An ‘Easter Egg Hunt’ of Elegant Flooring Details

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Greg Schenck of Houston-based Schenck and Company aims for elegance in the high-end wood floor designs he and his team regularly bring to life. “Rarely do I want my floors to be the hero of the room,” says Schenck, “but the more you look, the more elegant details you see.” 

This masterstroke floor in a Houston high-rise apartment is a perfect example of those subtle, sophisticated details. “It’s almost like an Easter egg hunt,” Schenck says.

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Schenck worked closely with a designer’s vision for the 3,800-foot project, which went through several iterations. “I always carry a big eraser with me, because we make changes,” Schenck says. Engineered walnut was chosen to complement the owner’s furniture, with wenge and beech feature strips encompassing the two stone inlays in separate areas of the apartment.

The project took place when the building was brand new, and “They wouldn’t let anybody start construction until they sold everything,” Schenck recalls. “Then they opened and everybody was trying to build at the same time, and there were some long waits for the freight elevator.”

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Schenck and his team began by installing a cork subfloor over the concrete slab. The flooring was cut on site before being glued down. The beech and wenge feature strips, around 1 inch thick, were laminated and bent using a template before being routered in. “There were some very tight radiuses, and the strips had to be very, very thin,” Schenck says.

The flooring was water-popped before being given a custom mixture of brown stain, which was then followed by two burnished coats of oil finish. The stones were dropped in by other installers when Schenck’s work was completed. The stunning product was the result of meticulousness—and not being rushed. “We’re about good bones and attention to detail,” Schenck says. “The proof is in the pudding.”

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The client was thrilled by that proverbial pudding, and Schenck, who did several other floors in the high-rise, looks back on it as one of his favorite projects.

“It was refreshingly challenging,” he says. “There’s a lot of reward and satisfaction doing that … you put all the little accents together in an elegant manner and it just creates, what I’m going to call, an elegant floor.” 

Suppliers: Abrasives: Norton Red Heat | Adhesive: Bona R851 | Buffer, Edger: American Sanders | Stain, Finish: DuraSeal | Subfloor: American Cork | Moisture meter: Delmhorst | Router: Bosch | Wood flooring: Schafer Hardwood Flooring

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