COLUMBUS, OH -- Starnet Commercial Flooring, the world’s largest network of full-service commercial flooring contractors, recently revealed the seventh of several Starnet Design Awards winners for 2021. Now in its 23rd year, the annual competition honors the outstanding projects completed by the membership in partnership with the architects, designers and Starnet aligned manufacturing partners. On October 23, Starnet will culminate the 2021 Starnet Design Awards with the Grand Prize Winner announcement.

Each day, the Starnet flooring contractor network encounters many project challenges risking the client’s desired outcome. Design challenges, jobsite conditions, difficult flooring repairs, budget constraints, late material shipments and increased industry compliances to name a few. On the frontlines the highly skilled Starnet network of installation teams, project managers and supervisors solve these challenges, reduce project risks, protect project stakeholders and execute exceptional finished projects to the customer’s complete satisfaction.


Gold Unique Installation Challenge

Starnet member, Diverzify, took home two awards for its work on the Old Chicago Post Office -- Gold in Unique Installation and Gold in Mixed-Use. Spanning 2.5 million square feet, the revitalized building is a triumph in urban renewal. Originally built above the city’s main rail lines to facilitate large volumes of mail, the constant vibration from trains along with a raised structure meant that the building has been constantly on the move for the past 90 years. After the City of Chicago closed the facility in 1997, it quickly fell into disrepair, suffering extensive floor and interior damage due to roof failure.

Seeing the enormous potential in the space, developers earmarked the massive art deco building for a historic renovation project. At $800 million, it remains the largest historic redevelopment in American history. Every crack, crevice and hole had to be located, repaired and brought to historic-appropriate appearance. As a historical landmark, the restoration also had to retain original design characteristics and aesthetics. While most of the existing floor was concrete, work also included repairing and replacing tile, carpet and wood in event and workspaces.

The renovation specified that flooring have no more than 1/2-inch surface fluctuation within a 10-foot area and that no significant weight be added to the building. Although a new topping could achieve surface specs, building movement virtually assured cracking. The unique solution was to allow existing cracks filled with custom color epoxy to provide necessary flex. The surface area would be raised or reduced to meet fluctuation spec and then polished or treated to meet historic aesthetic requirements. Each floor in each building presented unique conditions that challenged the team and demanded extensive testing of solution materials, products and installation techniques. With each challenge met, the team delivered floors that will withstand unique building requirements while protecting historic aesthetics in a modern, functional mixed-use development.

“The Old Chicago Post Office project showcases the power of skilled and trained floorcovering professionals to diagnose and fix problems on the go. Their ingenuity allowed this relic of the past to be reborn into a modern, contemporary mixed-use space that can be enjoyed by Chicago residents and visitors from around the world,” added design awards judge, John T. McGrath, Jr., executive director of INSTALL.


Project Partners:

Starnet Member: Diverzify

Architect: Gensler

Starnet Preferred Vendors: MAPEI, Schönox
View Project:


Silver Unique Installation Challenge

The Silver Unique Installation Challenge was awarded to Starnet member, New England Floor Covering, for the company’s work at ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, located in Burlington, VT.


Project Partners:
Starnet Member: New England Floor Covering
Designer: Roto
Starnet Preferred Vendors: Altro
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Bronze Unique Installation Challenge
The Bronze in the Unique Installation Challenge was awarded to Starnet member, W.C. Carpenter, LLC, for the company’s work at Virginia Wesleyan University Dining Hall in Norfolk, VA. The project also won gold in the 2021 Starnet Design Awards education category.


Project Partners:
Starnet Member: W.C. Carpenter, LLC
Designer: Atlantic Culinary Environments
Starnet Preferred Vendors: Armstrong Flooring, Inc., Daltile, Mannington Commercial, Schönox
View Project:


Honorable Mention Unique Installation Challenge
An Honorable Mention Bronze in the Unique Installation Challenge was awarded to Starnet member, Image Flooring LLC, for the company’s work at Merriam Community Center in Merriam, KS.


Project Partners:
Starnet Member: Image Flooring LLC
Architect: The Clark Enersen Partners
Starnet Preferred Vendors: Ardex, Ecore Commercial, J+J Flooring, Mannington Commercial, MAPEI, Milliken Commercial, Tarkett Johnsonite, Tarkett Commercial
View Project:


2021 Unique Installation Challenge Project of the Year Category Judging Panel

An elite panel of architects and designers generously shared their talent and expertise in this year’s judging:

  • John T. McGrath, Jr., executive director of INSTALL
  • Andrea Hanson, AIA, WELL AP, principal, architect, licensed interior designer at Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
  • Alison Woolf, LEED AP associate principal, design director at Huntsman Architectural Group
  • Cecelia Baumann, senior interior design student at Savannah College of Art and Design, the University of Creative Careers

For more information about the 2021 Starnet Design Awards and to view all the entrants and winners, visit