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London Homes Benefit from New Look Old Floors

Posted on November 21st, 2013 In: Articles, Wood Floor Restorations Articles

London homeowners who enjoy the look and style of original wood flooring may face a dilemma when it’s time to refurbish. To retain the vintage look of a hardwood floor is often exacting, painstaking work which many people are all too happy to hand over to the professionals. But if you would like to take on the project as a DIY opportunity then read on.

Realistically, you should have a generous amount of DIY knowledge and carpentry experience before you undertake wood floor sanding refurbishment, as repairs and the possible replacement of damaged planks are integral to the task. Assuming this is the case, the first thing to do is to decide how you would like to floor restored. With a high proportion of London homes benefiting from older style flooring, it may be that you wish to retain that retro look and charm.

Distressed wood

Get Your Floor Ready for Winter

Even if the floor is not so old you can ‘age’ it by employing a method of distressing the planks to make them look old, or even antique. Also known as ‘hand-scraped’ distressed wood flooring has become extremely popular over the last decade, especially for softwoods such as pine and fir. Most solid wood types will respond well to hand scraping, although as a rule hardwoods such as teak and maple turn out less well due to their intrinsic markings. Other hardwoods such as oak and walnut can look stunning when distressed. If you are unsure if your floor is suitable for this method of refurbishment then it would be best to err on the side of caution and consult a specialist wood floor company before proceeding.

Whatever wood you have, always test a small out-of-sight area. With a hand scraper you should scrape along the grain and never across the wood’s natural knots. If you scrape against the woods natural grain you will end up with scratch marks rather than a distressed look.

Start off gently

Try a little light hand scraping just to get the feel of the tool and the marks it makes on the floor. You can apply the scraper more heavily and at different angles once you have gained confidence in using it in order to attain the look you want. Remember always that distressing solid wood flooring is a form of rustic art and as such you should not be afraid to be creative. In addition to the scraper you can also use a wire brush for a deep-seated grainy texture.

There are a huge variety of tools and implements which can be employed to successfully distress wood flooring. Depending upon the look you want and your own DIY prowess you can use saws, hammers, chains and even a (clean) garden pick can be used to distress wood. However, that these tools should only even be used if you have a high degree of DIY skills and excellent health and safety knowledge. Aged burn marks (popular in rustic kitchens and parlours) can be achieved with a soldering rod.

Putting in a pattern

When the floor has been sufficiently distressed you can add to the look by introducing a pattern and inlay if you want to. Long hallways look great with a geometric pattern running along each edge and larger rooms benefit from hand scraped inlay designs as a centrepiece.

How to get Your Wooden Floors Ready for Winter

When the treatment is completed then the next step is sanding. The whole floor should be sanded to a degree of uniformity and to eliminate residual wood shards and other debris.

After the sanding comes staining and a clever stain application will provide the icing on your distressed wood cake, giving you a floor to be proud of.

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