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Flooring to honor an American hero

The USS Michael P. Murphy, DDG-112

Custom flooring designs for US Navy ship, USS Michael Murphy
A commanding officer works directly with design teams to develop the messages installed in their vessel's flooring. The USS Michael Murphy honors fallen Navy SEAL and military hero, Michael P. Murphy.

Creating a positive and meaningful culture for the people who inhabit space is a goal for anyone involved in architecture or construction, but perhaps nowhere is workplace culture more important than on a US Navy vessel. Recognizing that interior spaces impact retention and psychological health, the Navy wants “habitability spaces” on ships­ and submarines to be home-like and comfortable, as well as functional. Wear Resistant Deck Tile from Teknoflor ticks all the flooring boxes for extreme technical performance and aesthetics, and custom graphics from Creative Edge serve to unite these floating communities around powerful symbols that honor the ship’s namesake.

Making life better for sailors

Sailors and officers live on ships for months at a time performing important and technical services. The on-board environment directly impacts their work and social lives, safety, and mental health. Since 2005, Creative Edge has been privileged to partner with Philip "P.J." Hughes and the US Navy to help create interiors that are making life better for thousands of Navy servicemembers.

A proper honor for the first Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War

USS Micheal Murphy custom vinyl floor crest
Detailed crests are cut from chlorine free, Wear Resistant Deck Tiles from Teknoflor and inlaid in wood-look decking.

The USS Michael Murphy is a guided missile destroyer named for Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded a purple heart and The Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2005. Commissioned in 2012, she measures 510 ft x 66 ft and is home to 300 sailors and 23 officers. Her cargo includes guns, missiles, and torpedoes, and her interior honors the memory of a Navy hero who inspires and motivates the ship’s crew – as well as every person around the world who hears his story.

As a testament to the power of Lieutenant “Murph’s” energy and selfless bravery, the Murph Challenge was born. People around the world honor fallen service members by completing a grueling timed workout that includes a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run – all while wearing a 20-pound weighted vest. The Murph Challenge happens every year on Memorial Day. On board the USS Michael Murphy, commanding officers make sure that Murph’s commitment, character, and bravery are honored every day throughout the year.

Innovative custom crests tell “Murph’s” story in a decidedly military fashion

Custom Teknoflor flooring for the US Navy by Creative Edge
Custom flooring inspires the crew with “Murph’s” story of heroism.

P.J. Hughes, alongside his mentor Dale Carson, first partnered with Creative Edge in 2005 to give their Navy clients a new way to display crests in Navy-approved, wear-resistant flooring. According to Hughes, now V.P. Strategic Accounts at Teknoflor, “A commanding officer takes great pride in the ship and its name. Crests displayed in high-profile areas express that pride and engage sailors and dignitaries that come aboard the ship. Similar in style to historic family crests, the crest concept may have been a carryover tradition from the British Navy. We often include crests on the bridge, in public reception and museum rooms, and in enlisted and officers' mess areas. In the USS Michael Murphy, Lieutenant Murphy’s motto ‘Never Give Up.’ served the dual purpose of capturing his spirit and uniting the crew around their mission.”

The innovation team of Hughes, Carson, and Creative Edge engineered a new method to replace crest decals that were previously applied on top of flooring using clear-coat polyurethane. Unlike the decals that wore quickly, their method used Creative Edge waterjet and digital design technology to create inlaid crests that looked great for years, even under harsh wear conditions.

Not just any flooring or installation system will do

The flooring materials used on the USS Michael Murphy are highly specialized:
  • They must be polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free to eliminate the threat of poisonous gas in a fire situation.

  • Custom designs engineered to fit into compact spaces are installed in compartments that must be water and airtight after installation.

  • All products used must be manufactured in compliance with the Buy American Act.

  • Customization work is subject to tight timelines that align with the ship’s scheduled time in port.

  • Prefabricated flooring designs must meet the needs of a very short list of Navy-approved installers.

The USS Michael Murphy custom floors were installed while the ship was in port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for scheduled maintenance. Due to the compact marine spaces and detailed technical specs, install work is a meticulous job done by a select few contractors. The Creative Edge team is used to delivering custom cut tiles ready for installation on a tight timeline, but the constraints are tougher than normal when working for the Navy. Hughes had this to say about us as his partner:

“Creative Edge is incredible. The team makes us look great. These projects are complex so balls can get dropped but Creative Edge always works fast to expedite things when needed.” – P.J Hughes, Teknoflor

Completing an important mission

The custom crests and motifs added to Navy-approved flooring on these ships are highly meaningful. Creative Edge has partnered with Teknoflor to deliver custom crests for the USS Michael Murphy, USS Ronald Reagan, and USS George Bush aircraft carriers, and many more ships. We take great pride in every one of our designs wherever it’s installed, but the designs installed on Navy vessels are extra special. By greeting dignitaries and visitors with the stories of those honored to have their name on a ship’s hull, we are helping to educate the world about the lives and work of the honorees, and by keeping their memory in front of servicemember sailors, we are helping to build camaraderie and inspire the people of the US Military.


A tradition of honoring heroes

The US Navy has a proud tradition of naming each ship in its fleet. In 1862, the Secretary of the Navy ordered “Sailing vessels of the first class shall be named after the States of the Union, second class after the rivers, third class after the principal cities and towns, and those of the fourth class as the President may direct.” Since then, the naming protocol has expanded with the size and variety of the modern fleet. For example:



Aircraft Carriers

​Presidents, Military battles, or famous Navy ships

​Ammunition Ships



​Navy and Marine Corps heroes

​Nuclear Submarines

​Historical leaders or cities


We'd love to help you do more with floors in your space


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