David Gunton's Hardwood Floors.
Grange Lane, Winsford,
Cheshire, CW7 2PS
Tel: +44 (0)1606 861 442
Fax: +44 (0)1606 861 445

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Harewood House


Large old stately houses like Harewood House (click the name to go to their site) are constantly in need of repairs and maintenance. It is costly to keep on top of all the jobs that need doing and requires constant vigilance. Occasionally the weather seeks out weak spots and attacks them with some vigour.

The lobby to the Royal guest suite has a glazed domed skylight. Heavy rains found their way through its wooden frame. Water poured forth onto the yew floor below.

The damage was not extensive. The water found its way through the wax and shellac finishes, washing it off completely in places and causing water blooming below the remaining finish. The water also got into some open joints and softened the animal glue with which this hand made floor was fixed back in 1930. Some of the fingers of the parquet curled up and partially detached themselves from the base.


Our brief was to restore the floor without removing the patina of age. The floor had been very well maintained up until the flooding. There was no excess build up of wax, which is a credit to the house staff.

However, the floor has been trafficked for 80 or more years. There are the sorts of indentations and minor scratches one would expect in a floor of that age. These are part of the character of the floor so were to be preserved rather than removed.

However, the flood had resulted in unsightly damage that is not to be preserved. A metal bucket had been placed to catch the falling water. Unfortunately, the water on the floor reacted with the rim of the bucket and the tannins in the yew, producing a ring of iron tannate which can be seen here as a black mark. These sorts of marks are not capable of being washed away by normal household cleaning.

A shrinkage split in the sycamore of the representation of the coronet had also filled with dirt over the years.


So, here is the restored coronet.

We have removed the black slash in the sycamore rim and replaced it with a colour matched filler made of sycamore dust and cellulose filler.

And... where has that bucket stain gone? We magicked it away.


This is the restored floor.

The somewhat harsh brightness of the polish will soften over a day or two to an attractive sheen.





This is Harewood House. Well worth a visit - but you will not get to see the restored floor because it is in the private apartments.

Go to more Restorations.