A Cut Above

Slaughterbeck Floors Inc. is a woman-owned and operated family business in Campbell, California established by Joan and Jack Slaughterbeck more than 40 years ago. Throughout those years, the company has grown to become a powerhouse with more than 800 domestic and imported floor coverings on display at their showroom. Joan especially takes pride in her team of artists and craftsmen who can customize flooring to suit their customers’ aesthetic and structural needs.

“We love to bring a creative twist to each job, with an eye for interior design. In fact, custom and decorative floors are a specialty of ours,” says Slaughterbeck. “We have artists on staff that can create one-of-a-kind floors or unique feature strips and medallions using wood and tile that our customers select. Some of the wood may even come from trees in our customers’ yards!”

Dominic Reyes is one of the artists on staff at Slaughterbeck Floors. He started in the craft at the young age of 15 and has grown and enhanced his skills during the past 27 years.

“I got kicked out of school as a teenager, so my uncle took me to work,” shares Reyes. “From there I expanded my own horizons. I like to challenge myself.”

And challenge himself he has. His work over the years includes some truly unique floors including a recycled log floor, hand-painted zebra floor, and even a chess board floor. Each floor also carries a unique story with it.

“I had recently chopped down a tree in my yard, and we had an upcoming show to do. Some of the guys in the showroom were having some fun with me saying, ‘that show is coming up pretty soon.’ So I said, ‘I’m not worried about it; in fact, I’ll make a floor out of that tree right there,’” says Reyes. “Several weeks later, believe it or not, I was making a floor out of that tree for the show. We took it to the show, and it was great!”

Reyes started the process by cutting the tree into 3/4″ thick rounds. After drying them in a kiln he fashioned in his office, he placed them within the framework along with smaller log sections to fill the gaps between the large plates. The gaps were filled with a resin and sawdust mixture. The piece was finally sanded and then finished with polyurethane.

“The inspiration for the zebra floor came from an area rug. I thought it would be cool to replicate it on a piece of wood,” says Reyes. “So I put a panel together, and I drew it out just like the carpet and hand scraped it and stained it to match.”

The piece was crafted from maple plank flooring, using a scraper and chisel. The stripes and border were painted with ebony floor stain and then finished with polyurethane. The entire process took about a week from start to finish.

 

The chess board floor came to be as a result of having multiple pieces of leftover exotic woods in the flooring warehouse. Reyes didn’t want to let them go to waste and came up with an idea to make something out of them. The piece includes Santos mahogany, maple, wenge, and Brazilian cherry. Each piece was individually cut and glued to the subfloor, then sanded and finished.

“I love wood, and I love my job,” shares Reyes. “We do some nice stuff in people’s homes, but these projects allowed me to think outside the box and are a treat to do.”

“Dominic is not the kind of guy who runs around declaring, ‘Look what I did.’ He’s a very skilled craftsman, but he’s not a limelight seeker,” says Slaughterbeck. “It makes him an incredibly valuable part of our team here. What he does helps to bring the skill level up for our business. When customers come into our showroom, and they see some of his art, it truly demonstrates our expertise.”

Slaughterbeck Floors has been recognized with multiple awards including most recently Best Flooring Company in Silicon Valley in 2013, 2016, and 2017 by The Mercury News; Best of Houzz 2016 Client Satisfaction Award; and four NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) Silicon Valley Meta Remodeling Awards in 2016.

Stacy Brown is the Editor/Publisher of Hardwood Floors magazine, the official magazine of the National Wood Flooring Association. She can be reached at stacy.brown@nwfa.org.

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