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Restoring Historical Hardwood Floors in Philadelphia Commercial Spaces

Are you the owner or manager of a commercial space in Philadelphia with historic hardwood floors?

Restoring these floors can be a challenging yet rewarding process.

In this blog post, we will explore:

  • unique challenges faced when restoring hardwood floors in historic Philadelphia buildings
  • specific challenges in buildings used for commercial purposes
  • the numerous benefits that come with wood restoration

So, let’s get started!

Historical significance of hardwood floors

The historical significance of hardwood floors in Philadelphia commercial spaces cannot be underestimated. These floors add value and character to the buildings, creating a sense of authenticity and charm.

This charm is what makes Philadelphia so special!

However, restoring historic commercial hardwood flooring requires careful consideration of the specific challenges posed by their age and original materials.

One of the main challenges faced during restoration is age-related damage.

Challenges of restoration

Over time, Philadelphia flooring can become worn, scratched, or warped. Additionally, the limited availability of original materials can make it difficult to seamlessly match and repair damaged areas of old wood floors.

Be cause of this, restoring hardwood floors in historic Philadelphia buildings often requires the expertise of specialized craftsmen –  like those at Hudson Hardwood.

Furthermore, there are legal considerations that need to be taken into account during the hardwood restoration process.

Legal considerations

There are many consideration to take into account when renovating the original flooring in a historical commercial space.


  • permits
  • historic preservation codes
  • local ordinances

These codes and ordinances must be followed to ensure compliance with regulations.

Legal guidelines aim to protect the historical integrity of the buildings and the original wood, and to ensure that the heritage renovation is carried out in a responsible and appropriate manner.

Aesthetic considerations

Aesthetics play a crucial role in the restoration of hardwood floors.

Different approaches and considerations are taken to determine the desired outcome.

Some factors to consider:

  • maintaining the original patina
  • matching existing floors
  • balancing modern design elements  with the old

These are just a few of the factors to consider when restoring hardwood floors in commercial spaces. Striking the right balance between preserving historical authenticity while incorporating contemporary design elements is key.

Restoration techniques

Various techniques and methodologies are used for restoring historical hardwood floors.

These techniques and methodologies include:

  1. Strip and refinish: This involves removing the existing finish and layers of grime using chemical strippers or sanding, followed by applying a new finish or stain to protect and enhance the wood.
  2. Patching and repairs: Damaged or missing sections of hardwood flooring can be patched by carefully removing and replacing individual planks or sections with matching wood species and grain patterns.
  3. Deep cleaning: Often historical hardwood floors accumulate years of dirt, wax, or polish buildup. Professional hardwood floor cleaning deep cleaning methods, such as steam cleaning or using specialized wood floor cleaners, can help remove deep-seated dirt and restore the original luster.
  4. Sanding and refinishing: If the existing finish is worn or damaged, sanding the floor to remove the old finish and then refinishing it with stains, sealants, or varnishes can revitalize the wood.
  5. Bleaching and staining: Bleaching can be used to lighten dark or discolored areas on the floor, while staining can be employed to add color or match the existing wood tone.
  6. Preservation: Preserving historical hardwood floors may involve using non-invasive methods to clean, repair, and maintain the original character and patina.
  7. Hand scraping and distressing: These techniques mimic the antique look of older hardwood floors by manually scraping, denting, or adding wear marks to the wood surface.
  8. Replication: In some cases, damaged or missing sections of historical hardwood floors may require replicating the original design. Skilled craftsmen can recreate intricate patterns or inlays using matching wood species.

It’s worth noting that the specific techniques and methodologies used for restoring historical hardwood floors can vary depending on factors such as the age, condition, and type of wood flooring, as well as the desired outcome and preservation guidelines.

Professional expertise and a thorough understanding of historical preservation principles (for all types of hardwood flooring) are essential for successfully restoring and maintaining historical hardwood floors.

Each step (and wood maintenance) is crucial in reviving the beauty and functionality of the original hardwood floors.

Benefits of restoration

The benefits of restoring hardwood floors in commercial spaces are numerous. Here are just a few:

  1. Property value: Restoring historical hardwood flooring can significantly increase property value.
  2. Historical integrity: Preserving the historical integrity of your historical floors contributes to the overall character and appeal of the building.
  3. Visual aesthetics: The visual aesthetics of restored hardwood floors can greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal, ambiance, and atmosphere of the space.

The benefits of restoring all historic hardwood floor types are numerous. Not only do they add value to the building, but they also provide a sense of authenticity and character that is hard to replicate with newer materials.

Antique flooring has stood the test of time and have a story to tell, and restoring them allows that story to continue.

Restoring the charm

The restoration of historic hardwood floors in Philadelphia’s commercial spaces brings with it a set of challenges, legal considerations, and aesthetic choices.

However, the benefits of having antique floors are well worth the effort! These floors contribute significantly to the value, character, aesthetic enhancements and appeal of the buildings in Philadelphia.

With the right expertise and approach, restoring historical hardwood floors can create a truly remarkable space that pays homage to the building’s rich history while embracing modern design trends.

Hudson Hardwood

Historic wood floor restoration is unique.

Hudson Hardwood understands the importance of maintaining the charm and authenticity of your historic hardwood floors in your restoration project. We specialize in the preservation of these unique flooring surfaces in Philadelphia’s commercial spaces.

Our team of experts is well-versed in the legal considerations involved with restoring historic wood flooring. We ensure legal compliance with your flooring renovation, and that all necessary permits and regulations are followed to protect the integrity of the building and its historical value.

  1. Aesthetic choices: We work closely with our clients to understand their vision and goals for the historic wood floors in their space. Whether they want to enhance the original character or incorporate modern design elements, we have the knowledge and expertise to bring their vision to life.
  2. Meticulous care and attention to detail: We understand the unique challenges that come with with commercial renovation and wood refinishing and restoring historic floors, and we have the skills and experience to overcome them.
  3. Our process: Our flooring restoration process involves carefully removing any damaged or deteriorated sections, sanding down the surface to reveal the natural beauty of the wood, and applying the necessary finishes to enhance its durability and shine.

If you have an old wood floor restoration project in your commercial space, reach out to Hudson Hardwood today! We cover all the needs of Philly hardwood floors.

Let us preserve the beauty and charm of your historic flooring and create a space that seamlessly combines history and modern design.

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