Floor Master Company’s Matthew Szyszka truly has outdone himself with this year’s Wood Floor of the Year winner for Best in Color/Finish and Textured Wood. He was tasked with creating a unique floor for a designer with whom he had worked previously.
Szyszka sourced wood from Top Quality Hardwood Flooring from three different manufacturers, blending character grade and #1 common plainsawn white oak to achieve the desired effect.
“We went with three manufacturers because we could not get all the grades we wanted from a single manufacturer, and the client really wanted the floor to have a unique mix,” Szyszka explains.
Covering approximately 2,700 square feet, this installation features 8” solid white oak in two mixed cuts – rift and quartered, and plainsawn. The designer’s vision for angled bevels on all sides initially was met with resistance from the manufacturer. Undeterred, Szyszka and his team took matters into their own hands, setting up router stations to create the bevels themselves. This labor-intensive process of beveling all 2,700 square feet involved three employees and took more than a week, resulting in a look that emphasizes the distinct pattern of each board.
“We used 45-degree router bits to bevel all four sides of the flooring. The effect is that each single plank appears pronounced. It looks absolutely stunning on patterned floors,” says Szyszka. “It’s a technique that really brings a pattern to life. Because the flooring came from different manufacturers, I felt the best decision was to carefully bevel all of it ourselves on site.”
The finishing process demanded equal attention to detail, as the homeowners had specific color preferences based on prefinished floor samples they had seen. The designer requested a cerused look, which Szyszka achieved through experimentation. He settled on using a reactive conditioner, “Fumed Light” by Rubio Monocoat, to create the desired effect. Once dry, the floor was coated with Rubio’s hard-wax oil “Oyster” for a brilliant finish.
This award-winning wood floor is a testament to Szyszka’s dedication, skill, and ability to push the boundaries of traditional wood flooring design. The end result is a breathtaking blend of patterns, textures, and colors that is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who see it.
Best in Colors, Finishes, and Textured Wood
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.
Installation Method: Glue Down
Flooring Type: Solid
Flooring Finish: Rubio Monocoat preaging “Fumed Light.” Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C “Oyster”
Flooring Sheen: Matte
Species: White Oak
Square Feet: 250