Wondrous Wood

Filed in Design and Decor by on February 3, 2015

SharpEdge044 (2)Greg Tax, President of Sharp-Edge Hardwoods Floors works alongside his dad, and company Vice President, Chuck Tax installing beautiful hardwood floors in homes throughout greater Minnesota and beyond. Wife Jennie handles advertising and other duties in this family business.

 

“We grew up farming and my dad, Chuck, had a wood flooring business for a hobby,” Greg tells us. “I decided to go to college and pursue a business degree and during college I started taking on a few jobs on my own. Once I finished college, I started up my own business because I’ve always enjoyed the work, and the people I’ve worked with along the way.”

 

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This gorgeous lakeside home features dark Wide Plank Engineered Walnut floors and complementary dark stained beams. Both are a stark (and beautiful) contrast to the home’s light walls and millwork, pops of color and shiny chrome an glass accents.

Q: Why hardwood?

 

A: It’s always been a passion for me because it was something my dad and I did together from a young age and continue with today. I cherish those times with my dad and I hope to pass that along to my kids as well. There are a lot of things you can learn by owning your own business from a strong work ethic to responsibility and trust.

 

Q: Do you offer design service as well?

 

A: Yes, we offer help to our clients in selecting the right custom wood floor layout or design. Many of our higher end projects already have a designer that we work with to meet their needs and expectations. We are currently in the process of completing our custom showroom where we will offer our clients a unique relaxed atmosphere in which they can compare options and select the perfect custom wood floor.

 

Q: There are a lot of “new” woods on the market. Do you see many of them going into area homes?

 

A: Wood flooring, much like other aspects of the home, are constantly changing and selections are often based on current trends. Reclaimed material is very popular now as well as domestic wood floors that offer character and are wider plank. Clients are stepping away from exotic woods and are trying to utilize more reclaimed materials.

 

Q: Do you see a trend toward light vs. dark floors? Are there different issues to be mindful of when choosing one finish over the other?

 

A: Anything goes these days and it all depends on the feel that the homeowner is looking to achieve. People are looking for more contrast in their homes and with that we have seen a strong desire to custom stain wood floors. Typically, darker floors require more care, but are still very popular. We tend to use lower sheen finishes and products that offer longer durability in our finished floors.

 

The light finish on the Character Grade Maple in this open plan living area allows the character of the wood to shine. Its movement carries your eye around the room inviting you to take it all in. Photo courtesy of Howard Homes.

The light finish on the Character Grade Maple in this open plan living area allows the character of the wood to shine. Its movement carries your eye around the room inviting you to take it all in. Photo courtesy of Howard Homes.

Q: Handscraped and distressed finishes are (and have been) popular. Are they here to stay?

 

A: We believe there is a large market of consumers and potential future customers that see the value and aesthetic qualities that can be achieved by using these products. We do not see this trend fading anytime soon. That is why we have continued to create our own custom scraped hardwood floors. We create a custom floor based on our clients needs and desires that include features such as distressing, tooled edges, hand-scrapping, and French bleeding. On larger projects, we partner with a local custom cabinet shop. Matt at Epsky Woodworking and I have been long time friends and bounce ideas off one another with the goal of creating new and unique looks for our clients.

 

Q: Do you see a design trend in the floors you’re installing?

 

A: We continue to see more parts of the home receiving hardwood than in the past. Clients are putting wood floors in great rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms for its warm aesthetic, higher return on investment and often, for allergy control. We are seeing more herringbone and picture frame wrapped great room/dining room combinations rather than borders and medallions. People seem to gravitate more toward continuity and typically use the same wood species throughout the home.

 

The Character Grade White Oak floors in this home were stained in a tone that complements the home's millwork and cabinetry, contributing to the home a more traditional feel. Photo by Jen Thomas Photography.

The Character Grade White Oak floors in this home were stained in a tone that complements the home’s millwork and cabinetry, contributing to the home a more traditional feel. Photo by Jen Thomas Photography.

Q: Tell us a bit about your suppliers.

 

A: We work very closely with our main suppliers to help us stay up to date on the latest techniques and products on the market. They also offer continuing educational classes and frequently invite contractors in for seminars and workshops. We demand a lot from our suppliers, but we also stay loyal to them. The suppliers we do business with operate in a fashion similar to ours allowing us to provide the best possible outcome for our clients. We have local and long distance relationships with our suppliers and always favor quality and high grade flooring over price.

 

Q: We know that you provide other services such as refinishing. Have you met an old floor you couldn’t bring back to life?

 

A: I started my business doing more refinishing and it helped me gain a lot of patience, problem solving skills, and one-on- one interaction with the homeowners. Refinishing can be challenging, but the end product is rewarding and worth the time and effort needed to restore old floors to their natural beauty. We typically don’t put ourselves in a position where we don’t feel we can complete the project. We are honest with our customer and if it is not reasonable to refinish the floor, we will offer other alternatives.

 

Q: What is your service area?

 

A: We will take on larger projects out of state traveling across the five-state area. The majority of our projects are in homes that lie between the Brainerd Lakes Area and the Twin Cities. We are a small family-run business. I enjoy working with my dad daily. We don’t subcontract work out and we only take on what we can handle.

 

Q: We’re all about spending time at the lake. Do you have a favorite lake getaway?

 

A: We plan a lot of family time and vacations around bodies of water. Our kids love to swim, so we dream about having our own lake house someday. One of our favorite places to visit is Lake Superior’s North Shore.

 

 

 

 

 

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