25 years of fine wood floors
It all began with Robert Walsh, a 21 year old graduate, restoring reclaimed pine floorboards in his parents’ back garden… fast-forward 25 years Ted Todd continues to thrive with Robert firmly at the helm, bringing the finest wood floors to the market from around the world. Ted Todd began its journey with hard work, passion and a desire to push the boundaries. Originally focusing on restoring beautiful reclaimed floors, in 1995 Robert and his team were the first in the UK to create wide plank solid wood floors using new European Oak; from there Ted Todd as we know it began to take shape. Robert continues to source the unusual; the unique; the treasures of the past – alongside working with and guiding his team to explore the new. Ted Todd creates the trends and leads the way for the new classics to take hold.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary, September sees the launch of the finest Woodworks by Ted Todd collection to date. With historical, cultural, antique sources the Winter ’18 collection brings a contemporary take on beautiful wood with true stories to tell; as ever, treated with the utmost respect and care to retain the individual characteristics that make the wood so special.
War Office Pine
It’s not often that the opportunity to own wood with such great historical importance presents itself. This reclaimed British Columbian Pine was privy to the private conversations of Winston Churchill and key influential figures during both World Wars. Extracted from the Old War Office, an iconic landmark in London, it will soon get a new custodian, who will have the privilege of walking on floors that have been part of key events in British history.
The Old War Office, a neo-baroque building in Whitehall, was responsible for the administration of the British military during the major conflicts of the 20th century. Lord Kitchener and David Lloyd George had their offices here as did Sir Winston Churchill who helped mastermind Hitler’s demise in its rooms and corridors.
The construction of the Grade II listed building took 5 years to complete and served as a War Office from 1906 until 1964. After 1964 the building continued to be used by the Ministry of Defence, who referred to the building as the “Old War Office”. In 2014 the Old War Office was sold to Hinduja Group, with plans to redevelop the building into a five-star luxury hotel and 88 high-end apartments. With the development underway, Ted Todd became the custodians of the wood, which will be crafted into engineered planks, of varying widths and lengths.
The restoration process of this Colombian Pine was meticulous and Ted Todd’s artisans took extra care in ensuring that this wood, with such great historical importance, was never dishonoured. Utilising the timeless combination of beautiful old wood and meticulous craftsmanship we have crafted War Office Pine, a fully restored engineered reclaimed wood floor that embraces timeless elegance.
The wood takes on two different finishes - the first with a natural look and an oiled finish that lets the original patina of the wood shine through, the other a bleached version with more contrast between the board and the grain, also with an oiled finish.
This wood originally grew in old growth forests in British Colombia. Not only do these planks represent the ultimate in sustainable flooring, their compelling history is ready to begin a new chapter at the hands of the next owner.
English Estate Oak collection – introducing Bowthorpe & Ivenack…
Stored at the Ted Todd workshop for 20 years Robert knew from the get-go that this wood was something special. Originating from one of England’s finest stately homes, the species’ official name, Quercus Robur beautifully describes the outstanding quality of the wood: quercus, "oak" + robur "strength. A wonderfully hard and strong floor, it seemed only fitting that the newly restored boards receive an equally worthy title. The collection has been thoughtfully named after a similar oak species within England – the Bowthorpe Oak, in Lincolnshire is thought to be the oldest living oak in the country, estimated to be 1000 years old!
Bringing hundreds of years of history, aristocracy and culture with it, the Ted Todd team have respectfully crafted the wood to celebrate the natural beauty. Offering two finishes; the first, a natural look that lets the patina of the wood take centre stage; the other a bleached version to create a strong contrast between the board and the grain. Bringing the depth of history to life with a contemporary new look these boards will live on and evolve with a new home for hundreds of years to come.
The story of Dutch East Indies Teak
Take a journey in design, history and culture with Ted Todd’s genuine reclaimed Teak floors. The story of their Teak began in the early 1800s, when Dutch traders sailed across vast oceans and settled in what is now known as the Republic of Indonesia.
The influence of the Dutch settlement is still very much prevalent in architecture in the Republic of Indonesia today. Colonial homes were almost always the preserve of the wealthy Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese elite, the architecture being a fusion of Western and Indonesian heritage.
Our Sunda and Babaka Teak floors have been crafted from flooring extracted from Colonial Indonesian homes undergoing renovations. Due to these renovations, Robert and his team have become proud custodians of these beautiful Teak floors, restoring them to reveal the beauty of their heritage and readying them for the next chapter of their story.
The next phase of this wood’s journey brought it to the Ted Todd workshop in Cheshire, where the restoration process of the Teak produced two flooring choices; Babakan Teak, featuring the original patina with a broad open grain and honeyed tones, and Sunda; bleached, hand cut boards with a distinctive texture.
Both Sunda and Babakan Teak floors come in different widths and different lengths, allowing customers to play with unique styles and finishes: creating a more natural and organic look. Each board has been carefully hand sawn for the finishing touch, creating beautiful saw cuts that flicker randomly across the surface of each board.
Sunda and Babakan have both been crafted as engineered 20mm planks with a naked skin lacquer finish.
Additions to Woodworks Editions
And back to where it all began, the newest additions to the Woodworks Editions range are stunning new wood floors designed and treated to give the feel of being centuries old…
Beginning with the colour and texture of beautifully aged oak, a range of new engineered planks take on a soft, subtle brown-grey tone. Warmth and comfort perfectly suited for the Autumnal months radiate from the wood to expertly combine the best elements of the old, with trend-led new.
Aversley – a multi-tonal plank created by surface fuming to highlight the beautiful grain detail.
Kennet – Subtle metallic grain detail beings this floor to life. Light dances off each plank to add elegance and interest.
Abott – a bleached version of the wood, complimented with a blurred grain detail to offer a contemporary take for an airy feel.
25 Years of Ted Todd, step by step…
1993 – The journey began... After spending a summer restoring reclaimed pine floorboards in his parents’ back garden, Robert, a 21-year-old graduate, received his first order for 40 square yards for a barn conversion
1995-96 – Unearthing flooring treasures from Victorian Industrial buildings and selling them fully restored proved very popular with customers. Robert started experimenting with making wide plank solid wood floors using new European Oak – an industry first!
1997 – As sales of new wood floors grew so did the determination to ensure these were as sustainably sourced as the reclaimed floors. Ted Todd became FSC certified, long before others saw this as a priority.
2005 – Robert and his team took a leap of faith and moved into a 7-acre manufacturing and distribution centre in Cheshire, which they still call home today. This was shortly followed by the opening of the first Design Centre in London’s Mayfair.
2008 – Ted Todd went national as the company started to develop a network of retail partners, ensuring customers could get help with selection and fitting from a local flooring expert.
2011 – Victorian Woodworks, the world leader of reclaimed and antique wood floors, became part of the Ted Todd family. As time went on, Victorian Woodworks became Woodworks by Ted Todd, and continues to make the finest antique, reclaimed and handmade new wood floors.
2017 – The London Design Centre found a new home at Margaret Street in Fitzrovia, a design hub easily accessible for architects and designers.
2018 – Ted Todd celebrate 25 years of creating what they love most – the highest quality wood floors. Still a family owned business, their floors are found in the world’s top hotels, retail spaces, residential developments and work spaces.