Riverton’s Quartersawn Red Oak Floors With Mahogany Accents Gorgeously Revived

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Hundred Year Old Riverton Mansion Floors Repaired, Refinished And Beautifully Restored

An over a hundred year old riverfront mansion’s hardwood floors are tired and worn but are masterfully crafted and should be restored to again reveal their beauty and brilliance. You just don’t see this craftsmanship and milling anymore, especially since the wood is no longer available. So restoring them properly is a must, and should only be endevered by professionals with experience in restoring vintage hardwood floors.

Referred to these owners by a design consultant who we work with frequently, we teamed up to address the main issues in need of repair.

A Meeting of the Minds Preceded The Work And the Homeowners were precise in their expectations

During the walk thru it was pointed out their were some previous attempts which didn’t sit well with the homeowners, and other menacing things they wanted corrected. To see the repairs in depth click here Fixing Hardwood Mahogany Accent Stripes, Trampolining Boards and Other Blemishes.

The following was on their / our list:

  • A handyman attempted to use a filler to repair a couple areas, one near the entrance to the family room, and the other upstairs in the hallway. It was determined the wrong filler was used, and boy did it show poorly. So yes, that was on our list to correct.
  • Secondly there is a main traffic area to the butler’s pantry, and which passes closely to the foyer fire place that was evidencing fatigue. Easily seen is some wear, and some damage to the mahogany inlaid accent stripes.
  • Less noticeable was some trampolining, a condition where the wood boards bounces up and down when walked on. There was a weak spot on the corner, where the wood comes to a 45 degree angle.
  • In the foyer where the main stairway lands where more mahogany accent stripe material in inlaid, it is obviously fatigued by foot traffic, where the edges have worn down. It was the homeowners express expectation, that he wanted those boards replaced. He did not want to see copious amounts of putty. He wanted a crisper look with no gaps, and no fill.
  • Still in more areas he (they) wanted the holes where baseboard heat copper pipe came up through the floor. No longer there, they’d like to see the pipe holes eliminated. Another area in the upper hall needed boards replace (which would be covered with a new runner.)
  • The customers wanted to “bling up” a couple transitions to the family room. For the transitions the designer spec’d black marble transitions (which in the family room eliminated the eyesore they didn’t like)
  • In the living room it was discovered that the brick fireplace hearth transition was not level, and after it was discovered we pointed out that the cement sub structure on one side of the hearth, (sloppy workmanship) had to be ground down, so the trim would settle in flatter and be more uniform

Overall, there were not many boards to replace, and good thing. Originally we thought we’d have to hunt for vintage red oak boards milled in the same tradition as when the floors were harvested, but that was not the case. And, it was determined that we could flip the mahogany accent boards, so the crisp edged of the boards would properly meet the red oak boards and clean up the gaps. Thank goodness, as hunting for vintage material is one challenge, and paying the price for it is another.

The Work Begins

First we tackled the formal library, enclosed and located over the portico. These pine floors were different than the main floor. Once the carpet was removed it was concluded that the pine floor underneath was worthy of restoring. Besides some overwatering of the plants, and perhaps a pet stain, this floor could be restored. The homeowner wanted this small project to be a “test project,” to see how that came out, and to see our workmanship.

Phase Two- The Homeowners Give Us “The Go” For Main Living Area, Stairs and Upstairs Hall

Having seen our work and attention to detail, these homeowners were comfortable entrusting us to the rest of the refinishing project, to be scheduled over the July 4th holiday. We were welcome to start the prep the week before, but during the heavy sanding they preferred to be at their Stone Harbor House (also in need of hardwood refinishing in the future.)

Not a lot of preparation, this job would start up pretty fast. The carpet runners were removed from the stairs, and our techs got settled into their “To Do” List.

First—The Repairs Were Made, Then The Sanding Began

For the first couple days the various repairs began. First was to repair the trampolining area (or unofficially, an area where the wood squishes down when you walk on it.) The tech removed the boards carefully and stabilized the undersurface, then put the board back in. With some shuring up the trampolining was corrected. Next the damaged mahogany accent stripe material was carefully removed. It was determined the underside edges were in great condition. So, all that had to be done was to flip the boards. Along with that the copper pipe holes were filled in. Next the transition to the brick fireplace was re-engineered. Using a dremel we ground down the cement pad so the transition lay more flat (which these homeowners never knew was a problem.) Satisfied most of the repairs were done on the main floor, our team was ready to begin sanding.

As the sanding began, decisions about the thresholds ensued. Our designer friend recommended that the unsightly threshold (badly engineered by a handyman not skilled in hardwood floor repairs) to the family room be fitted with a black marble threshold. And the same was decided to be fashioned at the unusual entrance to the kitchen from the dining room.

Sanding, being the bulk of the work, is the main task to revitalize these vintage floors. The plan, and according to NWFA Standards, is to sand them about 5 times, with different grits of sandpaper for all areas.  First “the field” or main part of the floor was sanded. Then the edges, and hand scraping the corners. Switching to our special “trio” sander, the floors were finish sanded to a flatter and smoother level. Just like a baby’s cheeks, these 150 years plus hardwoods were incredibly smooth, and ready for staining and coating. The homeowners picked a color close to what the boards color had aged to. When the stain was applied the homeowners instantly fell in love with their floors!

With the repairs done, the blemishes removed, and new crisp accent boards tidied up, they couldn’t wait to see the completed project with the finish applied. As each coat (of Vermont Natural Coatings Poly Whey) was applied the floors became stunningly rich, brilliant and proud once again.

Next It Became a Repeat Performance For The Grand Staircase, Hall and Entry Staircase

Again there was some board repair to do. The handyman’s attempt using the wrong putty (that was unsightly) was dug out and replaced. Other boards were replaced, then the floor was sanded and refinished. Lastly our team moved on to the stairs. First we prepped the “grand” set of stairs from the foyer to the upstairs area. Then we sanded and prepared the short set of entry stairs. As the project was finishing the homeowners were excited to have the new bound runner in a cheetah pattern (our client’s favorite decor pattern,) installed.

To Sum It Up This Grand Entrance With Stunning Hardwoods Now Refinished, Opulent Architecture And a Magnificent View Of The River Made These Homeowners Fall In Love With Their Home Once Again

Upon entry you can’t help but be overtaken by its opulence. Gorgeous brilliant hardwoods once again, they set the tone as one senses the grandeur of the marble fire places, the crystal chandeliers and the rich decor.’ It was an honor to be entrusted with this opportunity to demonstrate our craft and passion for hardwood floor restoration, where every detail is a must. And frankly, we hit it out of the park! Our clients are thrilled and our designer friend who brought us in on the project was speechless and stunned with the results of our work!

If you have older hardwood floors dating back 50-100 years or more we are happy to discuss a special plan to restore them while preserving their unique beauty. Call for a free vintage restoration estimate. Call us at 609.953.0472 or contact us online.