The Ohio Floor Company refinished the main gym floor at Indiana Tech University. Below is an interview between Indiana Tech and The Ohio Floor Company. Questions asked by Indiana Tech Marketing Department, answers by The Ohio Floor Company Marketing Department.
How long has The Ohio Floor Company been in business?
36 years, since 1984
OFC has been producing floors for the men's and women's NCAA tournaments since 2008, correct?
OFC completed Final Four Floors for men's tournament in 2012 and 2019, correct?
Women’s Final Four in 2010 and 2016
“Heavy Hitter" clients besides NCAA, Brooklyn Nets, LSU, and Connecticut Suns?
NBA - Philadelphia 76ers.
Division I - Ohio State Covelli Center home to OSU men’s and women’s volleyball and gymnastics as well as wrestling and fencing, University of Massachusetts, Villanova University, Temple University, Syracuse University, Miami of Ohio,
Local/smaller colleges/universities – Heidelberg University, Wittenberg University, Tiffin University, College of Wooster.
More and more universities are going for bigger and bolder displays on their courts, much like us using the full-body representation of our Warrior logo. Are request like this challenging to your production professionals or are they becoming commonplace?
Yes, to both. The request for bigger and bolder court designs have been increasing over the past 5 or so years. As clients push the limits of what can be done, we as a professional flooring company, have to continually push ourselves to innovate and stay on the cutting edge. We at The Ohio Floor Company have worked very hard to be on the cutting edge of floor prep and graphic design. We pride ourselves in our process of sanding and finishing gym floors. Our crews are highly trained and our processes have been perfected over many years, but we are also a company that is always looking for better equipment and techniques on the sanding and finishing of maple flooring. The graphic design of gymnasium floors has taken huge leaps over the past 10+ years and we at The Ohio Floor Company have worked hard to stay in front of the curve. We have mastered the difficult task of staining maple flooring, as well as the paint fading process. Intricate designs of logos and floor graphics have become one of our specialties. No design is to big or to detailed for our crews. From oversized stained logos such as your Warrior, to tiger strips in the keys and boarder as we painted on a high school floor in Strasburg, Ohio, to extreme paint fading as on the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four Floor we completed. These are examples of the skill and process we have developed.
Do your professionals like new challenges in this “area"?
Our crews take great pride in “pushing the envelope" on floor graphics. We often joke about the fact that what we thought was “hard or cutting edge" twenty years ago doesn’t even get done today because it is “not fancy enough" for our clients. Our crews enjoy see the final product when a gymnasium is finished because of the amazing graphics so many of our floors now have. Doing floors for our “heavy hitters" like the NBA, NCAA Tournament, and NCAA Division I schools add another element to our excitement about completed floors because we get to see them on national TV. How cool it is to turn on the TV and be able to say, “See that floor I or the company I work for did that." So, to better answer your question - yes, we all at The Ohio Floor Company love new challenges. It is very satisfying to be asked to do something that has never been or is rarely done, by a client and know that you can meet the challenge.
What, perhaps, has been the most challenging court request your team has faced and overcome?
Believe it or not, your Warrior logo is the biggest center logo we have done to date. With the extreme size and the fact that it is stained was a big challenge for us.
Two other challenges we have faced and overcame is the staining of complete playing surfaces and paint fading. Maple wood is one of the hardest species of wood to stain. If not done properly overlap lines and over all blotchiness can accrue.
Fading paints from one color to another without having distinct lines between colors is a great challenge. We at The Ohio Floor Company have developed a process that allows us to start with any color and fade into any other color. An example of this was when we completed the floor for the NCAA Men’s Final Four held in Minneapolis in 2019. Every NCAA final four floor has a specific theme based on the area the games are being played. The 2019 theme was “The Northern Lights". There were several places on the floor that paint was faded from a bright green to a dark blue, or light blue to dark blue. After we were done with the painting process you could not tell where one color started and the other one ended.
The things mentioned along with many other design details have been a challenge for us to perfect but with our many years of experience we have developed the skill and knowledge to make these challenging processes seem easy to the novice on looker. One thing you can be sure of is The Ohio Floor Company will continue to be on the cutting edge of gymnasium floor graphic design. Helping our clients to push the limits to what is possible. It is something we pride ourselves in and really enjoy.
What did your team feel about its work on our court at Indiana Tech?
Our team was honored to be part of the renovation of Schaefer Gymnasium. Each crew from the sanders, to the graphics, to the lines, and the finishers all had the same comment, “how cool was it to work on such a neat floor." Indiana Tech will be thought of fondly for many years to come by The Ohio Floor Company, any time you are the first or the biggest, we remember you. With your Warrior Logo being so large, your school will come up in conversations 10 years from now as our guys reminisce about past jobs.
Finally, we do a feature in each of our alumni magazines called “By the Numbers." I would love for the next one to be about the transformation of our court. Below are approximations for the following:
-hours of prep work before beginning on the “new" court?: 15 hours
-pounds of sawdust/debris swept or sucked up as a result of prep work?: 600 – 700 pounds
-hours of work preparing the court for lines, logos and icons (the time it took to tape and cut): 85 hours
-what volumes were used for:
Gray stain: 7 gallons
Orange paint: 7 gallons
Finish sealant: 62 gallons of Sealer and Finished
-total square footage of court: 10,890
-total hours from start to finish on project: 413 hours