International fashion footwear retailer the Dune Group partnered with Havwoods International to bring a greater focus to the floors in their 95 worldwide stores. Dune, working with UK-based design firm Four-by-Two, wanted a light and a dark color palette, to define a “catwalk” of planks, cut and laid in a V shape to subtly guide customers around the store. Havwoods recommended the smooth Venture plank and textured Henley collections with a UV-dried hardwax-oil finish, the most wear and stain-resistant and water-repellent oil finish in the line. The finish is comparable to a lacquer and makes the planks easier to clean, says Allan Singh, general manager for Havwoods North America. The dark plank is also smoked, meaning the color penetrates the surface: an important detail in a high-traffic floor.

There are pros and cons to both the smooth and textured choices, Singh points out, adding, “A textured surface is better at disguising any superficial scratches or marks. However, a floor with a textured finish is not suitable for sanding, or even spot sanding and refinishing.”

The project continues as new stores open, and different styles were chosen for different flagships. Aspen Raw and Quadro, featuring knots and color variation, were selected for the 10-inch-wide Venture and Henley planks in New York, London, and Zurich, while the more cost-effective, FSC-certified Vogue chevrons in Oak Neutro and Oak Bronzo from the Italian collection were selected for stores throughout the Middle East.