When an unfortunate accident resulted in the total loss of a homeowner’s custom walnut floor, they turned to a familiar face for help – Paul Wilke of Masterpiece Floors in Corona, California. Known for his attention to detail and design, Wilke was not just tasked with the responsibility of removing and replacing the damaged flooring, but also incorporating a unique touch in the entryway that was sure to impress all who stepped foot in the home.
“The family room, dining room, kitchen, entryway, and hallway were almost 1,000 square feet in total, featuring 2 ¼”, 4 ¼”, and 6 ¼” solid walnut glued and nailed to the concrete,” recalls Wilke. “After an unfortunate incident involving water damage, the floor was declared a total loss. We were asked to remove the damaged floor and then duplicate it using new materials, but the homeowner wanted something special for her round entryway.”
After discussing numerous design options, the homeowner was drawn by a pattern that included a dark granite inlay.
“The kitchen countertops had a similar look and pattern, and it was something that she wanted in the entryway,” explains Wilke. “It was a fantastic idea, and it all started with a conversation to understand what they really enjoy.”
Wilke says that when approaching a project, it’s worth the time to look at the décor of the home and see what kinds of decorative features you can possibly incorporate into the floor. In addition to mimicking the stone countertops, Wilke saw the opportunity to connect his design with the round entryway, mirroring the circular shape and creating aesthetic continuity throughout the space.
“With the design set, we began the process of preparing the materials at our warehouse. The process was a detailed one, with the stone being cut to size and having its edges rounded to soften its appearance. This was a necessary step to ensure the stone flowed seamlessly with the rounded edges of the entryway,” says Wilke. “The stone then was glued down with Bostik adhesive and all the preparations were made on our warehouse floor to maintain control over the quality and aesthetics.”
Wilke sanded the floor on the warehouse floor to get the pillowed edge, stained it, and then disassembled and transported everything to the client’s home for installation.
“To complement the warm tones of the walnut floor, we used a unique staining method. The black that is in all the bevels is a true black from DuraSeal that was rubbed across the entire floor so that it bleeds down the edges,” says Wilke. “We then buffed off the black with 180 grit, and applied a different, lighter walnut stain across the entire floor.”
One of the critical aspects of this design was ensuring the stone and wood were of the same thickness. Given that the stone couldn’t be sanded down, precision was vital. “You want to make sure that the thickness of the wood and stone is the same. We made sure everything was flush prior to installation.”
The end result of Wilke’s efforts is a stunning blend of wood and stone in the round entryway. The intricate pattern draws the eye, while the dark granite inlay harmonizes with the walnut floor. A testament to Masterpiece Floors’ dedication to detail and design, this entryway is a striking example of blending traditional materials in a unique, custom layout.