Historic Private Club Gets a Flooring Facelift

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This historic private club in Boston is known for being art-oriented, boasting at least one Picasso on its lavish walls. During a multi-million-dollar rehab of the 1888 building, they decided to bring the art to the floors, too. That’s where John DiPonzio and his team at Blackstone, Mass.-based Design Wood Floors came in. 

Among the multiple floors DiPonzio installed in the six-story building, this prefinished white oak with ebony stain stood out as one of the most striking, DiPonzio says. After the designer sent him the vision for the 800-square-foot floor, destined for an area known as “The Dive Bar,” DiPonzio had the engineered white oak stained and prefinished ahead of the installation.

DiPonzio and his crew were just about done installing the floor in a diagonal pattern when they learned the design had been reworked so the pattern would mirror itself on either side of the floor. “With the change, half the floor was OK,” DiPonzio says. “We did it in quadrants.” DiPonzio and his team removed a portion of the newly installed floor and cut boards on site for the redesigned pattern. “I would say that it worked to our advantage that we installed the complete diagonal floor, because everything was already square and we worked off of that pretty well,” DiPonzio says.

This “mirrored” flooring pattern was part of a refurbishing of a historic private club in Boston.This “mirrored” flooring pattern was part of a refurbishing of a historic private club in Boston.

The boards were glued and nailed down. Keeping the angles true was challenging, but perhaps not as challenging as dodging all the other construction going on around them at the same time. “Sometimes the hardest part of flooring is working amongst the boots,” DiPonzio laughs.

When the final boards were installed, they buffed the floor and applied one coat of satin water-based finish to give it an extra shine. “I’d say the highlight was seeing it done and seeing how it integrates with the design of the bar,” DiPonzio says. “It’s just a wonderful accent, and the room is designed beautifully, and that floor integrates beautifully.”

Going above and beyond to ensure the floor accommodated the designer’s creative vision is also a signature for an artist like DiPonzio.

“They loved it,” DiPonzio says. “They appreciate when someone can give them their design and perform the work properly—there’s nothing better than that, to be able to look at a floor and say, ‘This is what I wanted.’”


Buffer: Mastercraft | Finish: Loba | Nailer: Primatech | Wood flooring: Saroyan Hardwoods

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