On many large-scale wood flooring jobs, it’s about how quickly the project can be done for the client, says Luis Ramos of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Absolute Hardwood Flooring. This Italian-inspired waterfront mansion in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was different. “This one was about how much more detail we could add,” says Ramos. “How can we push this project to the limit?”
The high-end job spanned three years and resulted in multiple Italian-inspired wood floors. “It was an extremely, extremely challenging designer, and many, many samples were required,” says Ramos, who refers to the luxurious, marble-walled home as an “Italian castle.”
The pictured 450-square-foot solid white oak parquet was located in the home’s dining room. Ramos teamed up with Dan Antes of Nashville, Ind.-based Distinctive Hardwood Floors for the design and fabrication of the parquet. It was made in Indiana for the exact measurements of the job site, then transported to the site for installation like a puzzle.
When all the intricate pre-cut pieces arrived, Ramos and his crew glued and nailed them, taking their time to ensure it was perfect. The flooring was then sanded and given a cerused effect with oil finish.
“The coolest part was the design aspect and seeing it come to life,” Ramos says. “When you do these parquets, you’re showing it to them on a 3-by-3-foot scale, and when you see it come to life in the entire room, it’s just like, ‘Wow.’”
The flooring in the lavish abode is done, but after five years the Italian castle still isn’t 100% completed—not surprising for a project that had specialty painters and designers flown in from Italy, with one Italian artist spending nine months painting just one room.
“Usually when a large job’s done I step back and say, ‘One year, come to life,’” Ramos says. “This time I said, ‘Three years, come to life.’ They really went all out.”