When you walk into a building, often the floor is the last thing you look at. It is an expectation that there is a floor and it serves its’ purpose. Carpets, vinyl, bricks, blocks, concrete, wood; floors help you get from point A to point B in an efficient and safe manner. Flooring is stereotyped as utilitarian at best – an afterthought at worst.
But what if it isn’t?
How many times have you walked into a building and said ”wow” in regards to the flooring; colors, patterns, texture, or pictures on the floor. Think about the symbol on the floor of the CIA building from the movies, the blue presidential carpet, the RED carpet at events, or logos on the carpet in the locker rooms of professional and college athletics (as a sports guy, not stepping on the logo as a superstition is a real thing).
To Adam Johnson, who is an agent for the North Central States Regional Counsel of Carpenters (and started out as a flooring professional), the answer is “always.” “Pride comes from starting a job with a blank slate every day, and everyday seeing progress… and then the next day starting with that new blank slate.” Adam added that when the building is completed you have been a part of it every single step; “in 50 years, you will walk by the building and know ‘I built that!’”
Creativity might not seem like an adjective a person might use when thinking about the trades – how creative is laying floor tiles, right? – Wrong! Adam’s favorite job was laying the floor at the Benedictine Health Center.
Let’s be honest, there are just not a lot of Benedictine cross molds the size of the one in the picture just lying around. Adam and his team needed a one of a kind template of the cross just to start with. Once they had the template it was “like building a mosaic on the floor.” The level of creativity shown by the tradespeople – the craft people – is evident everywhere you look, if you take the time to look. At the Benedictine, there are many flooring styles, textures, and material, “Wow…” Adam said, “There are 40-foot sheet vinyl pieces, rubber tiles (which needed to be individually set in urethane glue – with no pressure put on them), carpet tile, broadloom carpet, vinyl and luxury vinyl tile ceramic, carpeting…”
You could almost imagine Adam leaning against one of the doors at the Benedictine Health Center, looking out over his work and giving it the nod of approval; after all, he started with a blank slate and he knows what went into that flooring.
“I built that!”
By: David Cook