Location: Greenwich, London
Property: Georgian Terrace
Timber: Original period pine board
Age: Circa 1850s
Removed finish: Not applicable – Replaced floor
Applied finish: One coat shellac tint, two coats Junckers matt lacquer
Notes: Remove concrete hearth, salvage original timber, colour match mixture of several different boards
Description: This was indeed a challenge not made any easier by the reclamation yard who supplied short boards of three different types. The original pine boards had previously been replaced over the majority of the floor with very poor quality new boards which didn’t fit properly and had little character and it was therefore decided to fit a reclaimed floor. I managed with a little effort to reuse the very thin original boards around the perimeter which were damaged and covered in lots of paint and bitumen.
The room had subsided, like so many older buildings in London and the height difference both across the length and width of the room required a bit of adjustment. The four different types of boards each required their own particular amount of dimensional modification along with the general regulation across the room axes which was challenging. The four board types were all disparate colours and matching them in involved the use of many colours and tints, some boards receiving four or five tints to bring them ‘into line’. The result looks totally natural, like the floor is totally original and simply cleaned and waxed, that is always my aim, getting there sometimes is a little harder.
All the work was undertaken on hands and knees and by hand, including all sanding, this retained the depth of the fragile original Georgian pine boards and retained some of the three dimensional patination (the undulation of individual boards) The amount of adjustment required coupled with the need to colour individual boards sometimes several times and the removal of nine rubble bags worth of concrete and debris and all the waste wood down two flights of stairs meant this was a somewhat tiring job. The quality of the wood involved was very good and the customer most appreciative so the final result was very pleasing for both of us. Now he and his family have a floor that should last another one hundred and fifty years.