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The Ohio Floor Company experiences 'Net' gains through work on NBA's Barclays Center floor

Mark Bolitho of Mark Signs has added his creative touch to the process of refinishing the Brooklyn Nets' basketball floor. The letters at both ends of the herringbone hardwood court, which the Nets want to look like subway tile, required the most detailed work throughout the process.

Dave Mast

Thanks to the precision and detailed eye of a local hardwood floor company, a piece of Amish Country is finding its way to the big-time in Brooklyn.
 
The Ohio Floor Company of Holmesville has taken on beautifying some pretty impressive floors over the years. A couple of NCAA Final Four floors, the Oklahoma Thunder of the NBA and several WNBA floors are among a resume of basketball floors that proves large venues are more than ready to turn their hardwood basketball floors over to the Holmesville company.
 
Recently The Ohio Floor Company brought in a slice of New Jersey, refinishing the flooring and artwork for the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center.
 
The incredibly detailed and demanding job continues the trend of the Holmesville company working on some very large venues around the nation.
 
“We are trying to land more of this type of work,” said Larry Wade, head of marketing for OFC. “We like to think that by creating these kinds of works with professionalism and care, we are also promoting the kind of work that this area is well known for.”
 
Because of the magnitude of these arena floor jobs, Ohio Floor Company will often subcontract the talents of local sign painter Mark Bolitho of Mark Signs, who has added his expertise into the mix.
 
Bolitho teamed up with OFC floor supervisor Jason Irias and his professional crew, and together they provided the Brooklyn Nets with the kind of quality floor the Barclays Center sought when they had another company do the floor initially.
 
“The Nets were disappointed with the company that had done the floor to begin with,” Irias said. “There aren’t a lot of companies who do this kind of work, so it is imperative that we do a very professional job that they expect.”
 
Bolitho said that as the crew works on a floor, they are such perfectionists that they will repaint parts very few people would even realize are defects in the paint job. He said expecting perfection from themselves is why The Ohio Floor Company has continued to make huge strides in the industry.
 
“There were a number of things on the main logo at center court that we noticed right away that weren’t correct,” Bolitho said. “Little things that might not get noticed, but we definitely noticed them right away.”
 
The hardwood herringbone Nets’ floor came into Holmes County in large square pieces on pallets. It arrived on a flatbed truck, and Irias’ crew began recreating the exact look the Brooklyn Nets wanted when they built the floor.
 
The floor was completely sanded down and sealer coat was applied. All of the artwork was then mapped out, and the painting process began. A number of days of very detailed work went into crafting a floor worthy of a professional basketball team.
 
Upon the completion of the painting process, the crew applied two more coats of the high-gloss finish that makes the whole floor pop.
 
They then disassembled the floor, pulled it apart to let the 4-by-7-foot panels dry and cure for 10 days. The individual panels were then stacked and banded, ready to be shipped back to New Jersey, where the floor will be reassembled at the Barclays Center, where all of the Nets and NBA greats like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and James Harden will take flight.
 
Because the floor is portable, allowing Barclays to host a basketball game and then remove the floor to host concerts and other events, the hardwood can take a beating. That meant fixing some hardwood damage to the floor, something Irias said they do with as much care as the painting portion of the job.
 
“When it leaves our facility, it will look the best it will ever look,” Irias said.
 
The Ohio Floor Company crew has done many college floors, like Heidelberg University, Cleveland State University and more than two-dozen other floors, so the company’s reputation only continues to grow. They have painted and refinished dozens of NCAA college floors for tournament play.
 
Irias said each floor’s design determines how long it will take until completion. While the Nets’ floor looks fairly straightforward, the baseline words “Brooklyn Nets” are far more detailed than meets the eye. Bolitho said it takes four different colors, and the pattern to create a subway-tile look to each giant letter is extremely demanding.
 
In addition they had to attach 40 small rubber pads to the back of each panel, meaning they applied more than 10,000 pads before they began the process.
 
"That process alone took about a week,” Irias said. He noted that this floor will take around five weeks to complete along with drying time.
 
The Nets are expecting the floor by the beginning of October, and Irias said they are right on schedule. “As long as Mark stays here and helps us,” Arias said with a laugh. “It is an enormous job, and Mark has such great vision. Between our staff and Mark, we will be done in time.”
 
As the number of floors The Ohio Floor Company refinishes increases, the more word of mouth travels around the nation that this is a company that can be trusted to do it right the first time.
 
“We’ve redone a lot of floors where someone tried to save some money and ended up not being happy with the final product,” Irias said. “We work very hard to make sure everything is exact and perfect because we know a lot of people will be looking at these floors, and word spreads quickly.”
 
“These guys are the very best,” Bolitho said of The Ohio Floor Company's crew.
 
Irias said they are currently set to do four college tournament floors this basketball season, so they continue to excel at what they do best.
 
“The things Jason and his crew do with paint and stain are incredible,” Wade said.
 
When watching the Cleveland Cavaliers invade Barclays Center to face the Nets on Oct. 25, take a little extra time to appreciate the fine detail and craftsmanship of the Nets’ floor while admiring The King and company.
 
After all, it is finely crafted in Amish Country.
 

Published: September 18, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170919944