You don’t always come across a property that’s hidden in plain sight in Wiltshire’s countryside literally 100 yards off a main road. You don’t always come across a 200 year old oak floor. And you don’t get to repair and restore something like that every day. But this floor was exactly that and it was a pleasure to work on it.
The floor was in surprisingly good condition, however there were areas that needed repairing. Sections of floorboards were cut out and replaced with newer oak boards of matching grain characteristics. The replacement boards were sourced with one of our trusted suppliers of reclaimed structural wood.
Although available boards were not as old as the floor we were working on, the grain was similar enough for us to be able to use if for our project.
The newer floorboards had to be cut to size. It’s not only width that had to be adjusted. The boards had to be put through a planer as well to make sure they are flush with original floorboards.
Once this was completed, the floor was ready to be sanded. As always, we used dust free sanding system system with carefully picked abrasives suitable for this kind of flooring.
Since the replacement boards were fitted to be level with original boards, sanding process was relatively quick. Thanks to relatively flat sanding surface, we did not have to take away too much off the flooring thickness, which is a good practice as makes sanding again in future possible.
As expected, the newer floorboards came up slightly lighter. Our client wanted the floor dyed with a darker colour. To make the newer boards match the rest of the flooring, they had to be dyed with a different colour. A number of samples were made to find the best combination that would give the floor a nice, uniform look.
Finding the right combination of wood dye and top coat was absolutely crucial for final appearance of the floor. If this stage of work was not done right, the entire project would be ruined. It is worth noting that there are many factors that affect final colour of wood when dyed. It is not only the product you apply, but also type of wood, size and colour of grain of particular batch of floorboards and age of wood we are working with.
Once the right combination was found, the entire floor area could be dyed. After that the floor was sealed with suitable floor varnish. In this case it was polyurethane based varnish with hardener. This gives maximum durability with modern semi matt finish.