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Putting it right

Our client was at her wits’ end. Her beautiful oak floor had been ravaged by careless builders: water stains, scratches and scuffing. We won the contract to rescue a floor that other floor fitters dare not tackle. First of all, the boards on the ground floor had to be sanded down until all the damage had disappeared. The client wanted to keep the textured floor she originally had, to emphasize the wood grain – but here’s the problem: wire-brushed flooring is normally done by the timber suppliers supplying a factory finish, pre-finished board.

What is wire brushing

Wire-brushing accentuates the grain in timber. A wire brush removes the soft fibres faster than the hard fibres. The result is a very attractive finish leaving the hard fibres slightly proud, so you can see and feel the texture, it also helps with achieving multi-coloured effects in a floor. Such a result is very difficult to achieve after the floor has been fitted. However, HS Wood Flooring knew a way to do the job.

An eye-catching floor

This demanded an act of faith by the client. The team had seldom used the new wire brushing process and this would have been the largest project of its kind encountered to date. But the result was better than anyone expected and, to achieve the solid white colour that was desired, we used a product that is difficult over larger areas: a white reactive wood stain, followed by a coat of a very white, Osmo Snow colour oil, then sealed with Osmo hardwax oil. The effect is absolutely stunning. This floor was now an eye-catching part of the interior décor.

Talent for interior design

The client, Kerstin, has a talent for interior design though she has never been trained. She has a good eye for colour and knows how to make an attractive use of space. She is adventurous with materials, finishes and kitchen accessories. However, her vision for her home was thwarted by the incompetence and greed by pirate builders.

One disaster after another

Kerstin sought an architect to bring reality to her ideas. This was the first of many misfortunes. He introduced builders who had no qualifications and no experience of running a company. Cowboys no less. Promises were made and broken. They were fired along with the architect. A second team of so-called builders came promising to complete the project in five weeks; five months later there was little to show for their efforts. One morning the builder left with the pretext that he had to buy more materials but never came back. However, he left his mark by emptying an enormous amount of paint in the pump system, just for spite. “It was a nightmare,” said Kerstin. “we moved out when the works started and six months later found the property looking like a builders’ tip. The electrician left the circuits in a dangerous state and boiler was not installed to the correct specifications. I felt sorry for my neighbours who had to put up with the dust and noise for over two years.”

… at last some progress

Eventually, new builders, with a track record known to Kerstin, were employed to complete the refurbishment. Everything but the floor was done.  When they pulled off the protective black plastic sheets covering the floor they saw how grit, loose screws and dirt had been ground into the floorboards. They told her the floor was beyond repair.

The challenge overcome

Kerstin approached The Natural Wood Flooring Company who suggested four wood floor fitters. Three of them declined the job after seeing the state of the floor. However, Tim Hobern rose to the opportunity. “I was impressed with his knowledge of wood and his willingness to help. He had a good look at the appalling condition of the floor but wasn’t put off, he clearly relished the challenge. What’s more, he struck me as reliable which was important after all my problems,” said Kerstin. “At last, I have my dream home!”

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