The Wood Floor of the Year for Best in Color/Finish and Textured Wood was born out of a client’s desire to repair the work done by another company on their butler’s pantry floor.
“Another company had attempted to install some solid end grain, but it failed. The color was not right, and the layout was poor. Issues like this can happen due to lack of prep work and trying to work too quickly,” says Kyle Neuroh of Neuroh Hardwood in Nashville, Tennessee. “We tore out sections, but to get everything to line back up correctly, we were going to have to taper some of the squares to get different sizes.”
While the area was small, Neuroh says it still took him a week to accomplish.
“We needed to be careful. Time was not as important as craftsmanship on this project. It was an opportunity for us to exhibit craftsmanship and attention to detail,” explains Neuroh. “Because this floor joined up with floors on both sides, it took forethought and planning around what the proper layout should be and where pieces should end and begin.”
To take the floor to the next level, Neuroh came up with the idea of making some of the end grain squares out of brass to tie into the theme of the home, which featured brass in other sections of the house. The homeowner approved of Neuroh’s idea and gave him free rein.
“We took some high-resolution photographs of end grain and had it transferred into a vector file where we could cut the end grain pattern into the brass with a CNC machine,” explains Neuroh. “The brass was then aged with chemicals to get contrast and to get the etching to come out black.”
Neuroh then sanded the floor flat, wire brushed it, did any filling that was needed, and then finished it with LED-cured Vesting oil.
“We finished the floor before we laid the brass in, because we didn’t want to damage the brass during the sanding process,” he says. “We then put a final, clear coat of finish on the wood and the brass together.”
Neuroh says the finished floor is a great reminder to keep communication open with clients and present new ideas.
“It’s always good to look for opportunities to exhibit creativity. If you don’t present ideas to clients, you’ll not often get to do creative projects,” says Neuroh. “The key is being able to present things in a way that you can win the client’s trust so that they’ll let you execute your vision. With this floor, I couldn’t show them samples. Rather, they had to trust my vision.”
Best in Color/Finish and Textured Wood
Category Details: Entries in this category include all types of applications of dyes, reactive conditioners, layered color systems, faux finishing, or other finishing systems, as well as textured wood flooring surfaces such as hand-scraped, wire-brushed, distressed, sculpted, or any surface that is not traditionally flat.
Details of Finish Process: The floor was sanded flat using 80 grit Red Heat on the Epoch
with multidisc, then palm sanded with 80 grit mesh power, then wire brushed.
Installation Method: Glue Down
Flooring Type: Solid, End Grain
Flooring Finish: Vesting LED HardWax Oil
Species: White Oak
Mixed Media: Brass
Pattern: End Grain Squares
Square Feet: 80