Wood Floor of the Week: The Wedding Was Canceled …the Wood Floor Wasn’t

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Greg Christopher and his team at Dallas, Ga.-based Georgia FloorCrafters LLC worked tirelessly for months to prepare the custom engineered walnut flooring for the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta. The original 13-year-old flooring, irreparably damaged by a burst pipe, had to be replicated and replaced in just eight weeks in order to be ready for a wedding at the high-end venue.

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Christopher, his crew and vendor and manufacturer partners delivered, producing 4,400 square feet of hand-cut prefinished walnut for the herringbone and Versailles-patterned flooring. Georgia FloorCrafters has done the wood floor maintenance for the St. Regis for years, and Christopher knew the intricate flooring layout well and was able to match it. He and his crew cut the walnut using miter saws in their shop, then hand-beveled, hand-scraped, bleached, dyed, stained and applied six coats of tung oil to each board.

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But when Christopher and his team arrived on site for the install, they discovered they’d been left at the altar. “The week that we show up with the material, they're like, 'Oh, the wedding got canceled, they moved it, so you're not here for another three weeks,’” Christopher says.

It turned out the wedding had been called off for at least a month but someone apparently forgot to tell the wood floor pros about the timeline change, which was made so other trades could come in and do some work before the new floors were installed. “I was like, ‘Son of a gun!’” Christopher laughs.

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When the install eventually did begin, lanes had to be kept open in order for the venue to remain in operation throughout the project. “We had to pour concrete, install plywood and install the floor in half sections at a time so that the hotel and two restaurants could maintain functionality each day,” Christopher says. “That's where I told my installer: ‘Dude, you were the star of the show, because nobody else could have done this.’”

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When all of the flooring had been glued down to the concrete substrate, the walnut was given a final coat of tung oil to wrap up the impressive nine-month project. And although wedding bells didn’t end up ringing at the end of it, the job was a demonstration to Christopher that his team, partnerships and business are running perfectly in tune.

“With the proper networking, you can do these things,” Christopher says. “Meeting the original timeline was a bear, but we took it on from the moment we walked out of the first meeting and said, ‘Yes, we'll make this happen.’ And I'll be damned if we didn't.”

Suppliers:

Adhesive: Fortane Adhesive | Filler: Timbermate | Finish: Waterlox Tung Oil | Saws: DeWalt | Stain: DuraSeal | Wood flooring: Maxwell Hardwood Flooring

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