In my "From the Editor" column in the April/May 2019 issue, I talked about my interview with wood floor legend Allan Pyne regarding the following winning wood floor. Here's the full article about that floor as it appeared in our magazine (then called Hardwood Floors) in the August/September 1999 issue:

Noteworthy Wood Floors

Sunshine Flooring Co./Borders by Design (Brookfield, Wis.)

To be honest, winning a Floor of the Year award in this year’s contest wasn’t much of a surprise to Allan Pyne, owner of Sunshine Flooring/Borders By Design. “I thought I had a very strong chance, because it’s the most beautiful floor I’ve done,” he says.

That’s a strong statement coming from the man who has been in the industry for more than 50 years and is something of a legend. Known for his complex floors and meticulous attention to detail, Pyne has already won three awards, including back-to-back Floor of the Year awards in the residential category in the first two years of the contest, 1990 and 1991.

The opportunity for this year’s entry came when Pyne was recommended for a remodel by a previous client.The home, located in an upscale Milwaukee suburb, had a 15-foot-square living room that was to be converted to an inspiring music room for three daughters.

The client chose the medallion featured on the cover of Pyne’s brochure as the centerpiece of the room. The 68-inch, laser-cut inlay is composed of bubinga, wenge, bluegum and quilted maple, and Pyne custom-designed a matching 6 1⁄2-inch border that utilizes the “trumpet” design from the medallion. Brazilian rosewood tiete was selected as the field material.

“I suggested the Brazilian tiete because I thought it was a beautiful wood, and it would go well with the quilted maple in the medallion,” says Pyne. He ordered four-quarter lumber and remilled it for the field.

“The most time-consuming part of the installation was cutting the field,” he explains. “I took every speck of lumber that BR-111 had and it was just rough lumber, so some pieces are 3 inches wide and some are 5 inches. I made a jig to guide the Skil saw and did the field first. From the center point of the room to the outside border, I just moved the jig around and cut each piece on the necessary angle.” The square-edged, 5⁄16-inch product was then glued down.

An additional custom touch is the 1⁄4-inch brass, used to complement the gold molding in the room. The brass circles the medallion and creates sunburst rays that radiate out from the circle into the field.

The result is impressive. “People come to the house and they won’t even step into the room off the foyer,” says Pyne.

As for the future, Pyne gives no indications of slowing down. In fact, he hopes to do more remodel work on the same home. When questioned about future Floor of the Year projects, he says, “I believe this is probably the last entry unless something extraordinary comes up.” Given Pyne’s record, few will be surprised if that happens. — K.M.W.

Suppliers: Finish: Basic Coatings | Adhesive: Bostik | Abrasive: 3M Co. | Sander, Buffer: Clarke | Saws: Milwaukee, Delta

Read a funny story about Allan Pyne from another wood flooring guru, Daniel Antes, here.

Kim Wahlgren

Kim M. Wahlgren is the longtime editor of Wood Floor Business. Based in Madison, Wis., she manages the day-to-day operations of the WFB print magazine, website, E-News and social media. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin in journalism and Spanish. Away from the office, she’s busy enjoying her family, including two beautiful children, a sassy ex-racehorse, an extraordinarily silly black Labrador mutt and her husband, Brent, whom she met at … yes, wood flooring school.