A lot of sweat went into milling and installing the 128 square feet of reclaimed white oak end grain in Harmon Hardwood Flooring Owner Bob Harmon's foyer, but that's nothing compared with Mother Nature's contribution. "Nature did its own work on the wood," Harmon says, referring to the spellbinding marbling adorning each ¾-inch-thick piece of the 150-year-old wood. Harmon, who is based in Bayport, Minn., is in the final throngs of building his own house and says he wanted a weathered, Old English look for his foyer, eventually finding it in the reclaimed timbers at Balsam Millwork in New Richmond, Wis. The beams were cut with a bandsaw into pieces 7 and 9 inches wide, then cut into 10 pattern ratios to give them a random look when installed, Harmon says. The edges of the slabs were then distressed and darkened for a French bleed effect. Each piece was glued with polyurethane to the concrete subfloor. After letting it sit for 24 hours, he sanded twice, first with 80-grit and then 100-grit. "Then we just went right to the Bona DriFast Oil Sealer to pull out as much color as we can … and there's so much just natural color," Harmon says. Harmon views the end result as a showpiece for clients that demonstrates what he can do. After all, while Mother Nature may be responsible for the stunning look of the old wood, she still needs the vision and talent of a pro to show it off.


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Ryan Kushner signed on as assistant editor at Wood Floor Business in February 2018 after a year and a half as a staff writer at The Smithfield Times in Southern Virginia. He grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in English and Communication from Mercyhurst University. He is constantly in search of wood floor stories and terrible puns and wood love to hear suggestions floor either.