WFOY Spotlight: A Family Affair

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Best Color & Finish Application
Treadline Construction, Tualatin, Oregon 

Ovi Ragalie, Owner of Treadline Hardwood, started his career in building and carpentry almost 20 years ago in the Portland metro area. During high school, Ragalie and his father built their family home from the ground up and experienced every aspect of home building. He attended Portland State University for two years, and then moved south to Phoenix, Arizona, where he chose a career in finish carpentry. He specialized in stairs and railings while working with Artistic Stairs.

With the birth of his first child approaching, he returned to Portland, and shifted to hardwood flooring, working for Decca Hardwood Company. During that time, he worked on many of the largest construction and condominium projects in Portland and the Pearl District. Some of those projects include The Tanner Place Condos, The Bridgeport Building, The Gregory, The Grapevine, Café Mingo, and Patagonia. Finally, utilizing all of his skills, learned knowledge, and enthusiasm for fine carpentry, Ragalie founded Treadline Construction in 2006.

Ragalie’s wife, Kelly, and their four children: Dominic, Titus, Katarina, and Julian, also are intricately involved in Treadline. In fact, some of the color ideas for this Wood Floor of the Year winning entry for Best Color & Finish Application came from his children’s creative artwork.

Floor Focus
This 400 square foot glue-down installation of 2 1/4″ x 3/4″ red oak, white oak, and maple was installed over concrete as the centerpiece for Treadline’s showroom.
Once Ragalie drafted the initial design, he shared copies with his children to color however they liked; then the team set out to make the vision a reality through on-site finish application.

“We originally had a very traditional hardwood showroom, very linear. All the samples on the floor were pre-finished samples with panels you could pop in and out,” says Ragalie. “It was nice, and people liked it, but as we started to hone in on the type of wood flooring that we were doing, we knew we needed to do more.”

Ragalie’s ultimate goal was to clearly demonstrate to customers the endless possibilities of a wood floor over its lifetime. “We had a ton of customers that would come in and say ‘I’m tired of my current look, I want to rip them out and do something else.’ I would explain to them how traditional wood floors can last forever, and we knew we needed to create something spectacular to help illustrate that point,” said Ragalie.

After the floor was sanded, aluminum inlays were routed into the floor and installed.

The floor was sanded again, then each section was masked, and a custom application of colored water conditioners, reactive chemicals, and custom blends of oil-based stains, water-based stains, and colored natural penetrating oils were applied. Some sections received a final application of conversion varnish. Multiple application techniques were used as well, including cerusing and wire brushing.

“We had to consciously think about how we were going to mask each area so that we weren’t bleeding into other areas,” said Ragalie. “To see each level and each layer being applied, it was amazing to watch it all come together.”

Ragalie further illustrated that the aluminum inlays added to the complexity of the installation. “I initially assumed that we would simply be able to tape off the sections and then wipe the stain off the aluminum inlay. The aluminum ended up absorbing a lot of the colors, so between each layer not only did we have to remask, we had to go in with cotton swabs and clean the inlay and then start all over again.”

The floor took about 2 1/2 months in total to complete and was done as the team had time in between other jobs.

“This floor was a lot of fun, and it was one that was 100 percent what I wanted to do. Our team can execute a variety of wood flooring accents including borders and inlays, but I wanted something for our showroom that was clean and crisp. The idea of what can be done with a wood floor in one package,” said Ragalie.

Customers who visit the showroom have reacted well to the installation, and it has served as a conversation starting point. “Many people never realize the possibilities of color in a wood floor; this display checks a lot of boxes.”

In addition to serving his customers, Ragalie shares that his favorite part of this floor is that it was truly a family effort. “My children were involved, my wife was involved, a number of employees were involved, so it was truly a group effort. I had this general idea, the kids put their colors together, everything just happened, everybody did their part. It just goes to show the great talent that I have around me.”

Category Details: Entries in this category include jobsite applied applications of dyes, reactive colorants, layered colors, and faux finishing.

Suppliers: Adhesive: Loba-Wakol, USA | Finish: Loba-Wakol USA, General Finishes, Precision Technologies | Tools: Lägler | Wood: Springcreek Flooring, Aacer

Installation Type: Glue-Down

Flooring Type: Solid

Flooring Style: Strip

Flooring Finish: Jobsite Finished

Finish Sheen: Matte

Finish Type: Surface Finish: Oil-based Surface Finish: Conversion Varnish

Species: Red Oak, White Oak, and Maple

Square Feet: 400

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