Carrie Rengers

Wichita flag lights up Douglas Design District business

The Wichita flag shines from the floor of Wichita Wood Floor Specialists in the Douglas Design District.
The Wichita flag shines from the floor of Wichita Wood Floor Specialists in the Douglas Design District. The Wichita Eagle

Rachel Sample of Wichita Wood Floor Specialists shows off the company's new wooden Wichita flag, which also lights up the floor of the business. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle

Water leaks that lead to floor damage can be a disaster, but Wichita Wood Floor Specialists was especially equipped to handle a recent HVAC leak.

“It was just a great time to update,” co-owner Rachel Sample says.

She and her husband, Jesse, started the business out of their home five years ago and moved to space on East Douglas just east of Hillside about two years ago.

They use the floor of their business to showcase all kinds of wood options and floor techniques, including a miniature basketball court in the center of the store.

“Our basketball court’s been a big hit,” Rachel Sample says.

“We thought this was an opportunity to do something different that nobody’s done before,” she says. “We’re like, what can we do? What brings Wichita in here?”

There’s a small Wichita flag that hangs in the front of the store.

“We look up and we see the flag, and we’re like, ‘Brilliant,’ ” Sample says.

She says her husband wanted to do a flag with a metal inlay – a skill he learned last year.

For the centerpiece medallion of the flag, they decided to try glow-in-the-dark epoxy that they then planned to light.

“The wood just acted like a sponge, which we should have known, but we were just really excited about it,” Sample says.

She and her husband consulted other flooring companies nationally.

“We’ve called all over the United States just trying to get advice from people,” Sample says. “We did so much research, and we couldn’t find anybody else that’s done a lit wood floor.”

They ended up using layers of plexiglass that they light with LED lights.

Sample says the people they called for help all said, “Let us know how it turns out.”

The Samples were so pleased with how the flag looks, they’ve entered it into a couple of wood flooring contests.

Rachel Sample says the hope is to get some national attention.

“Fingers crossed we’ll get a little bit of recognition.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers