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Wood Floor Trend Spotting: Protecting the Heritage in a Small Aussie Town

Ryan Kushner
Phil Waine salvaged this red stringybark from a 1850s cottage.
Phil Waine salvaged this red stringybark from a 1850s cottage.

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Dalton is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, with an abundance of historic homes.

“Most of the old floors are cypress, and the really old ones are red stringybark,’’ says Phil Waine, owner of Phil’s Timber Flooring. Recently, there’s been an influx of folks from the city of Sydney buying up old Dalton homes, and a common flooring request has been black or gray stains.

Waine, who works primarily on antique floors, makes his opinion on the trends clear. “The cypress doesn’t take stains well, and the red stringy is just too beautiful to mess with,” he says. “So I basically refuse to do it!” Many clients end up thanking Waine for talking them out of staining the historic floors. “I love the natural beauty and character of timber,” Waine says. “I’m old and stubborn and not interested in ‘trends’!”

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