When Trings Zoology museum was looking for a reliable wood flooring contractor, Criterion flooring were invited to quote and outline an approach to refurbish the wood flooring in the museum with minimum impact  on the daily footfall of Tring’s’ most popular attraction. Sanctioned by the manager at the History Museum in South Kensington, the Tring Zoology management team wanted a local supplier whose costs were competitive and would be prepared to work in a flexible way.

Manager Paul commented;

“We felt it was appropriate to use an experienced local supplier. The environment in the Museum is critical and is carefully monitored to ensure a warm, dry atmosphere to help preserve the exhibits. Costs were also important, we don’t have a limitless budget and wanted to both refurbish the existing flooring in gallery one and organise a longer term maintenance contract. The flooring hadn’t been touched for 138 years when it was first built by the Rothchild family, so it was due a little TLC.”

Oil v Lacquered wood flooring

MD Neil Smith put a plan in place to present to Paul and Ian of how they would approach the job and how by working in stages in blocks of time from 5pm-10.30pm they could minimise the impact on the visitors to the museum.

During this meeting Neil asked how the flooring was presently maintained and was told it was lacquered periodically and then ‘mopped’ regularly to keep it clean. Neil suggested that by oiling the floor instead of lacquering the finish would be better and would avoid the ‘regular mopping’ which could cause moisture damage . Indeed tell tale signs of damp were discovered…  blocks of wood near the display cases having to be replaced and ‘silver fish’ being spotted by the cleaners,  again clear signs of damp creeping in.

Neils suggested approach was rather than lacquering the wood to maintain it which required mopping, the wood could be oiled and then maintained by using a suction vacuum hoover to eliminate walked in dust and dirt. Oiling the floor is done by lightly sanding the surface before applying a protective coating of wood flooring oil. This was an important observation since it is critical that the animal exhibits are kept dry to avoid any kind of deterioration.

Neil and his team spent 4 nights at the museum carefully refurbishing the parquet wood flooring in stages so that one area at a time was roped off whilst the others stayed open and then they would move on to the next aisle in subsequent evenings.

Paul and Ian were unanimous in their response;

The difference is amazing! The floor looks so good we want to extend the refurbishment to the other galleries over a period of time which will transform the look of the museum. Neil and his team have done and excellent job and we will use Criterion Flooring for the on going maintenance of the floor to keep it looking pristine (and dry!) for the foreseeable future”