Invisible Repairs Hardwood Floor

Invisible Repairs For a Hardwood Floor

My company is featured in the April/May 2014 edition of Fine Homebuilding Magazine for the unique way we repair historic hardwood floors. Here is a large portion of the article available for free only to The Craftsman Blog family. Enjoy! Other than refinishing hardwood floors, the most common repair my restoration company gets called to do [...] Read on →

rot resistant wood

Choosing Rot Resistant Wood

Old houses are constantly having to deal with wood rot and insect damage. While the old-growth wood used in houses built before the turn of the 20th Century are a more rot resistant wood than anything available today, no wood is rot or insect proof.  Insects and fungi (aka rot) love soft wood. Preferably soft, [...] Read on →

Living in the Past Book

My New eBook is Now Available!

Today is a big day at The Craftsman Blog! For the past year and a half, I have been toiling to write my first full-length book about historic homes. Today that book goes from idea to reality! I’m doing a HUGE one week only sale for all my readers and their friends. If you have [...] Read on →

Wood Finishes

Selecting The Right Wood Finish

You could fill a library with the different ways of finishing wood. There are oils and lacquers, urethanes and stains, sealers and varnishes. Some are wiped on, some are sprayed, while still others are brushed on. I could fill a book on just this subject alone so this post will be more of a primer to [...] Read on →

Polyurethane Heart Pine

All About Polyurethane

If you have hardwood floors in your old house the chances are good that they are coated with a protective layer of polyurethane. Today, polyurethane is by far the most popular finish choice for wood floors. Here’s what you need to know. Polyurethane, while not revered by woodworkers and furniture makers, is usually the best [...] Read on →

The finished product of the bedroom. Paint, floors and radiator (Not bad for a first try!)

My First “Restoration”

In 2001 I had just returned to New York City from a year in Tokyo performing for Walt Disney. It was a fantastic experience living in a such a different culture and country, but I was happy to be back home in America. The lease had run out on my old apartment and I was [...] Read on →

How To Care For Hardwood Floors

How To: Care For Hardwood Floors

We do a lot of hardwood floor refinishing at Austin Home Restorations and I often get asked by clients how they should care for their newly refinished wood floors. There is a specific timeline of how to treat and care for a wood floor after it was just refinished. In this post I’ll outline what [...] Read on →

Image credit: kyolshin / 123RF Stock Photo

My Old House Stinks!

Old houses can smell. Not always, but many do. Maybe your house had the crazy cat lady or a bunch of fraternity brothers who never cleaned up after wild parties. The older your house is the more likely you had a dirty occupant at one point in its life. The best you can do is [...] Read on →

How To Repair Hardwood Floors

How To: Repair Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are synonymous with old homes. It’s almost impossible to find an old home without them. And yet they are disappearing because people don’t realize how resilient and long-lasting they are. Unknowing homeowners and contractors rip out or cover up these amazing floors when they could be saved and used for another 100+ years! [...] Read on →

Mix Wood Finish

How To: Make Your Own Wood Finish

Wood finish comes in as many varieties as there are species of wood. And they all have their time, place and use. Probably the most useful wood finish In my cabinet is my own homemade wiping varnish. And the good news is you can make your own too! It costs much less than the store [...] Read on →

Before repairs

5 Worst Mistakes of Historic Homeowners (Part 2 Floors)

Living here in the Sunshine State it seems that folks have an unusual penchant for $0.69 sq. ft. 20″ tiles. The most popular colors are blah, boring, and blech. People love to toss these tiles down over red oak, irreplaceable heart pine, and any number of historic floors. And these tile are spreading like a [...] Read on →

Hand hewn plank floor similar to the first forms of wood flooring.

A History of Wood Floors

History Flooring, just like everything else in the home had humble beginnings. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, and that was typically slate or other local stones. Royalty were the first to enjoy the comforts of wood floors. These first wood floors were hand-scraped and literally “sanded.” The workers would lay down rough [...] Read on →