For years builders and developers in Houston subscribed to the theory that newer is better. A bungalow built before World War II? Tear it down. Floors that show their age? Pull them up. More recently, however, there has been a movement to advocate for the value and historical significance of some of the city’s older structures. Groups like Preservation Houston have organized in an effort to save homes and buildings and to promote the concepts of preservation and renovation. Not only does preservation make sense economically, it encourages a sense of community and connection between generations.
At Schenck & Company, we believe strongly in preservation – and we are pleased to have played a role in several significant preservation projects including refurbishing and restoring the floors at Bayou Bend and Rienzi, two magnificent mansions owned by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. We also restored the floors in the Samuel May Williams home on Galveston Island – and were honored with a Craftsmanship Award from the Galveston Historical Foundation.
Preserving a wood floor generally involves restoring it to its original beauty. The wood floor is stripped of an aging finish, either with chemical strippers or by slightly abrading the surface of the wood. Damaged flooring planks that are beyond repair are replaced with planks of the same vintage and the entire floor is sealed and finished. The goal is not to create a perfect floor, but to maintain the character and patina of the aging wood and to enhance its natural beauty – all the while protecting the wood from future damage. With regular maintenance, preserved wood floors will last for generations.