Original Wood Flooring in London Homes
With a large percentage of homes in both central London and the suburbs enjoying original wood flooring, it is only natural that homeowners wish to restore these floors, most of which would be extremely difficult to purchase in today’s market. Cost notwithstanding, wood flooring laid prior to the 1950s was cut more thickly than is possible these days and the planking would have been cut by hand. Original style wood floors are also wider than modern floors, and the slightly uneven appearance needs only a small amount of hand scraping to bring the popular distressed look to the floor.
This is not to say that original wood floorings can only be hand scraped. In fact, hardwood timber planking is the most versatile of flooring and looks great when sanded and polished. When you think that the ballrooms of centuries past were made with just this type of wood then you can imagine how your floor would look with a little TLC, some know-how, varnish and a good polish.
Restore rather than renew
If possible, wooden floor restoration is always preferable to replacement. The quality, density and width of original wood is something which would be difficult, not to mention prohibitively expensive, to reproduce today. Even if the floor is badly marked, damaged or has planks missing it is worth having it professionally assessed to see if it can be brought back to its beautiful and original best.
If you do decide to go ahead and restore your floor then there is every chance that the floor will last at least a lifetime. A properly restored floor will, with a very little maintenance, last for 10 years or more before requiring another treatment.
Original wood has character and natural imperfections, which are not imperfections at all but a real feature and part of the overall look of the wood that gives it a unique and timeless beauty all of its own.
Missing or damaged boards can be professionally replaced and stained to match the original colour of the floor. A specialist London floor sanding company will be able to source and install almost any type of replacement planking.
A pleasant surprise
The restoration of old wood flooring is not always an arduous and expensive process. In fact, many floors that have been protected by a variety of floor coverings over the years can be restored easily and very quickly, requiring only a light floor sanding and finishing.
However if you are thinking of tackling the restoration yourself then be aware that sanding with a heavy hand could cause extensive damage to older wood planking, which have lay covered for decades. The main reason for this is the accumulation of dirt particles that have seeped through the carpet or lino. Unless you carry out a rigorous cleaning procedure before starting, these can be sanded into the wood, destroying its look and condition.
In terms of sanding a recently uncovered wood floor, less is definitely more. It is always preferable to lightly sand two or even three times rather than one heavy sanding. That way you can inspect the floor after each sanding – and know when to stop!
If in doubt – ask
It costs nothing to ask and any trusted floor sanding company in the London area will be happy to offer a free, no-obligation floor assessment and quotation. Chances are the cost will be less than you think and their work will be guaranteed and safely and securely carried out.
While you can hire a sanding machine and do the job yourself, it would be worthwhile to treat your newly discovered real wood floor to a little specialist care and attention to ensure the longevity of the wood, the beauty of the floor and your peace of mind