To restore or replace?

An Entrance Hall Story

We were delighted to uncover a beautiful red herringbone quarry tile floor when we first moved in. However, the subfloor was in need of repair and had moved subsequently damaging and moving the tiles. Not to mention the dodgy concrete repairs and missing tiles where the divide for the flats had been.

The concrete needed to come up…

It was hard, sweaty work even with the chisel attachment! Then it was sealed to reduce the dust.

Meanwhile, the internal door at the bottom of the stairs was reinstated, new partitions built and plastered. As well as blocking up archways and creating openings to the existing kitchen from the hallway. If you haven’t read the post about the external works we basically had an entrance on the side of the house and we moved it to the front, so this additional blocking/opening doorways was to help with the new ground floor layout.

After contacting several national reclamation yards and having samples delivered, we couldn’t find a good match. So reluctantly we decided to replace. Initially I was looking at the same style, then looked at alternative tile options. I even drew up a tile layout plan to work out how many tiles we would need. Also inevitably the whole floor needed to come up anyway so we could repair the subfloor.

Left – samples from Tile Giant, Centre and Right – Bert and May Showroom London

However, after much deliberation we decided to opt for a herringbone oak floor. I contacted one of my work suppliers, Havwoods, and selected a few samples. We had a local joiner to undertake the work – screed the floor, lay the oak planks and seal with Osmo oil (matt).

Top (left to right) – Subfloor required some repair, wet screed, painted stair risers. Bottom – various stages of laying the oak herringbone planks

I absolutely love the floor. It makes me smile every time I walk down the stairs. Although it’s nice to keep original features where you can, I’ve also learnt to make sure you do what you want and not to be too influenced by what’s ‘on trend’. And try not to make too many compromises.

Published by Kirsty Gordon

A technical and creative interior designer blogging about my home renovation