White Oak Stage

Transforming a Stage at Tobin Performing Arts Center

We recently had the pleasure of working with Tobin Center for Performing Arts and Gala Systems to install new hardwood floors in San Antonio, TX. This project was very unique in that the floor needed to transform into multiple configurations at the flip of a switch, for example from tiered auditorium seating to a flat open banquet room in a matter of minutes. You can view the transformation in this video.

In order to achieve the standards demanded by this project, we installed a custom white oak wood floor. The wood flooring is rift cut as to allow for a straight, linear grain appearance to achieve the architect’s desired intent In addition, the wood flooring was a combination of engineered and solid installed over a subfloor system that contained metal encased wood sleepers.

In terms of functionality, this was definitely one of our more unique wood floors. Though the installation was challenging, our team of construction professionals did what they do best and executed a flawless on time install.

Whether you need to create a moving floor, a laser cut medallion or a beautiful set of stairs, our methodical process and attention to detail can be a great asset to you. The work performed at Tobin Center for Performing Arts is a shining example of our “can do, will do” attitude and achievements.

From Start To Finish: Flooring La Cantera Luxury Resort

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was La Cantera, a luxury resort in San Antonio, TX. Starting in July 2014, the multi-part project spanned almost a year and while the result was one beautiful resort, there were actually three completely separate projects that made up La Cantera: The Sire Bar, which we did two floors for, and the Sweetfire Bar.

Octagonal basket weave with an accentuated grain for the Sire Bar

The talented Mark Cary Looney & Associates, interior designers out of Dallas, worked on both projects. Looney was inspired by a single image for the floor of the Sire Bar and from there, the process began. The design they wanted was an octagonal basket weave with an accentuated grain called a Ceruse finish. With cost in mind, we were tasked to design flooring as close to the image as possible. A difficult task, but we are always up for a challenge.

We created the first sample by chopping up a prefinished floor into the octagonal basket weave pattern they desired. This method saved time and money since we did not have to finish it on-site. The client loved the savings but wasn’t in love with the look. The pattern needed to be larger in order to compliment the rest of the interior. Unfortunately, the prefinished planks did not come in any larger sizes.

We put our in-house sample and CAD team to work and after many rounds of trial and error, we determined that the only option was to install the floor unfinished. While this process was more costly, it was the only way to give the client exactly what they wanted. The final flooring was a success and complimented the interior seamlessly.


European White Oak flooring featured in the Sweetfire Bar

The second floor was far less complex but just as beautiful. The Sweetfire Bar’s flooring was a straight plank pattern using European White Oak with a Ceruse finish, the same finish used in the Sire Bar. The beautiful long-length herringbone flooring with a straight plank border was inspired by a sample the client found on their own. Although it was love at first sight, the sample they found was a consumer floor and it was not ideal for a commercial setting because of the oils used.

This problem was not going to stop us from giving the client what they wanted. We created a replica in-house with a urethane finish much more suited to the commercial setting. The client loved the outcome but the materials used were slightly above the cost they were shooting for. We went through three more rounds of samples to nail down exactly what they wanted at the budget they needed.

With this project, the client needed flooring that complimented the bars perfectly. We were able to work with the interior designers to provide beautiful flooring for the Sire and Sweetfire Bar that suited our client’s vision as well as their budget.



In-Depth Process: NWFA Award Winning 3D Medallion


Hallway MedallionWe were recently honored with an award from the National Wood Flooring Association for the Best CNC/Laser Cut Wood Floor of the Year. We have received many questions about how the medallion was made so we thought we would share some of the details here.

Emily Owens (Designer in Dallas) approached us on behalf of a client to design a custom seal for the floor in his library. The project already included Rift & Quartered White Oak Herringbone floors with Soldier Stack borders, double hand scraped, stained brown and finished with Tung Oil. The seal was icing on the cake of already extraordinary project.

This medallion is the result of using a combination of our Laser Cutting and CNC capabilities to create depth and dimension unlike any other medallion we had seen. Aaron Craft (On-staff Artist, Laser and CNC Operator) was the driving force behind this very unique approach to creating the medallion. We presented some test pieces to the designer, Emily, and she fell in love with it. This was when the real work started.

We had to make detailed 3D digital models to illustrate how much depth could be perceived with only a 1/16″ deep cut and ultimately created several more samples to verify. Every square inch of the medallion had to be custom designed. Not only starting with the specie and grain like usual, but also taking into account the 3 dimensional engraving that made it come alive.

Close Up MedallionThe original drawing had a checkered background within the seal which could have been extremely time consuming however we laminated Wenge and Maple together in various thicknesses and then using the CNC router checkered the material similar to how a gunstock is done which exposed both species and duplicated the drawing perfectly while adding yet another layer of depth.

After the medallion was assembled, it was meticulously labored over with hand tools to ensure that every square inch was exactly how we had envisioned it.

One of the hardest parts of the entire process was actually convincing the client to use such bold colors. As Rick Farrell said, it just seems un-American to make a brown American flag. We ultimately toned the brightness down using stain and the client embraced it wholeheartedly. This small splash of color added a point of interest within the library without being obtrusive.

Once stained, the medallion was finally laid into the floor. After almost 6 months of work went into it,our installers were understandably nervous while permanently placing it in the floor.

This was, by far, one of our most intricate and unique medallions we have made. We have set the bar very high for ourselves and we cannot wait for the opportunity to continue to push the envelope. We are very grateful to Emily Owens and Sebastian Construction Group for giving us the chance to work on this project.

Internally we would like to thank Aaron Craft (Artist, CNC and Laser Operator), Rick Farrell (Architect and Design Consultant) and Steve Welch (Owner) for collaborating on the actual and the rest of the team for all of the hard work and obsessive attention to detail in the installation and finishing phases.

Wood Flooring on the Walls and Ceilings

A popular trend that we do not foresee going away anytime soon is the use of wood flooring being applied on vertical surfaces.  Yes, you can install tongue and groove wood flooring on the wall.  So why not consider utilizing wood planks on a vertical surface rather than plywood veneers.  It can really tie your wood flooring project together and create a true, masterful focal point on your project.

Applying wood flooring on a wall doesn’t just have to be limited to standard plank on a wall.  You can create patterns such as herringbone, use reclaimed materials or even create dimensional wall applications using long planks.

Woodwright-Wall-CollageWe have also gone as far as to create 3 dimensional wall applications using end grain flooring.  As you can see from the images below, we created stunning wood feature walls by our use of different thicknesses of end grain mesquite blocks.

3D Woodwright WallsInterested to learn more about what we can create together?  We have several uniquely smart wood wall samples that we have created to get your creative minds turning.  Feel free to contact us to see what we can create together.

Cheers till next time!