Tony Stalford, owner of Sugar Grove, Ohio-based The Final Floor, has done a fair share of end grain installs during his 42 years in the industry, but installing 26,000 square feet in the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, was a new feat that included its fair share of obstacles. "There's not a straight wall in the building," Stalford says, noting that its huge, spiraling halls made it tricky to install the 1-inch-thick white oak end grain at the specified 49-degree angle. Having cut the pieces with a band saw, Stalford and his team began installing in the basement of the three-floor museum but quickly battled moisture issues with the concrete subfloor; the end grain began to lift. "It was kind of like rolling across piano keys," Stalford says of the loose pieces. After switching to an adhesive with a moisture control membrane, the install crew was back on track—but still balancing a tight schedule with other trades. "You're working basically right on top of everyone else," Stalford says. Sanded and given two coats of water-based sealer mixed with sawdust and two coats of water-based urethane, the remarkable flooring now rests as a monument to veterans and, clearly, a testament to tenacity.


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.