WFOY Winner Spotlight: Saving the Best for Last

Traditional Hardwood Flooring Ltd. has been laying and finishing residential and commercial floors across the Greater Toronto Area for close to two decades. During this time, the team has added some impressive projects to their portfolio, including 214 King St. West (formerly the General Electric head office), the Ontario College of Pharmacists, Casa Loma, University of Toronto, Max Gluskin House, and the Botanical Gardens in Burlington.

“We see hardwood floors as a work of art, and every job as an opportunity for us to demonstrate our passion for this meticulous craft,” shares Balazs Keppel, Owner.

One of their recent works of art earned them the coveted 2017 Wood Floor of the Year award for Best Parquet/Inlay.


Floor Focus
The winning entry was the final phase of a more-extensive installation project in one of Toronto’s most prestigious neighborhoods: a 280-square-foot custom parquet pattern in the home’s library.

“We started making a plan on how we were going to tie in this room with the overall design elements of the home. There were some walnut features throughout the home, such as the staircase and some of the moulding. We knew that there would also be walnut in the library, so we left it for last because we wanted to know how we were going to combine all those various designs, materials, and colors. We knew that we wanted to keep it light, and the walnut gives a good contrast to the white oak,” says Keppel.

The library floor was designed to reflect the coffered ceiling, giving an almost 3D feel to the room, yet not compromising the details of its surroundings. The ceiling had two large columns, giving a division of four rectangular parts, which gave space to four rectangular inlets. The boards mirror the dimensions of the ceiling and are symmetrical at any point of view. The inner part of each division has two walnut borders with different widths that, when viewed up close, are identical to the crown moulding on the ceiling.

After installation, the team sanded the first cut with 80-grit, then second and third with 80-grit and 100-grit, finishing with 120-grit. Each section was filled separately between sanding cuts, starting with the white oak, then the walnut to match each species.

“With the parquet installation and two different species that were different hardnesses, we took extra care during the sanding and edging process. You have to use different techniques to keep the parquet floor very flat, and we did that,” says Keppel.

The homeowner wanted a finished floor with virtually no sheen and easy maintenance, so the team decided to use a water-based finish with a matte sheen.

“The client was extremely pleased with the outcome,” shares Keppel. “We were thrilled to know that we won. It was truly a team effort; everyone was involved from start to finish. We couldn’t be more proud.”

Entries in this category include any parquet pattern, medallion, marquetry, or intarsia inlay. CNC and laser cut applications are acceptable, but must be identified.

Wood: Sheoga Hardwood Flooring; Graf Bros | Saws: Festool, Bosch | Nailers: Primatech | Adhesive: Bona Fastener: Primatech | Moisture Meter: Lignomat | Sander: Lägler | Edger: Galaxy | Buffer: Bona | Abrasive: Bona Router: Bosch | Filler: Bona | Finish: Bona | Moisture Retarder: Bona

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

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