Inside Jobs: Tackling the Vintage Hardwoods

It's been a while since we posted, but work continues at Norris House!  Today's topic: the vintage hardwood floors inside. 

The good news: there are hardwood floors all throughout Norris House.  In fact, the house had hardwoods nearly everywhere except its 7 bathrooms, where ceramic hexagonal tile appeared.  As best we can tell, the hardwood floors date back to the 1930s period, when Norris House was converted from a single family residence into a boarding house.

The bad news: the hardwoods are not all in the greatest shape.  The underlying structural issues, settlement over the years and invasive water have left us with some gaping holes, and more than a few undulations.  There are also some holes bored in odd places straight through the floor where prior owners ran cables and conduit.  In some of areas of the house, the floors were so warped they looked like the top of a humpback chest!

The game plan is preservation, so we are keeping as many of the existing hardwoods as possible.  All of our structural repairs have allowed the floors to settle back into a more level position in lots of places. Where replacement hardwoods are needed, we'll weave new wood in with the old.  The team at Multi Floors is on the job, and they're using technology to get it done.  All of those chalk marks indicate areas of concern in the floors.  We weren't there when the Multi-Floors team did their work, but we were told that they did some kind of scanning that tracked all the different pitches of the floor across the room.  This technology will allow the team to settle on the best point to sand and refinish in restoring the floors.  At 138 years old and counting, it's not likely that Norris House will have perfectly level floors.  All the same, our team is working hard to minimize the slopes inside!