When he began his 5-inch engineered walnut medallion in an upscale home in Detroit, Bill Deskins of Clarkston, Mich.-based Aardvark Hardwood Floors was a little unsure how it would end up.

The medallion was the tailpiece of a 10,000-square-foot walnut installation in the home by Lake St. Clair, and all Deskins and his crew had to work with were the job’s scraps and a drawing from the homeowner that didn’t have any dimensions.

“We kind of winged it,” Deskins chuckles.

Using his math skills, a few guesstimations and a quick consultation with fellow wood floor pro Toby Merrill, Deskins developed his own scale based off of the client’s drawing, cutting the pieces using a Festool track saw.

Deskins and his crew then began laying the medallion in the 140-square-foot vestibule by the master bedroom, starting with the flower-inspired centerpiece and working outward to create each overlapping “picture frame” pattern in the medallion. They bent and glued wood strips in their shop to fit in the rounded edge of the unique vestibule.

Once all the pieces were fitted and held in place with blue tape, they removed each piece, numbered it, spread adhesive over the concrete subfloor and began installing them.

“Because there were so many different angles, if you were off just a tiny bit, the piece that wrapped around it wouldn’t quite fit,” Deskins says.

When all the pieces were in place, they did one light-pressure 60-grit cross cut on the floor and then sanded with a Trio and palm sander before rolling three coats of satin finish.

The walnut medallion took two weeks to complete, wrapping up the three-year project for the company.

The relief of applying the final coat was matched by the pride in the result.

“It was an incredible home, probably the most beautiful home we’ve worked in,” Deskins says. “When they have the budget, we can do a lot of neat things.”



Engineered Walnut Flooring: WD Flooring | Adhesive: Bostik | Abrasives: Norton Abrasives | Sander: Lägler | Finish: Fabulon

Ryan Kushner signed on as assistant editor at Wood Floor Business in February 2018 after a year and a half as a staff writer at The Smithfield Times in Southern Virginia. He grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in English and Communication from Mercyhurst University. He is constantly in search of wood floor stories and terrible puns and wood love to hear suggestions floor either.