Stepping Up

All photos courtesy of Woodwright Hardwood Floors.

In business for 33 years, Woodwright Hardwood Floors has a unique business model that has allowed them to secure many commercial and high-end residential jobs. What sets them apart? Woodwright works with architects and designers from the initial phase of each job to ensure they choose the correct product for the job, including manufacturing and finishing flooring to the customer’s specifications. Upon finishing the material, Woodwright’s wood flooring professionals work with general contractors, builders, and owners to coordinate the bid process, construction schedule, and submittals.

One trend that has been hitting the wood flooring industry is to make an extravagant wood staircase the focal point of a room. Woodwright is no stranger to these requests. One recent job involved a floating edge grain staircase at Netherland Sewell & Associates in Dallas, Texas.

“For this specific job, we built custom treads using select grade American white oak, plainsawn 4/4,” says Rick Farrell, Architect & Design Consultant at Woodwright Hardwood Floors. “After ripping the material into strips and turning it on its edge to create an edge grain (quartersawn), our team used an RF machine to laminate the treads.”

The RF (radio frequency) machine is a machine that quickly cures the adhesive while the tread is being clamped. Using this machine speeds up the process, but does provide limitations on the thickness and length. For this reason, Woodwright uses a clamp system and hand clamps, as necessary, for longer or thicker treads.

“With projects such as this one where the ends are going to be exposed, it is important to finely sand the end grain so it can absorb the stain similar to the top of the tread,” adds Farrell.

The treads for this job were inlaid with strips of aluminum to add a unique flair to the clean design. “In most cases, we use aluminum as opposed to stainless steel because the aluminum can be sanded flush if the treads ever need to be resanded,” says Farrell.

“After the aluminum was inlaid, the treads were treated with a tannic acid reactor, stained, and shop-finished with water-based urethane,” adds Farrell. “The landing was made up of several treads and site finished to match.”

“It’s very rewarding to play a part in these beautiful jobs and see them come together,” says Farrell. “I also enjoy watching our installers learn and grow their skill sets to meet the demands of our clientele and the wood flooring industry as a whole.”

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