Working at Home

All photos courtesy of Jared Fitzgerald.

Jared and Kristin Fitzgerald started their flooring business, Southern Oaks Flooring, in 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee, after having been in the industry for a few years prior. Upon starting their own business, they joined the NWFA and Jared started attending NWFA schools to enhance his skill set and get to know more people in the industry.

After attending two Advanced Training schools, one in October 2016 and one in October 2017, Jared was super motivated to try something different with wood floors. “For months, I tried to talk Kristin into letting me tear up our living room floor,” says Jared. But with two sons and a booming business, Kristin was not up for the mess.

“One night, we were getting ready for bed when Kristin brought up the living room floor, finally agreeing with me about redoing it,” says Jared. “Little did I know her calligraphy hobby had led to a huge ink stain in the middle of our living room earlier in the evening, which motivated her to want our floors replaced.”

When Jared and Kristin started looking at designs and thinking about what they wanted to do with their floor, they were excited to try something different. They eventually decided to modify a tile pattern they liked, using 4” solid white oak that they had leftover in their shop, and also include brass elements to give the floor an Art Deco look.

“I chose #1 common white oak because there are so many varying tones and colors in the material,” adds Jared. “It added even more character to an already distinct pattern.”

This unique pattern Jared installed included 2,400 hand-cut pieces and getting his sled dialed in to form many different shapes. The pattern is essentially a triangle, but depending on which angle you look at it from, it also forms diamonds, squares, and octagons. “The differing shapes in the design are what I love most about the floor,” adds Jared. “It’s truly one of a kind, and every time you look at it, you can see something different.”

To top things off, Jared installed two brass inlays in the border of the floor. “There are two lines on all four sides of the floor, but in each of the four corners, I switched it up a little and created a different design, so the lines were all somewhat unique.”

The floor was finished with Rubio Monocoat 5% white to give it an almost natural look and then a universal maintenance coat was applied last.

“I’m very particular about the design of our home. Jared learned long ago that I am his most difficult client, by far,” says Kristin. “After several months of hesitation, I was immediately sold on the idea of reinventing the tile floor using wood. Now that it’s done, I can’t believe how much I enjoy looking at it every day. It fits our home and my style perfectly. I can’t wait to see how the floors in the rest of our home turn out!”

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