Wood Floor of the Week: Bringing New Life to an Award-Winning Gem | Wood Floor Business

Wood Floor of the Week: Bringing New Life to an Award-Winning Gem

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The 2005 article about the original winning floor, left, and the floor today after restoration from water damage.
The 2005 article about the original winning floor, left, and the floor today after restoration from water damage.

“When I saw the floor I didn’t pinpoint it, but it looked familiar. The first thing the homeowner did was bring out the original magazine that it was published in,” says Dan Reddy of Reddy's Hardwood Flooring Inc. in Villa Park, Ill. The floor that had won Floor of the Year in the Best Library/Office category in 2005 for now-defunct Chicago-based Birger Juell Ltd. had suffered water damage, and Reddy had been brought in to restore the floor.

Crafted out of the curly cherry from one tree, the floor had been designed by Chuck Crispin, then with Birger Juell, and created by Distinctive Hardwood Floors’ Dan Antes and Flame Figured Wood's Kent Mcpherson. Interestingly, earlier this year a mutual acquaintance had referred Reddy to work with Crispin on the restoration of the Pritzker Military Library floors in Chicago. “It was kind of a coincidence that here we are a couple months later working on one of their projects, but Birger Juell owned Chicago for quite a while, so they have some gems out there for sure,” Reddy says. [Editor’s note: Hear Crispin talk about his years at Birger Juell and how Dan Antes got into the wood flooring business on Crispin's episode of the “All Things Wood Floor” podcast.]

A restoration company had already dried out the floor, and fortunately the only residual damage was to the hand-scraped floor’s original wax finish, which was ruined. Reddy cleaned the floor, stripped it, burnished in a coat of oil and then a new coat of wax, bringing new life to a floor that had special meaning to the homeowner. "Her husband has passed away, and this was his office and his floor, and she said he was in love with it … she was happy to have it brought back to life,” Reddy says. “She was pretty thrilled to know somebody was on the job who knew what the floor was and where it came from, and that it was a special floor.”

SUPPLIERS:

Abrasive: 3M | Buffer: American Sanders | Finish, Stain: DuraSeal | Flooring: Distinctive Hardwood Floors Inc.

After the area was dried, the wood flooring finish was dull and faded, with slight discoloration.After the area was dried, the wood flooring finish was dull and faded, with slight discoloration.

The curly cherry floor after re-oiling and waxing.The curly cherry floor after re-oiling and waxing.

The curly cherry floor after re-oiling and waxing.The curly cherry floor after re-oiling and waxing.

The floor's profile in the June/July 2005 issue of Hardwood Floors (now Wood Floor Business).The floor's profile in the June/July 2005 issue of Hardwood Floors (now Wood Floor Business).

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