WFOY Winner Spotlight: Legendary Skills are Highlighted

2021 Wood Floor of the Year Manufacturer Spotlight

Representing both a legendary installer’s last project, as well as a showcase of his company’s products, this spectacular installation is a deserving winner of our second annual Manufacturer Spotlight award.

“This was a floor in my own historic 120-year-old home that I had always put off doing. It was the only room that didn’t have floors installed in it. I’ve known for a long time that this is probably the last floor that I would ever install. I’m now in sales, and I don’t do installations anymore,” explains Wayne Highlander, national sales manager of adhesives for Bona US. “If this was going to be the last floor installed, I wanted to do something extraordinary. I wanted something that if you look at the floor at a different angle or time of day, you’d always see something different. I also wanted the colors to really explode. This is why I used black epoxy for the backdrop.”

In addition to being a visually stunning floor that would test his skills, Highlander wanted to use the project to highlight his company’s many flooring products.

“I am the national sales manager for Bona adhesives, but I was a contractor for 30 years before that,” explains Highlander. “In addition to doing something that would push me and be a fitting final floor, I also wanted to highlight all of Bona’s products with this installation. Everything that touched this floor was a Bona product. At Bona, we talk about the importance of using a system, and I wanted to highlight that with this floor. We used Bona adhesives, moisture barrier, the Bona PowerDrive, Bona PowerStation, Bona Craft Oil, Bona Wood Filler, and more.”

Knowing he would one day do something special with this area of his home, Highlander had been collecting wood for years prior to the installation.

“Every time I’d go to my wood craft supply store, I would look for interesting pieces of wood, and when I found one, I would purchase it and hang onto it,” says Highlander. “I also was able to procure 100-year-old American cherry from a nearby home. I usually don’t like American cherry, but this wood was so beautifully aged and consistent, it worked
very well for me.”

For Highlander, a large part of the challenge was working in an area that was both completely out-of-square and out-of-level. This especially was challenging when working with liquid epoxy.

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“This project would not have been possible without the lessons I learned at the NWFA. I’ve attended every NWFA school they’ve ever held probably two or three times. Even so, there were a lot of things about this project that pushed me. The condition of the room itself was a challenge, but beyond that, preparing the materials also took a lot of time,” explains Highlander. “It was very time-consuming making blocks. To achieve a three-dimensional appearance, each parquet block is made up of 27 individual pieces. I used a table saw sled to make all of my intricate cuts.”

For the finishing touch, Highlander chose to install an intricate medallion in the center of
the floor.

“I think the medallion fits the age of the house, and I put a lot of detail into it, including birds and flowers. The medallion has more than 16 species of wood in it. To me, it represents the beauty of fall colors,” explains Highlander. “I had done my best to make the floor really pop with color, and the medallion really took that, and the entire floor, to the next level. I couldn’t be happier with the final result. If this is truly the last floor I install, it’s a fitting end. I think whatever stage you’re at in your career, a floor like this is a reminder to never stop challenging yourself, and never stop learning and seeking inspiration.”

Featured Category: Manufacturer Spotlight

CATEGORY DETAILS: This category gives manufacturers a category to submit any projects using their products.

Installation Type: Glue-down

Flooring Type: Solid, reclaimed, parquet

Flooring Finish: Two coats of Bona Neutral Craft Oil were troweled on and buffed in with a red pad and towels to achieve a matte hand-rubbed effect.

Finish Sheen: Matte

Species: Rift and quartered white oak in the field. Each parquet block is made up of jarrah, padauk, maple, American cherry, and walnut. Sixteen different species make up the medallion and flooring.

Mixed Media: Epoxy, copper

Pattern: Hand-cut 3-dimensional parquet pattern with a medallion and border that were scroll-sawed on-site.

Square Feet: 130


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