2022 WFOY: Best in Historic Restoration

State of the Art Wood Floor Gallery | New York, New York

Best in Historic Restoration Photo 1
Photos Courtesy of State of the Art Wood Floor Gallery

Entries in this category include all types of restoration projects, replacements, or repairs, in either a residential or commercial application.

When Eric Herman of State of the Art Floor Gallery found himself on the parlor level of this historic five-story New York City townhouse, he was at a loss for words.

“My first impression was ‘wow.’ I had never worked on or seen anything like this. As to what kind of pattern it is, I looked at it as psychedelic,” explains Herman. “The floor originally was installed for a famous musician. To my knowledge, it was his design.”

When Herman inspected the old floor, made of old-growth quartersawn white oak, he saw numerous areas with water damage. While the owners wanted to keep the floor, they also were not fond of the yellowed color.

“We removed different planks and cleaned what we could as we wanted to use existing wood wherever possible,” says Herman. “We couldn’t sand it like a regular floor, as it was paper-thin. That said, we didn’t want to rip out the floor either. We decided not to use a traditional sanding method and instead used a Lägler Trio.”

The next challenge for Herman was finding new wood for areas of the floor that needed to be replaced.

Best in Historic Restoration Close Up Photo“Because we could not get old-growth wood, we used bundles of rift and quartersawn wood, and we chose the wood with the most fleck. We sifted through it to find the best wood we could,” explains Herman. “We milled those down to 3/8” as per the rest of the floor and patched those areas in. We put face nails back in, oxidizing the nails to make them look like they had been there forever.”

The finishing process also involved bleaching the new wood and using different reactive stains to match the background color of the original floor.

“It took a lot of work, but this was a floor that a lot of care, energy, and time went into when it was originally installed, and we wanted to take the same approach during the restoration,” says Herman. “We’re very proud of the outcome.”

Detail of Finish Process: The floor was sanded with a Lägler Hummel and finished with a Lägler Trio, and then two coats of Rubio Monocoat Oil were applied.

Installation Type: Nail Down
Flooring Type: Solid
Flooring Finish: Rubio Monocoat
Finish Sheen: Matte
Species: Old Growth White Oak, Maple, Wenge
Pattern: Custom
Square Feet: 1,500

Click on the links below to learn more about that floor, the other category winners, and to see a showcase of all projects entered into the contest. And be sure to check out upcoming episodes of the NWFA Wood Talk podcast, as Brett Miller, VP of technical standards, training, and certification, will have in-depth discussions with WFOY winners about their projects.

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