The larger the wood flooring pattern, the more expensive it is. One cost-cutting method has been to repeat one smaller pattern multiple times, but repetitive patterns take only a minute to detect. Then the perception of complexity vanishes, and along with it, the viewer's limitless admiration. United Arab Emirates-based manufacturer Nomad Inception's solution is computational design. The company, which concentrates on Islamic-inspired patterns, invented its own algorithms to calculate intricate patterns that can span more than 1,000 square feet without repeating.

"Just like a computer chess engine is able to calculate more moves than any chess Grandmaster, computational design assists designers in calculating the possible solutions to the puzzle as the pattern grows," says co-owner Julian Molina.

The most complex patterns use more than 250 pieces of wood for every 10 square feet. The patterns can contain oak, ash, beech, mahogany, cherry, debema, maple, walnut, wenge, rosewood and ipé, among other species. The pieces are cut with a CNC machine and glued to a plywood backer board by hand, and the panels are installed and finished on-site. The largest pattern they have installed covered 1,700 square feet, but that's child's play compared with what the company is planning next—a 5,380-square-foot pattern that would clinch a world record, Molina says, and provide tangible proof that the company can do exactly what Molina promises: build the largest and most complex patterns ever created.

Andrew Averill

Andrew Averill is the former associate editor at Wood Floor Business. A graduate of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, he had internships at newspapers across the country—San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, The Flint Journal—before a bad case of rug burn turned him into an advocate for floors of a harder disposition.