During the design process our design team and client considered a number of different flooring layouts and materials. Initially, the homeowner was interested in marmoleum in the kitchen, hardwood in the living room and halls, tile in the bathrooms, and a thick jute carpet in the bedrooms. Eventually this idea was abandoned for hardwood flooring throughout (with the exception of the bathrooms which would be tile), as it would present a consistent look, and simplify cleaning.
In the spirit of conservation, our designers recommended reusing as much of the original heart pine flooring as possible. Heart pine has a striking grain pattern and yellowish hue, and much of the wood on the top floor was in relatively good condition as carpet had been installed on top of the hardwood in most of the rooms. Since significant structural repairs were necessary on the lower level floor joists and foundation (the entire first floor and most of the joists had to be removed and replaced), we did not attempt to reuse the flooring on that level. Rather, our goal was to use floor boards salvaged from the first floor to “tooth in” areas of the second floor that were damaged beyond repair. According to plan, we patched, sanded, and finished the upstairs flooring and stairs with a clear, water-based sealer so as to maintain the natural color of the wood. With the exception of the master suite, we were able to use original flooring wood throughout the entire second floor.
For the down stairs level we settled on wide-plank hickory flooring (5” wide) which is more costly than the standard 2 ¼” flooring, but in our client’s opinion, provided a more elegant finish. We were able to select a special batch of wood with an active grain pattern, which was delivered to the job site and left to sit for seven days before installation. It is important to allow flooring wood to acclimate to the environment in which it is to be installed, so as to eliminate expansion or contraction after installation. Once the waiting period was up, we installed the hickory planks throughout the lower level (with the exception of the guest bath and master bath), after which the floor was sanded, and finished with a clear sealer.