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The Process of Making a Custom Hardwood Art Floor – The Moses Project

The consultation phase is one of the most important parts of a custom hardwood art project. During this phase, I get a feel for who this client is and what their interests are.

I’ll also view the space and get a feel for the points of interest, flow, and what furniture (if any) will be in the area.

Oftentimes, I’ll throw out ideas to see what the client leans toward and then even show them a few drawings.

 

Drawing of a custom art hardwood floor
An early drawing of the Moses design.

 

Following the client consultation, I’ll start working on a general idea of what will go in the space. In many cases, I’ll even visit the client again and draw out ideas on the floor. This helps the client visualize the size and scope of the custom hardwood art that will fill the space. For the Moses Project, the inspiration came from a buck seen on the client’s property. He told me it was the largest buck he’d ever seen, almost of biblical proportions. He called it Moses.

Drawing a buck for a custom hardwood floor.
An early rendition of “Moses” for the floor.

 

Depending on the scope and size of the project, I may have wood custom-milled for the hardwood art flooring. In the case of the Moses project, I used wood from trees felled on the client’s property.

Milling wood for a custom hardwood floor in North Idaho.
Milling wood for a custom hardwood floor.
Milling wood for a custom hardwood floor in North Idaho.
Milling wood for a custom hardwood floor in North Idaho.

 

During the build and installation phases, I can usually work on the project in my shop. I can assemble pieces – a process that looks a lot like putting together a puzzle. In the case of a custom hardwood art floor, I get to make the pieces.

After I build the pieces of a custom hardwood art floor in my shop, I bring the pieces to the client’s home for installation. Once the main pieces are laid out, I can fill in the gaps with the wood milled for the project.

A buck built into a custom hardwood floor in North Idaho.
“Moses” being crafted in the custom floor.
A male deer being crafted into a custom hardwood art floor.
“Moses” taking shape in the custom hardwood floor.
I’ve learned over the years, working on projects like Moses, to avoid using stains and texture wood. My current philosophy is that my floors will last 100+ years, and the look will be maintained throughout the many sandings occurring during a floor’s life.
Eventually, when Moses is sanded by someone else, it will require an artist’s touch to replicate what you see in the pictures.
The Moses project was my second hardwood art floor, and my skill set wasn’t able to achieve this level of detail with wood, so I used stains to achieve what was desired. Now, Ourada Designs creates floors using only solid color materials without stains or textures in its creation of hardwood art flooring that doesn’t remain after the resanding of the floor. All the beauty will remain for the life of the floor regardless of how many times it gets sanded and by whom.
Staining a custom hardwood art floor.
Staining the floor.

 

Staining a wood floor.
The process of staining a hardwood floor.

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