The Finish Line/BonaKemi USA, Inc. Wood Floor Contractor Newsletter
/Spring 2000


Peabody-Essex Museum Masterpiece

Ten years ago, Steve Becht bought a struggling flooring company and turned it into The Becht Corporation, a multimillion dollar business. Now a full-service wood flooring contractor, they specialize in commercial projects, historic renovations, and restaurant projects throughout the New England area. The union shop is built on customer service: Becht offers more than just a compitive price -- he does conscientious work. His work ethic has proven to be successful having won four consecutive “NWFA Floor of the Year” awards.

When the historic Peabody-Essex Museum of Salem, Massachusetts was taking on their Bicentennial Renovation Project, they needed to bring in a contractor with the expertise and professionalism that could handle this type of project. The Becht Corporation of Tewsbury, Massachusetts was just that contractor. Turner construction Special Projects Division of Boston, the General Contractor for the project, brought in The Becht Corporation, as they knew the Museum would demand a high level of quality in this historic building restoration. The Museum was founded in 1799 by 22 sea captains to preserve the art treasures that they brought back from their voyages to the port of Salem.

Steve Becht, the President of Becht Corporation, says of this particular project, “Peabody-Essex presented many different obstacles in the course of refinishing the 15,000 square foot floor.  Every gallery was a different species of wood from vertical grain fir to quartered oak, to first grade maple. The vertical grain fir had been covered with rubber-backed carpeting and had residue from he backing all over it. In addition, the schedule was extremely tight, which made it necessary for our crew to work day and night.” Becht explained that the project was originally specified to have a penetrating sealer and wax, but Becht and his staff met with the architect and Museum representatives to explain the options of a surface finish in this application. “BonaTech Traffic seemed like a natural fit for the Museum due to is performance in high traffic areas, and also its commercial satin sheen.  Working with Traffic in the field was a positive experience for our workmen.  There were large open areas with a lot of reflective wash light from one end of the room, a situation that can show every imperfection.  In this case, with Traffic, there wasn’t a lap mark to be found.” Working with a fast-drying water-based finish such as Traffic also helped in meeting Becht’s tight deadlines.

Kent Black, Project Superintendent for Turner, explained, “The Becht Corporation brought the whole package to the table for this project -- experience in their trade, quality products, ability to work in a tight time frame, and quality workmanship in the field.”

Peabody-Essex is about to commence construction of a new building this summer, which will have over 30,000 square feet of wood flooring in the galleries. Becht hopes to be involved in this project as well, and knows the architect is planning on BonaTech Traffic for the floor finish.

Reprinted from The Finish Line, published by BonaKemi USA, Inc.
© 2000 BonaKemi USA, Inc.

The Becht Corporation
120 Lumber Lane - Suite 19
Tewskbury, MA 01876
T. 978.858.0580 ~ Fax: 978.858.0582