The latest winners of the Wood Floor Business Design Awards were recently announced (http://tiny.cc/WoodFloorDesignAwards). Whether the task was installing long walnut treads without nails, scavenging for the right sticks in upstate New York, steam-bending maple and padauk for a special client, melding two cultures into a palace parquet, carving each wrinkle on an elephant of white oak, or playing against Mother Nature herself on an outdoor basketball court, none of the winners took the easy way out. Here is an overview of some of the amazing projects that won awards this year:

Reader’s Choice: Legendary Floors of Florida LLC | West Palm Beach, Fla.
Multi-award-winning wood flooring pro Chuck Crispin created a log round floor for a new home in New York State. Using the builder’s drawing, Crispin created the layout and devised a panel system such that he could build most of the flooring on 3.8cm Baltic birch plywood. Pegs were designed into the border to disguise where the panels are screwed securely to the subfloor. The panels were built with the largest rounds, comprised of white oak, and the 7-15cm sized rounds, made of walnut, glued to the plywood and then driven to New York.

The log rounds received a sanding and two coats of sealer before installation, then a coat of stain and tung oil on site. Next, they were grouted using a proprietary recipe that includes cork dust, sawdust and oil binders that harden over time. Crispin applied the grout once, let it dry and shrink, then applied it a second time.

Best residential: Artistic Floors By Design | Parker, Colo.
Joe Rocco has created a wood floor that bends up off the floor to support a bartop, so when his mother told him she wanted a wood floor in her sewing room, he went all out.

Joe chose an offset white oak chevron pattern to allude to the mountains of Colorado and created a unique offset chevron pattern.

He decided the apron should be soldier rows of red oak with offset fan corners, and it should intersect with the field on a big arc, so he and his workers created MDF templates for a 13- and 14-m radius. They cut the inside radius first, laid the soldier border and fanned corners, then routed out the outside of the apron. The border pattern, conceived to look like a seamstress’s stitch, was created from steam-bent maple and padauk set in a jig to dry. Next, they were glued, put back in the jig to dry again, mitered and fit such that the “thread” appeared to cross itself. The stitch insert was hand-routed using a template; tips were hand-chiseled. Once installed they were left slightly raised and sculpted.

Best Commercial: Yantarnaya Pryad-Parquet/Art Parquet | Khimki, Russia
One of Art Parquet’s latest projects is the Palace of Independence, where the president of the Republic of Belarus resides in the capital city of Minsk. The building is intended for different official events such as award ceremonies, press conferences and meetings of foreign delegations.

The wooden floor was created to reflect elements of both Western and Eastern cultures. It was designed to resemble an elaborate carpet (which is a nod to Eastern tradition), with the wood and form of the tiles reflecting a more Western style. The floral-themed floor also has a 3D effect, a look achieved through the combination of light and dark woods. Contrasting wood species, such as oak, merbau, ash, maple and walnut were used to create depth.

Best stairs: Woodwright Hardwood Floor Co. | Dallas
Woodright created a staircase that doubles as stadium seating, otherwise known as “Social Stairs”, for a corporate office in Dallas. The purpose of the design is to be a gathering place for people.

Although the popular Social Stairs are meant to foster a casual atmosphere, putting them together takes intense precision, particularly when dealing with prefinished product. The custom walnut nosings were manufactured by Woodwright to fit the unique shape of the stairs, which are hugged by an oval frame. After gluing down a plywood substrate over the metal staircase, the installation team glued 2-mm rubber sound underlayment to the plywood to reduce echoing. When it came time for the walnut, they installed the custom nosings first, backfilling them with the prefinished walnut and used buckets and sandbags to weigh down the treads on the adhesive overnight.

Adapted from the original article with permission from Wood Floor Business (www.woodfloorbusiness.com).

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