right! It is called the Janka hardness test. In a nutshell, this test measures the force necessary to successfully embed a 0.444-inch steel plate to half of its diameter in wood. The Janka tests – also known as side hardness tests – predict which types of wood are more resistant to dents and wear. Janka tests has been completed on hundreds of different types of wood and mesquite wood comes out in the top 10.

As you can see in our list, the Janka test shows Brazilian walnut had the highest rating with 3,680. By contrast, the weakest wood in the study was Douglas fir, coming in with a score of 660. Where does mesquite sit? Well, the Janka test results give mesquite a hardness of 2,345 – an excellent rating.

Stability is another factor that should be taken into consideration. We can measure stability by calculating the dimensional change coefficient, or multiplying change in moisture times the change coefficient and multiplied by the board width. For those whose eyes just glazed over there, effectively we’re measuring the impact of moisture on swelling and shrinking.

On a recent test of stability, mesquite received a rating of 3.2, making it second only to Australian cypress. By comparison, beech was on the opposite side of the spectrum, with a content change of almost 12, meaning that it is much more susceptible to fluctuations from moisture.

The hardness and stability of mesquite are just a few of the reasons why we at Faifer & Co. love with this impressive wood variety. We are family owned and operated, and we take great pride in our work with mesquite wood and its many applications.

Take a look at our full selection of mesquite hardwood flooring online now, or call us today at 830-216-4189 to learn more.

Build It Your Way with Mesquite Lumber

Mesquite LumberWhether you’re a contractor or someone who like to build something yourself, you want the best lumber for the job. If you’re looking for high-quality, durable and reliable mesquite lumber, look no further than Faifer & Company.

We been providing contractors and personal builders with the best in mesquite lumber for more than three decades and will make sure you get the same. Our mesquite lumber and slabs have been recognized by previous clients as not only being beautiful but strong as well, making us a great choice to help you complete your project.

This is good to have, especially if you are building something such as a deck or another part of your home that will have continuous use. You want the lumber to not only look good but last for years of use, and you can trust that’s what you’ll get with a mesquite slab from Faifer & Company. You will also be able to relax knowing that your lumber can stand up to regular use or even heavy wear, and all of our lumber is backed by our years of experience and our reputation with providing strong mesquite lumber.

We also offer slabs and lumber in numerous different sizes as well. Some of the measurements include 4/4 (1 inch), 5/4 (1 1/4 inch), 6/4 (1 1/2 inch) and 8/4 (2 inches), all of which come in #1 and #2 grade. Along with those sizes, we also mill thicker lumber and will work with you to get you the size you need. So no matter what size lumber you may need, our staff can get it to you to help get your project completed on time.

Faifer & Company is a family owned and operated business in Floresville, Texas, offering mesquite flooring, lumber and furniture. To learn more about purchasing mesquite lumber, or to inquire about custom cut thicknesses or lengths, call us today at 830-216-4189!

Bring a Beautiful Look to Your Home with a Mesquite Countertop

The kitchen is often considered to be the heart of a home, and a kitchen that is both beautiful and functional is a joy for any homeowner. A warm and inviting kitchen also improves the value of a home should you decide to sell later. A perfect way to bring a beautiful look to the kitchen is with a mesquite countertop.

Mesquite is known for being exceptionally hard and resilient, but also for being a beautiful wood. It is also distinctive and unique, offering a much more inviting look than many other counter surfaces. These traits make mesquite the ideal material for countertops.

Mesquite CountertopChoosing countertops for your home is a significant decision as it will affect the aesthetics and functionality of the kitchen for years to come. Mesquite countertops are a beauty to behold, adding a wonderful appeal to your kitchen, while also being durable enough to handle all of the meal prep work, messes and spills that happen on counters. Custom mesquite wood countertops from Faifer & Company are the perfect complement to your kitchen, and are custom made to meet your specifications.

Mesquite is also an ideal material for bar tops on kitchen bars, serving and breakfast bars, or entertaining bars in living rooms and mancaves. A custom mesquite wood countertop can transform any of these spaces into something truly extraordinary, and adding a great look and long-lasting functionality in any space in your home.

As a native wood that has been growing in Texas for centuries, the mesquite lumber for our countertops is sourced from reclaimed logs found in the Texas Ranchlands in Wilson, Atascosa, Bexar, Karnes and Guadalupe counties. We carefully kiln dry and prepare our wood countertops at our shop right here in the heart of Mesquite Country.

Faifer & Company is a family-owned business that has been providing exceptional wood products for 35 years. In addition to custom mesquite countertops, we also offer mesquite flooring, mantels, furniture, hand carvings and much more. Contact us today at 830-216-4189 to learn more about our mesquite countertops or to place an order for your home.

Installing Mesquite Floors: A Beginner’s Guide

Are you intimidated by the thought of installing a mesquite floor yourself? Installing a genuine mesquite plank floor is a whole lot easier than the stunning finished floor would make you think. Let’s take a quick look at how easy it is!

Getting Started

If you’re installing on a concrete subfloor (a slab foundation, for example), the first step – however unexciting – is critical: You must moisture test your surface to determine if it’s dry enough for proper adhesion. There’s a do-it-yourself method utilizing common household items that About.com suggests, but there are professional instruments made specifically for the job, and proponents of each method feel election-year levels of passion about their preferences. The import takeaway, though, is that if you discover your slab has too much moisture, you’ll need to install a vapor barrier and subfloor before you get started.

If your slab is dry or after you’ve added your subfloor, it’s time to get that floor down.

Mesquite Hardwood FlooringDay One:

Float

First, apply a leveling product so your surface is flat, with a variance of 1/4-inch or less over an 8-foot radius. Allow it to dry according to package directions.

Install

Spread adhesive over a 2-by-2-foot area with a 1/8 x 1/4 x 1/4 inch notched trowel. Seat the planks in the adhesive, and repeat the process until the entire area is planked.

Roll

Using a 50- to 80-pound roller, go over the entire floor to ensure that the adhesive makes good, even contact with the flooring.

Curing

Close off the area to all foot traffic for at least eight hours – longer if recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. Allow the adhesive to cure overnight.

Day Two:

Sand and Fill

Use a coarse, 60-grit paper just to flatten out any protruding edges, and then apply a wood filler to any cracks. You can buy a premixed filler, but it’s easy enough to mix up your own with a little wood glue and fine sawdust. For large cracks or knots, we recommend System Three epoxy. Allow the filler material enough time to dry before moving on to the next step.

Sand Again

After the 60-grit sanding and filling is complete, use an 80-grit paper to flatten out the filler you applied. Finish the floor by sanding with 120-grit.

Seal

Apply a high-quality sealant and finish to your new mesquite floor. Tung oil or hard-wearing polyurethane will enhance and protect your floor.

Relax

Sit back and admire your gorgeous custom mesquite floor.

It’s really that simple to get results like you see in our gallery. For even more tips, check out our installation page. As you browse our gallery, make note of what speaks to you, and we’ll zero in on the look and feel you want in your new custom mesquite floor.

Contact us today by calling 830-216-4189 and learn how our array of wonderful mesquite lumber, flooring and other unique products can help accent your home or workplace.

Customize Your Hearth with a Mesquite Mantel

A mesquite mantel is a welcome addition to any hearth, especially for those that enjoy a natural wood-grain look.

At Faifer and Co., we specialize in creating mantels from 100 percent Texas mesquite hardwood. We leverage the coloring, knotting and other natural features of the wood to make unique designs, ensuring that each one of our custom-made mantels is a one-of-a-kind piece. We make our mantels from reclaimed hardwoods that were formerly used on Texas ranchlands, so they have an authentic and rustic Texas aesthetic.

Mesquite Mantel

Each mantel goes through a careful drying and finishing process to ensure that it’s ready to serve as a fixture of your home for many years to come. Starting with a kiln drying treatment that removes the majority of the moisture from the wood, our mesquite hearths undergo a thorough cleaning, removing any sapwood. We fill and cracks and holes that occur naturally with a clear epoxy treatment that strengthens the integrity of the piece and ensures a smooth and even feel. Finally, mantels are coated with Waterlox or pure tung oil, giving each piece a beautiful and long-lasting shine.

This attention and care we put into our woodworking is what makes our mantels stand out. We work with the natural shape of the wood to make it a standout piece. For example, we can highlight a knot in the wood or the different bends in the grain to bring a piece to life. Our pieces aim to bring a class and rusticity to your home, making your home feel as luxurious and well appointed as one of the nation’s top hunting lodges.

At Faifer & Co., we’ve been making mesquite wood flooring, furniture and other pieces since 1981. Located in Floresville, Texas, just 25 miles south of San Antonio, we use reclaimed logs from Texas ranchlands in Wilson, Atascosa, Karnes, Bexar and Guadalupe counties, meaning that when it comes to genuine Texas craftsmanship, our pieces are as authentic as it gets.

Mesquite, in particular, is a marvelous wood that is sometimes underutilized, offering a great beauty, strength and tenacity that has survived in the Texas landscape for hundreds of years. If you want an authentic mesquite mantle for your home, call us today at 830-216-4189.