Seattle-based NK Woodworking Owner Nathie Katzoff began his business by restoring wooden boats, eventually drifting into other woodworking projects, including elaborate staircases and bathtubs (yes, wooden bathtubs). Although one of his latest masterworks may not hold or float in water, it's not far from it—the seashell-inspired walnut and sapele floor looks out at the Atlantic Ocean from an East Coast beach house.
"The idea was to create this beautiful floor design that was pulling you out toward the ocean," Katzoff says.
Katzoff worked with his team to cut each piece of the floor's continuous ¾-inch-thick strips with big jigs made for their resaw, band saws and table saws. "It looks random, but it's actually all really intentional," Katzoff says of the strips with widths that go up to ½ inch and mirror the ceiling, which NK Woodworking also installed.
Some of the strips were bent cold and laminated, while others were bent with steam before being glued together in panels that go from 3 feet wide to less than 1/32 of an inch.
After the panels were completed, the team installed a herringbone walnut floor in the 500-square-foot room using adhesive over the heated plywood subfloor. Then they laid the panels, carefully fitting the delicate feathered tips into the receding herringbone, and sealed the floor with seven coats of finish from Seattle-based Daly's Wood Finishes.
It took a year for NK Woodworking to complete the entire room, which also included custom ceiling fan blades and a secret hatch to an underground aquarium. While the versatile company's aim may have been to showcase the ocean vistas, any visiting wood floor pro will likely be too busy admiring the floor to enjoy the view.