Josh Burbidge, Flooring Director, Atkinson & Kirby, discusses restoring floors to their former glory and the unique challenges and opportunities it offers
Restoring a run-down property can present any number of exciting and unique challenges. Often the biggest decision is whether to remove tired and damaged but irreplaceable original features, or attempt to return them to their former glory.
Flooring is often one of the most significant aspects of a development to present this dilemma. Depending on the project, you may be faced with once-beautiful mosaic tiles, now cracked and incomplete, or formerly elegant parquet flooring, blemished by missing and damaged blocks.
Atkinson & Kirby is an industry leader in hardwood flooring. Helping architects and contractors to achieve their vision for beautifully restored parquet flooring in large scale projects is one of our specialisms. We’ve been involved in a number of painstaking restorations and have limitless advice which can make the process of bringing hardwood flooring back to life as simple as possible, while always respecting the beauty of the original feature.
The first stage of the process should be to identify how much of the flooring is missing or damaged beyond repair. Sometimes – especially in smaller projects – searching the building for stashes of blocks, which have come loose, can prove worthwhile. Storerooms, garages or outbuildings could be hiding valuable pieces of the puzzle.
If you’re working on a large-scale project and it’s clear that you will you need a high quantity of replacement blocks, contacting a hardwood flooring supplier should be your first step. Atkinson & Kirby will dedicate an advisor to help you with your project. They will ask for a sample of the flooring that you are trying to recreate, and will then identify the wood, the finish and cut of the block and seek to match it exactly.
Parquet flooring blocks come in all shapes and sizes, and our experts will manufacture or source exactly what you need. We have seen a trend lately for chevron flooring, both in new floors and restoration projects. While the more traditional herringbone pattern uses rectangular blocks to create the appearance of a ‘broken’ zig zag, the angled edges of chevron blocks combine to produce a true ‘V’ pattern across the floor.
Morecambe’s iconic Midland Hotel, famed for its art deco styling and the host of stars including Coco Chanel, called on Atkinson & Kirby to provide chevron parquet as part of its extensive revamp by Urban Splash. The Grade II Listed building is fitted with Jatoba Strip in the ground floor dining and function rooms, restoring the 1930s glamour of the venue’s heyday.
Whether your project demands a chevron, herringbone, basketweave or any other style of parquet, in any type or shade of wood, a perfect match can be produced.
When you have filled in the missing pieces of the parquet puzzle, Atkinson & Kirby will advise on a faultless finish. The end result should be seamless, with no discernible difference between the original blocks and the new additions. It should also stand the test of time, providing an elegant, charming and luxurious foundation to your renovation project for years to come.