Refurbishing Wood Elevators In Downtown Skyscraper


An international property management firm in downtown Toronto had a large building complex where there were 2 major problems with the wood paneled elevators. First, the wood panels in these elevators suffered from varying levels of mechanical damage and vandalism, generating negative lessee feedback. Second, the clients in this building complex requested a “more modern” appearance in the elevators to better reflect the image of their firms. Refurbishing elevator wood panels is somewhat unique in that the finishing technology must be fire retardant for safety reasons. Operationally, if the building traffic is significant, elevators need to be available to move people so that the businesses that have leased space in the structure can maximize their potential. A very competitive business space leasing market meant that the property management firm had to be very careful about the cost of addressing these concerns. 


The wood paneling in the elevators needed to be repaired from mechanical and vandalism damage, and updated to a more modern colour scheme. The work needed to be performed efficiently so that the elevators were available when necessary. The scope of wood to be refinished included:

  • Wood paneling in 45 elevators

Traditional Solution

The property firm had quoted the replacement of the wood panels, in new colours, from a millwork vendor at $10,000 per elevator. Therefore, the total cost would be $450,000 to replace the panels in all 45 elevators. This included the dismounting and mounting of the new panels. This did not include any environmental impact statement of the cost of scrapping wood panels for 45 elevators. The property firm was unwilling to invest $450,000 in new elevator panels in a competitive leasing market, yet the firm still needed to respond to the customer complaints.

Toronto Refurbishing Solution

Toronto Refurbishing, in conjunction with its core chemistry technology suppliers, has developed environmentally-friendly water-based technology that is fire-retardant. Therefore, Toronto Refurbishing was able to offer a solution allowing the elevator panels to be refinished on-site, overnight, and in a new colour. Each elevator refinished overnight was ready for use (no smell or off-gassing) by the following morning, with no disruption to daily operations. By refinishing the elevators overnight, the issue of disturbing traffic during business hours and the evening simply did not exist. The cost to the property management firm for Toronto Refurbishing to perform this work was $90,000, a cost savings of $360,000. Additionally, there was no negative environmental impact because the panels were reused and all finishing technology was water-based.

Do you need to meet new design requirements with your wood refinishing? We’ve got you covered! Not only can we restore wood millwork to its original condition, we can also alter its colour and provide a variety of different finishes. 

Find Out How We Can Help