If your client likes board games, show them this—a 25-square-foot floor of Scrabble tiles. Katie Lo, owner and principal designer of Mullo Interior Design, installed the floor inside a bathroom at her house in Vancouver, British Columbia. “I had visions of our kids (and our family and friends) searching for words on the bathroom floor," she says. The wood tiles- 3/4 by 7/8 inches each, 7,000 in all—came from a contact in China. She used autoCAD to map the layout and added 50 words, including names, animals and numbers. The contractor she asked to install the tiles “refused to glue down each individual tile himself,” she says, but did teach her how to trowel glue onto the plywood subfloor. After that she was on her own. Lo pressed each tile into adhesive over the course of two days and coated them four times with water-based polyurethane. Two months after sending her order to China, the floor was finished. Lo was thrilled with the floor and heard glowing reviews from family and friends, who have found a handful of words Lo didn’t know existed. “Luckily, nothing inappropriate... yet,” she says.

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.