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‘I was floored; no pun intended:’ Local companies donate new flooring to paralyzed Hubertus man

HUBERTUS -- For a Hubertus man paralyzed a few years ago, his goal was always to go home again. However, his big homecoming turned to disappointment when his new floor turned out to be a bust.

Three years after a spinal cord injury left Gregory Schurmann paralyzed, he is back in the lake house his heart never left.

"I've been getting a little bit stronger and wanting to come back home," Schurmann said. "Been in and out of a nursing home a couple of times and just trying to live independently now."

Returning home would have been impossible without major renovations to make the house handicap accessible.

"Probably spent about $50,000 overall," Schurmann said.

A big part of the project was laying down a new floor.

"The products said it had a 50-year warranty on it, so I was thinking, 'Wow, that's great,'" Schurmann said.

Within a couple months, gaps started to appear in the floor.

"It's separating both vertically and horizontally. Edges are coming up. It's shrinking," explained Schurmann.

He bought the DirectLoc laminate flooring from Menards for about $1,200. Since then, Menards said the company that made the boards, Custom Surfaces, abruptly went out of business. Menards offered Schurmann a full credit for the flooring, but replacing it would cost $6,550.

"Everything has to come out. The floor has to come out -- the trim work," Schurmann said.

Contact 6 reached out to Menards on his behalf, but the retailer stood by its original offer.

Contact 6 invited Andy Braun of Premier Floors, a NARI Milwaukee member, out for an assessment. Braun said the locking system of Schurmann's laminate flooring was collapsing beneath the weight of his wheelchair.

"They put in a material that was never gonna hold up for the demands," Braun explained. "If we put it back together, we're just gonna be putting a Band-Aid on it. The integrity of it is pretty much wrecked."

Unknown to Schurmann, Braun wanted to do more than offer his professional opinion.

"Hoping I can reach out to some of our trade partners and make a bad situation for a good guy right," Braun said.

Braun reached out to Stu's Flooring and together with its owner came up with a generous offer -- Stu's provides the flooring and Braun does the labor free of cost. Stu's is donating more than $2,000 in flooring and adhesive. Braun's labor is valued at upwards of $3,000.

"I was floored. No pun intended,"  Schurmann said.

He quickly accepted the offer, and the work will start soon.

"I can't thank 'em enough and thank you enough for how grateful I am for what they're all doing," Schurmann told Contact 6. "You guys are doing me such a big favor."

Just days after getting the offer, Schurmann met with Justin Hurd of Stu's Flooring to choose his new floor. Schurmann's new floor will be made of luxury vinyl plank.

"Essentially once it's glued down, you won't have any separation of boards. It's going to be permanent," Hurd said.

Hurd said he's just happy to be on board.

"I heard from Andy that there was an opportunity to help out and we, at Stu's Flooring, we like to help people out," he said.

After all, Schurmann waited a long time to be back in this house.

"After this long winter, it's nice to have something to look forward to," he said.

It may finally feel like home again.

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