White Oak - RIFT SAwn
2014 Wood Floor of The Year
2014 Wood Floor of The Year - Natural Wood Floors & Design (Miami)
The floors that receive Wood Floor of the Year status tend to be show-stoppers, from huge medallions to palace floors and cosmic spirals. They're all floors that demand your attention, and for good reason.
But Fernando Avila, whose company Natural Wood Floors & Design has done a number of eclectic floors for the rich and famous near its headquarters in Miami, approached the project that would eventually net him this year's Best Residential Wood Floor of the Year award with humility. The homeowner wanted a fantastic wood floor, certainly, but he didn't want any of his guests to actually look at.
The homeowner is an art collector. On the house's white walls are colorful paintings, kaleidoscopic glass shells and a hanging bloom of jellyfish with silver heads and LED-lit tails. The floors, he told Avila, should only draw attention to the art.
"The most important part is the art," Avila said, adding that the company wanted to effectively make the floor invisible. "[W]e wanted the floor to be more like a gallery."
Avila, in cooperation with the space's designer, started planning: Wood color would be important; maple was out-too yellow. Wood grain couldn't be too strong. The planks had to be wide. The stain, subtle.
They eventually found the perfect material in riftsawn white oak, cut into planks 10 inches wide to give the floor a clean look. Because it was a high-end client, Avila scrutinized each board.
Natural Wood Floors & Design installed 4,000 square feet, which covered two stories and stairs, in two weeks. The sanding took 10 days. Each board seems to blend into the next, giving the appearance that the floor is one solid piece. It's a testament to the company's expertise that, when given a directive to be unnoticeable, the result is still an award-winning floor. -A.A.