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A collection of blogs that are intended to help you steward your old wood floors. I cover a wide range of topics and rely on personal experience to help guide you.

Put a Little Trust in Your Future

I am an old house junkie. Working on older homes has always been far more enjoyable than tackling something that is just coming out of the ground and usually surrounded by a lake of red mud. Be honest with yourself and you will probably realize that there is an old…

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Waging War to Save Worn Wood Floors

For a long time, the knee jerk reaction to fixing any issue with a wood floor was to sand it. It didn’t make any difference what the problem was, the solution was to sand it down. And while the floors were being sanded, there was always the question, “how many…

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Special Events Protection

It is not unusual for a private residence to assume a role or be exposed to conditions it is not ordinarily meant to endure. Wedding receptions, open houses or cameo appearances involving throngs of people and professionals can present some real challenges. These events can and should be a source…

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Steam Cleaning a Wood Floor: A Recipe for Disaster.

It seems like the older I get, the harder it is for me to take some questions seriously. With the countless ways of delivering information, it doesn’t get any easier. So, when someone asked me if I would recommend steam cleaning a wood floor, I had no idea they were…

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The “In House Move”:  Discovering Space

A lot of people are choosing to stay in their homes instead of selling. Often times, they focus on improving and updating what they have via remodeling or restoration. One of the challenges they face is what to do with their “stuff” when the workers show up to start the…

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Clean & Recoat Gallery: A Look at Some Before/After Shots of Renewed Floors Using Clean & Recoat.

Start: This photo shows a kitchen floor after 10 years of hard use. Notice the color difference around the perimeter. The darker color is where the finish hasn’t experienced so much wear and you can still see the original color. The lighter shade in the main traffic area is from wear…

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The Mentor

When people ask me how I got into the hardwood flooring business, I’ve joked that I was genetically engineered, but there’s more than a bit of truth to that. My dad, William.B. Purser, went into the hardwood flooring business in 1947, not long after he left the army. He started…

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The Value of Clean & Green

There is little doubt that wood floors in residential houses are the most highly prized material ever put under our feet or furniture. Ask any realtor or look at any real estate advertising and it is clear that wood floors increase the value of a home and facilitate its sale.…

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Understanding Clean & Recoat:  When, Why & How

Are your wood floors experiencing a bit of a mid-life crisis? Are they showing signs of “finish fatigue” after being refinished some 10-25 years ago? Is there a duller look and do you see a chalky appearance where the chairs sit around the breakfast table? Are there visual reminders of…

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Vanishing Floors

If you are a wood floor contractor and working on an older home you get accustomed to a frequently asked question; “How many more times can my floor be sanded?” Thirty years ago, the question might not have been considered too important. That is not the case today. With the…

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Walking the Walk on Waterborne Finishes

When we bought our house in January of 1994, it looked ok from the outside but inside, it was a complete disaster. There were frozen and ruined radiators and of course no AC. The plumbing didn’t work at all. The electrical was the old nob and tube and looked primeval.…

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Winterthur – The Window on our Past

I don’t have any idea how many museums I have toured over the years but Winterthur is off in a category all by itself. Nestled in the rolling hills outside of Wilmington, DE, Winterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts and offers visitors the most unique collection of…

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Wood Floors – The Tellers of Stories

One of the things that make restoring old wood floors so interesting is that they often tell a much better story of the house than any other surface. This was especially true of James & Dolley Madison’s Montpelier. The main section of the house dated to 1765. The latest addition…

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Restoration 101: Dodging the DIY Minefields

I didn’t do all that well when I took Algebra I. I tripped over “variables” big time. I was accustomed to constants, like numbers. You either added, subtracted, multiplied or divided numbers, right?  Not any more, because with Algebra there was a twist - variables! Instead of friendly numbers, equations now…

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Acrylic Waxes on Hardwood Floors?  Be Careful What You Wish For!

Most homeowners with hardwood floors eventually get to the point where the original luster of their refinished floors begins to dull down. This is normal, especially when small children, pets and an active social schedule are involved. A few coatings manufacturers provide cleaning products to remove dirt and grime but…

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Claws on a Floor

As someone who has had many pets over his lifetime, I understand the challenges of domestic pets and hardwood floors as well as anyone. Here is some information I have collected to enable you to enjoy your pets and protect your floors. Scratches & Indentations:  Take the weight of the…

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Recoating – A High Value Option

Many homeowners are learning that recoating a wood floor is a practical and common sense approach to improving the look of a surface known to give them headaches. Typically, the floors have been refinished within the last 15 – 20 years and are simply showing some fatigue and in need…

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Shame on Consumer Reports

If you want to get peoples' attention, just tell them they are going to save money. Sometimes, however, money-saving advice can have some serious long-term downsides. An article in ShopSmart magazine is a good case in point. ShopSmart is a publication of the Consumer Reports Foundation. They advise consumers how and…

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The Moisture Trap

How much quality time have you spent in the crawlspace or basement of your house? If you’re like most people, you avoid going there and only do so when there is a problem. They’re often poorly lit, if not totally dark. They are usually damp and this opens the door…

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Filler Facts:  Wood Filler Isn’t Always the Right Solution

When homeowners see wood floors being refinished, there are usually a lot of questions. With older homes, one of the most common questions concerns the linear cracks that parallel the direction of the wood. They don’t get a lot of attention until you get old finishes and stains off the…

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Floorcloths: Rich History, Design & Color

Few surfaces present more of a design opportunity than wood floors. They make a perfect backdrop to add color, texture, and design to a background rich in its own color and character. Many have taken advantage of this opportunity and produced stunning interiors. I think everyone is accustomed to seeing…

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Floor Cleaning Reminders

Let’s make sure you are ready when your attention turns to your wood floors. There are several items you might want to check so that you aren’t regretting it later in the year. Floor protectors: Inspect any chairs or small items to make sure the floor protectors are still in…

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Passive Refinishing® Solves a Tennessee Conundrum 

When houses are being built, decisions are often made that at the time seem perfectly logical. Such was the case in a recent project in a gem of a house in Knoxville, TN. When the house was being built in the 1930s, a decision was made to install decorative face…

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