Alligator Juniper Floor Looks Sharp

Matt Gardiner, a lead installer at Benchmark Wood Floors Inc., in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been in the flooring industry for more than 20 years. Even though he has a lot of experience under his belt, this job still provided a challenge, something Gardiner really enjoys.

All photos courtesy of Matt Gardiner.

Gardiner, his partner Kenny Hatchett, and the homeowner worked together to design the layout for this entryway using end grain Alligator Juniper from the job site. “This job was unique because we cut down trees from the ranch, built a sun kiln, and kiln dried and milled the end grain all on site,” says Gardiner.

Wanting to get into woodworking, the homeowner purchased the necessary equipment to kiln dry and mill the flooring. “The sun kiln wasn’t too difficult since it’s so hot in New Mexico,” says Gardiner. “After the material was dried, we milled it to 3/4” and did a glue-down installation.”

“The toughest part of the installation was the thousands of scribe cuts,” adds Gardiner. “Lots
of head scratching was involved!”

Sanding the floor also presented its share of challenges. “There were lots of high and low spots after the end grain was installed,” says Gardiner. “The species of the wood also presented a few challenges because the wood was very dry and there were many parts of the wood that were softer than others.”

“Once we got the floor flat, we used a multi-head sander, starting with 60 grit and working our way up to 120 grit, to get the scratches out of the wood,” adds Gardiner.

After the floor was sanded, DuraSeal Quick Dry was applied and followed with
a final coat of Basic Coatings StreetShoe.


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