Monday, April 15, 2013

Mixing Old and New Hardwood Floors

Are those the signal strength bars for my cell phone????  No - just the weave pattern as we blended the new floor with the old.  Our project house presented some unique challenges to the team from Abrams Hardwood Flooring.

New Red Oak in Upstairs Hallway
But let's start with the easy part.  Since the second floor is essentially new construction, the guys were able to come in and get the new red oak floors installed pretty quickly.  We couldn't believe how much the new floors changed the look and feel of the house.  There's just something about new wood floors that immediately warms the space.

They sanded them and put down one coat of polyurethane to protect them.  After all the other work is done, they'll come back and add two more cots of poly, to get a strong, protective surface.
Look at how one coat of polyurethane brings out the beauty of the oak
Master Bedroom with New Oak Flooring

But the downstairs was a whole different story.  Since we removed several walls, each of those spaces was essentially a hole that needed to be filled.  We talked about putting a mock 'threshold' in to transition the space.  But we knew that wouldn't give the right look to the open floor plan and opted instead to have the guys skillfully weave old and new.

They start by cutting back the old floor to create the cell phone bar strength pattern - that gives the start for weaving old and new.  But we found a couple of surprises when we got started.  1)  The original house has a blend of white oak, red oak and even a little maple thrown in.  2)  The 1960's addition - which is in the same space - has only red oak.  After lots of discussion and input from lots of experts, we decided that since the area of the 'weave' was primarily white oak, we should use white oak.

Wood Weaving Complete, Awaiting Sanding

This is the view with the new flooring woven into the old.

Can You Tell Old From New???

And here is the woven floor, post sanding
Living Room Before Sanding
We also decided that the mix of woods in the back hallway, along with all the walls that were removed, made it necessary to take all that wood out and start fresh.  So what was already a big job, just became bigger.
Kitchen & Hallway - Starting Point
Kitchen & Hallway - New Floors!

I won't have final photos until we get the next two coats of polyurethane down.  But at this point, we think it look pretty fabulous!!

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  1. Curious about labour costs, would it not been cheaper to start from scratch.

    1. That's a great question, but in our view the old floors are still the better way to go 1) because the cost of tearing out the old, purchasing new wood and installation is high and 2) the patina of an old wood floor is so beautiful, we want to keep as much of the old as we possible could. We don't want this to look like a brand new house, we really want to honor the original materials wherever we can!

  2. I am doing a drive by when I'm in Portland this fall. I'll watch for the For Sale info online. Love what you do! Sorry...can only post anonymously.

  3. Hey Laurel, gerat looking floors! I was actually trying to find your contact info on the site but didn't see it. Can you shoot me a message to bryanvu{at}builddirect{dot}com?


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