From the Ground Up

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Marcus Aven, President of Green Life Floors in San Diego, California, started in the hardwood flooring industry at the age of nine, working on commercial floor maintenance under the direction of his dad. By 18, he began installing for another flooring contractor, quickly picking up various skills and developing a passion for woodworking.

After working together on previous end grain floors, Wick Architecture knew Green Life Floors was the right company for this unique job; a hexagon-patterned wood floor installed flush with the concrete in the newest location of Groundwork Coffee.

“We used mesquite (prosopis) found in the Southwestern United States and Mexico, a localized plant that claims a lot of footballs with its large, sharp thorns,” says Aven. “We were fortunate to find a supply of forest-fire-reclaimed slabs of sufficient thickness to mill into the size flooring that was needed. We shaped all of the wood from slab at approximately 4” thickness to 3.5” hexagons that were 1/2” thick.”

The biggest challenge of this installation? A month before the scheduled installation, Aven and his crew had to set forms for the concrete to be poured into that would meet the finished height of the wood flooring and allow for a 1/2” of leveling compound to be poured to provide a ready surface. “The challenge here was that our template had to match the final layout and sizing of a product that we had not yet manufactured,” adds Aven. “This layout touched multiple axis points, as hexagon wood tiles were exposed on up to five sides in the layout.”

After the subfloor was properly prepared, it was time for installation. “We installed the flooring directly to the concrete using Wakol MS 260 Adhesive,” says Aven. “We finished the floor with Loba Transparent Impact Oil using a buffer.”

“This project was a new experience for us, having the opportunity to mill an entire floor from raw wood,” adds Aven. “It’s great to hear the positive feedback from those who’ve visited the coffee shop. Everyone is so enamored by the story of the wood taking on a rebirth from the forest fire to now being used as a unique floor covering.”

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