Ask the Experts with Schenck & Company

The second floor of interio designer Laura Umansky's home, floor detail

Renovating a historic home is quite the process! The sheetrock is in which means we’re one step closer to installing our gorgeous finishes throughout the home, including our hardwood flooring. We’ve joined forces with the talented Schenck & Company on the floors for the Boulevard Show House because they’re the most in-demand experts when it comes to creating custom fine hardwood floors.

Handcrafted, High-Quality

We’ve had the opportunity to work with them on past Laura U projects and the results are always the same: absolutely stunning! Schenck & Company is a wonderful partner and you can be sure that you’re going to see a gorgeous design with high-quality material that will last a lifetime. I can’t wait to have their finely crafted floors in my own home. Today we’re sitting down with Greg Schenck, the founder of Schenck & Company, to chat about the art of creating fine handcrafted wooden floors and getting the details about the floors that will be going into my home!

LU: Tell us about your role in the Boulevard Show House project and what Schenck and Co is working on specifically? GS: We will be supplying new wood flooring and refinishing some existing floors in the house. LU:  What will you be installing in the Boulevard Show House? GS: We will be installing a new French oak, wide engineered plank floor on the first floor in the living room. We also will install a custom milled pattern in the Great Room Vestibule, but that design hasn’t been finalized yet. We’re excited to meet with Laura and Michael to nail down the pattern design and select the hardwood planks that will be used. LU: What type of hardwood flooring are you most excited to be including in the Boulevard Show House? GS: I’m thrilled to be using our new French Oak wide plank flooring, which we recently got in the warehouse. We’re excited to see it installed, especially in a home as special as the Boulevard Show House.

LU:  What parts/rooms of the showhouse will you be working on? GS: We’re working throughout the house. We will install the new French oak plank flooring in the entry, stair hall, breakfast room, living room, library, dining room, pantry and butler’s pantry. We will patch areas of strip oak flooring upstairs where walls have been moved, then sand and refinish the stairway treads, stair landing, upstairs halls, guest bedroom, master bedroom and sitting room. LU: How did (or will) the selection and design process work for our home? Did you conduct brainstorm meetings, gather samples, conduct walkthroughs, do you need floor plans, dimensions, images of home, etc.? GS: First, Laura, Michael and I toured their new home. Then we took a look at what flooring they already had and what could still be used in their renovation. After touring the home, discussing the design theme and reviewing samples with Laura, I suggested the French Oak flooring for a timeless, classic floor. We discussed color tones and ranges for the custom floor pattern, but we still need to determine the colors and make a sample. As the renovation gets closer to the flooring stages, we’ll narrow down the options and decide on a final color.

Flooring by Schenck and Co - Traditional Style

Creating a custom milled pattern is something I’m really looking forward to. They are beautiful. 

LU: How did you get involved in this project? GS: I was approached by Laura and Michael with the opportunity to be a part of the project and I was thrilled. LU: Introduce us to the team members involved in this project. What are their roles? GS: In addition to myself, our team includes Paco and Isac. Paco, our installation supervisor, has been with our company for 33 years and will supervise the installation process. Isac, who has been with us for 35 years, is our finish supervisor and will be preparing the color samples. I’m in charge of the overall flooring design and will be the main point of contact for this project. Based on the selections, we will also have a foreman on the team who will be in charge of the installation and the finishing phase.

LU: What needs to happen first in order for you to select and install the new handcrafted hardwood floors in our home?   GS: The wood flooring has been selected and is ready to go. Next, we will replace some of the subfloor and flooring joists. Once that’s complete, we will wait for our turn in the sequence of construction events. LU: Have there been any challenges so far? GS: Not yet. However, challenges always seem to appear once we get underway on a project. Challenges are a given, but it’s also part of the attraction. LU:  Will it be difficult to install these hardwood floors within such a historic home? GS: No, not at all. We are accustomed to working in older and historic homes. I love the unique challenges of remodeling and restoration projects. LU: Tell us about Schenck & Company. What is your specialty and the background behind your services? GS: We are a small, boutique wood flooring company with a simple mission to be the best. Last year we celebrated 35 years of creating finely handcrafted wood floors. We do not utilize subcontract labor and many of our employees, which are like family, have been with us for 20 years or more. We have a strong desire to please and a passion for the old school values of quality and service. We believe there is enough stress in the construction process and don’t want to create more. We are all about giving the client a wonderful experience, along with their beautiful floors.

A stunning home entry with chandelier and Schenck flooring

The designs they create are truly works of art!

LU: How can people get in contact Schenck & Company? GS: They can certainly call our office and communicate directly with a person instead of a machine. You can also visit our wonderful website, which is full of informative articles and fabulous photos of our work. LU: Do you have any advice for people wanting to renovate and install new hardwood flooring? GS: Over the years I have seen too many people try to save money by choosing lower priced products, which they later regret doing but have to live with it anyway. The bidding process is broken and does not best serve the client. A better approach is to negotiate a win-win deal for both parties. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”. LU: Is there anything you would like to add about working on this project? GS: Once again, I am thrilled with the opportunity to be involved and showcase our floors in this fabulous home. Additionally, I anxiously await our turn to start work and am confident the completed floor will fit seamlessly into the overall design for a classic, timeless aesthetic.

A close up of a Schenck floor with glass doors to the outside

All Photography by Steve Chenn

Thank you for your insight, Greg! Your knowledge and experience have created truly stunning hardwood floors. Working with you in the past, I can confidently say that I cannot wait to have your custom flooring in my own home. It will be nothing short of stunning and is sure to withstand the wear and tear of my kiddos for year to come! For more information, check out the Boulevard Show House website and keep an eye out for updates on Facebook! XO|LU  

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