Along with the three residential projects profiled in the last issue, the 2015 FCI Installation Awards honored four commercial winners in three categories:

  • Mark Fenstermaker of Western Tile & Marble, Commercial Ceramic Tile/Stone 
  • Fred Richardson of Cutting Edge Flooring, Commercial Resilient
  • and Lance Ortegel and Eric Ullrich of Lance’s Professional Installations and Inspections, Commercial Carpet.

The awards, which recognize some of the best and most creative installations of the past three years in a wide array of flooring materials, were voted on by FCI readers online.

Mark Fenstermaker—Commercial Ceramic Tile/Stone:

Mark Fenstermaker, vice president of Western Tile & Marble in Las Vegas, helped oversee a large-scale hotel remodel at Delano Las Vegas (formerly called THEhotel). The installation incorporated 8,500 sq. ft. of Antolini Natural Stone’s Woodstone tile, almost 17,000 sq. ft. of Daltile’s Forest Park wood-look porcelain tile and more than 8,700 sq. ft. of Daltile’s Sandstone 18” by 36” sandstone-look porcelain tile.

The selection of wood-look tile was an effort to emulate the hardwood floors of Delano Miami. Due to the much larger square footage of the Las Vegas space, porcelain and natural stone were chosen instead of natural wood. The full remodel, which included installing the wood-look tiles in herringbone patterns across a very large and open space, took two years. Fenstermaker’s crew was on the job for about five months.

“It was a typical Las Vegas project, in that you can’t stop for one minute,” remembers Fenstermaker. “We probably had 30 people on the project at any one time, sometimes 40 when it got really busy.”

He said the crew didn’t really face many challenges on the job. “They demoed the space, cleared it down to the concrete slab, then installed a mortar bed and the tile. Once we had the area prepped the install went pretty fast. We trucked the tile in, and there was a driveway near the project where we could unload the tile and push it up a ramp into the hotel.”

Fred Richardson—Commercial Resilient:

Cutting Edge Flooring’s president, Fred Richardson, and a crew of three other people from the Alberta-based firm put together a technically demanding installation of Forbo Marmoleum linoleum in six days. The 450 square-yard project in four rooms of an office in Edmonton, Alberta, required the scribing of arcs that were larger than the radius of the room.

These arcs, which had to be drawn out on tracing felt and then transferred to the work area, had to join up with specific points on the wall to create a seamless look between the floor and wall paint. The project also featured 8” coving with offset color weld thread, “so the seam gouging had to be flawless,” Richardson stated. Because the finished floor was going to be waxed to a high gloss, care also had to be taken to make sure the substrate was properly and expertly prepped.

“There were four of us on the job,” Richardson recalled. “One person was gluing and placing the linoleum. I did all the welds myself. Other than the welding, everybody was doing a little bit of everything.”

When it came time to scribe the arcs, “we had to go down to a big garage bay and lay out the arcs onto the felt. Then we brought the felt upstairs and laid everything out all taped together. You can’t get a perfectly smooth arc with felt and freehand, so what we did was mark every few feet of the arc, using cove base as the arc guide, and stand back and tweak it an eighth of an inch or so as we went along.”

He added, “This was a tough project—but the result is very eye-catching.”

Lance Ortegel and Eric Ullrich—Commercial Carpet:

For an office in Evanston, Ill., Lance Ortegel and Eric Ullrich of Lance’s Professional Installations & Inspections installed 300 yards of Interface carpet tile in six colors to create a herringbone pattern. The project was completed in two days.

Ortegel, owner of the Round Lake Beach, Ill.-based company, said he is used to being called in on difficult and intricate jobs. “I started in the industry when I was 13, with my dad, sewing carpet on the weekends. I’ve been doing this for 43 years now, and I’m still learning. You always keep your eyes open to see if somebody has something new or different to try, and if it works—great.”

He said the only part of the job that really posed a challenge was the fill pieces around the walls. “You need to choose the right color and make sure it’s going in the right direction, like a puzzle. You don’t have the whole field in front of you, so you have to mentally try to figure out the six colors going on in that herringbone.”

Other than that, the job was more time-consuming than anything. “There were hundreds of tabs to peel and put on the tiles,” Ortegel noted.