We appreciate the feedback we received after running a few ads in the Houston edition of Architectural Digest. After hearing positive things from some of our most respected colleagues, we decided to add an Advertising page to our website and feature a few of our favorite ads, both past, and present. Should we ad more? Take a look at the ad gallery and let us know what you think.
When Houston’s Memorial Day Weekend floods left approximately 6” of water in our Showroom and offices, we put our own wood floor drying techniques to the test. Through the use of fans, dehumidifiers, and floor drying mats, we are happy to report the floors are back to normal. We can provide the same service for your clients, friends and family who may have flooded.
As many of you know, I’m a Texan through and through. But when it comes to wood flooring, I look for ideas everywhere, even outside the Lone Star state. This time, my research took me all the way to The Netherlands where I found one of the most exciting products to hit the industry in a long time: Bolefloor naturally curved flooring. I’m pleased to say that Schenck & Company is now offering this breath-taking and eco-friendly alternative in Houston.
The innovators at Bolefloor – whose name is devised from “bole,” the trunk of a tree — have devised a way to cut curved planks to follow a tree’s natural growth. Each floorboard is as individual as the tree it came from. The result is less waste and high visual impact — a dynamic combination indeed.
Here’s how it works. You select from five different species of wood in three grades. After we measure your room, the experts at Bolefloor cut the wood planks and ship them to us. Though Bolefloor offers prefinished options, our preference is to install unfinished wood and to have our own craftsmen apply a custom stain and finish. That way, you get a floor ideally suited to your décor and specifications.
It wasn’t nature that created straight-edged wood planks, it was technology. And now state-of-the-art technology is enabling us to create wood floors — or even walls — as nature intended. I invite you to visit our showroom and see this amazing product for yourself. Just call or write for an appointment.
At Schenck & Company, we’re happy to announce that we have a new tool in our wood floor repair kit: floor-drying mats. These highly efficient mats can help save wooden floors that have been damaged by plumbing leaks and even minor flooding. They work much more quickly than dehumidifiers alone and they’re substantially more cost-effective than wood replacement.
Floor-drying mats use the power of a high-pressure blower to vacuum water vapor right up through the floor surface, replacing it with drier air. The mats are available in varying sizes that can be configured to fit rooms large and small. This flexibility means that multiple areas can be dried with one machine, with much less intrusion than the traditional tenting method. Best of all, since the floor-drying mats work so efficiently, damaged wood floors rarely have to be replaced and, in fact, often don’t require refinishing.
Floor drying mats can be used to dry large areas or small ones, where water may have leaked under a door, for example.
The mats can be applied directly onto the wettest areas of the floor and configured in whatever pattern best suits the situation.
Multiple mats can be hooked up to one vacuum, reducing the time it takes to dry a large floor.
If your floor sustains water damage – whether it’s from a malfunctioning freezer, a wayward icemaker, a leaky bath or heavy rains – don’t wait. Call or email us to set up an appointment. We’ll determine the solution most appropriate for your specific situation. So your fine wood floors will look their best.
People ask me all the time to recommend a finish for their wood floors. I personally love hand-rubbed wax and European oil finishes. But what I like personally may not be the best choice for your home or your family’s lifestyle. It’s important to consider how you live and to what sort of long-term maintenance you are willing to commit.
All floors require routine maintenance such as sweeping and dust-mopping. But long-term, different finishes have different maintenance requirements.
Wax and oil finishes can be touched up and brought back to their original luster with relative ease. To keep a floor looking its best, I often recommend that my clients schedule annual maintenance for their hand-rubbed floors. With regular care, a wax or oil finish will provide many years of warm, subtle beauty. Yet these natural finishes don’t hold up well to water, so they may not be the best choice for a family kitchen or busy powder room.
In areas where there is likely to be a lot of moisture, I usually recommend a polyurethane finish, which remains on the surface of the wood, thereby providing protection. There are a variety of polyurethanes and synthetic resins on the market today. The choice for a specific finish depends on the wood species, stain color, and other design elements. The main drawback to all surface finishes is that, over time, they will scratch and slightly discolor.
Choosing a finish for your wood floor isn’t difficult, it just requires that you consider the amount and type of traffic in your home and your long-term maintenance objective. It may be, in fact, that different rooms are finished differently. Often I recommend wax in the majority of the house but polyurethane in the baths and kitchens.
A fine wood floor finished appropriately, should work for you and your family, bringing you pleasure, not anxiety over little scratches and spilled milk.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people comment about the inconvenience of having the wood floors in their homes refinished. Comments like “Our floors really need to be sanded but it’s such a mess.” Or, “I’d like to have my floors redone but I don’t want to move out of the house.” It’s true that a complete sanding, staining and finishing job can take as long as two weeks. But with dustless sanders, the process is much cleaner that it used to be. And in many cases, a floor can be made to look noticeably better with a minor touch rather than a major refinish.
If rugs or lighter traffic have protected parts of a wood floor, or damage is limited to a specific area, it is very likely we can touch up and blend an area of the floor as opposed to refinishing the entire room. The inconvenience is minimal and the results remarkable.
Below are before and after photos of a floor we recently repaired in a West University bungalow.
Over time, water seepage and intense sunlight had damaged a section of the room’s oak floors.
Craftsmen from Schenck & Company spot sanded the area and blended a new finish with the undamaged portion of the floor. The entire process took less than three days.
Let us do an evaluation of your floors to determine if spot repair is an option in your home. Just call or email us to schedule an appointment.
Hurricane Ike left his mark, alright, and not the kind many of us want to remember. Even the Schenck Company showroom experienced minor flooding, despite my efforts to clear debris from the storm drain on North Main Street in front of our building. Thanks for the many phone calls from our friends who saw this photo in the Houston Chronicle or on one of many Ike-related websites. It was taken by AP/Houston Chronicle photographer, Smiley N. Pool.
In the wake of Ike, we’re receiving many inquiries about repairing floors damaged by water. The truth is, many of the floors we are looking at that are slightly cupped will flatten on their own, given sufficient time.
Right now your floors may look swollen and uneven. That’s due to a phenomenon called “cupping” which is explained in detail in the Damaged Floors section of our website. Under normal conditions, your wood floors should dry completely within three to twelve months, depending on how wet they are. The drying process can be accelerated by the use of fans and dehumidifiers. As the floor dries, the cupping subsides and it is possible that your floors may require nothing more than a good cleaning.
True, waiting for your wood floor to dry requires patience. Yet that patience will hopefully pay off in the long run when your floors can be restored to their original condition with minimal inconvenience.
I can’t remember who said “You’re never too old to learn” but it’s certainly true. I’ve been in the business for many years yet every time I attend the National Wood Flooring Association’s Education Conference, as I did this Spring, I learn something new.
This year, as you might expect, there was a lot of information on green products and tools. I even attended a breakout session on the subject, where I gained knowledge that will benefit me, my customers and, of course, the environment.
My favorite part of the conference though was the Expo, as it usually is. I was impressed with several innovative products. More importantly, I was inspired by some of the artisans whose work was on display. It was fascinating to the variety of wood combinations in use and the unusual patterns the artists have created.
After the conference, I reflected on my experience and made a commitment to myself: I will always continue to learn, I will forever remain a student. As I witnessed at the NWFA Conference & Expo, new ideas are out there, I just have to keep my mind open enough to find them.