This magnificent 1896 built old apricot Baron’s home was sold and moved to a new Santa Clara residential location. I won this bid based on a long track record of breathing life into what most floor contractors said couldn’t be done. Six other flooring contractors told the owner to replace the 120 year old floors and put new floors in. I was recommended by a friend of the new owner to ask my opinion about the floors condition and could these floors be saved from demolition. The owner’s concern was the original 120 year old flooring was quarter and riff sawn White Oak, something that he wasn’t willing to part with if at all possible. After a lengthy conversation and floor evaluation I placed my OK on the project and asked when did he want me to start. I was told to wait until the outside texture, paint, wrought iron work, and new roof tiles where done. Also I was instructed I could set my calendar for two days after the interior painters were done.
I got the call from the painter and owner and now it was Showtime! I assembled my crew and we were off to beautify an incredible nostalgic home. I had but one request for this project, we needed all the time necessary to work with the natural deterioration from weather conditions based on broken windows and the water that severely damaged the hardwood flooring. Additionally the home was vandalized with not only paint but heavy scratches and scars with many cigarette burns to the wood flooring. Unknown to many floor contractors with less than 20 years experience they don’t know to much about quarter and riff cut flooring. If these floors where a traditional plain cut Oak the floors would have been damaged beyond repair because of the expansion that would have taken place from the severe water amount that these floors received over the years. Quarter sawn wood resist expansion because the grain is not plain cut or open.
I’m standing with the owner watching one of my guys run the Hugh sanding machine (the steely beast) to begin the stripping of layers of wood from the upper level master bedroom where I started the project. Notice I kicked through phase 2 and onto phase 3. There was a difference between 2 and 3 but I don’t need a photo for it. However, you can see the difference between phase 1 and phase 3. Notice the how much of the years patina has settled into the wood, it has an orange appearance. We need to sand as much of this patina out to ensure and even bare wood color reserved for the best outcome. Now you can see the difference in phase 3’s color of the wood. We were able to achieve what we wanted and totally confident nature was going to be fair with us. The photo complete shows the floors stain color selected by the owner and the first coat of polyurethane finish protection, we’ll be back to put the final touches on the floor later.
A second bedroom was next and we poured our magic into that floor as well. Its before and after photo shows nature’s favoritism for us again! But will the favoritism last?
The hallway and transition area was an even more difficult procedure because the moisture had penetrated even further in the wood in these areas causing a bit of frustration now and perhaps a bit more than a few swearing words. However, we’re in it to win it, proud fist pump as I holler yea!!!
Oh no… Not the stairs!!! I wasn’t ready for the stairs today. I truly wanted to do them last. If you know anything about work flow, it can be your friend. Machines are going; volume is large; but with stairs get ready for the corner office without windows or nearby voices. Yea, you’re basically working alone with some small machine but a lot by hand. But I got this, my guys laugh sometimes when I say I’ll do the stairs you start in the living room, their like, really? Coolsville!!! They can handle it as well, but I like it because I don’t have to move fast and that allows me to have my moment for fine perfection and detail. ???? Just look at that grain reflection afterwards!!! Yes, that’s the inherent beauty of quarter sawn wood and my ability to bring it out to play!
Now we’ve made are way downstairs, well me anyway, the guys were already downs stairs making floor magic on the living and dining room, and there’s still other areas as well to be completed. But I’m going to work on the entryway at the bottom of the stairs. The homeowner stops by to check on process and gives me an update on when the front door that was restored to its original look would be ready for installation. I let him know soon, very soon. And I ask do you have a date for the finish carpentry set, this is the stair riser (vertical) and the baseboard restoration handyman. He says they’re all set and ready to go. He’s smiling and loving the progress we’ve made so far as he watches me apply the first wet coat of polyurethane on the entryway. Man that’s beautiful he says!
Here’s the dining room and again we are being favored by nature because all the floors have been sanded to bare wood and we have achieved a necessary goal, not only for us, but more importantly the homeowner.
Sooner or later all party’s must come to an end. But wait, there’s more! Where have I heard that before? We took this entire home and did a complete restoration of what seemed impossible to many but was only a hiccup to a day in the life for a Floor Lord! A collage of before and after along with me and the homeowner boast a mutual friendship of trust and craftsmanship.
These last few photos are placed to share with you this public service message… It’s not how bad you see it, it’s how bad is it from how I see it. Let a Pro solve your worries when it comes to your hardwood flooring needs!!!