Q: I recently bought a 115 year-old house, remodelled within past 10 years, with wall to wall carpet. I ripped up the carpet on the second floor, with the intention on re-carpeting, only to find old 2 3/8″ wide strip pine floors in relatively decent condition. The carpet caused some yellow and oranging of the wood. I am now faced with needing to sand and stain (or not) these floors. This room is the TV room with floor to ceiling windows and access to the deck, so it gets sun and traffic. My hope is to put area rugs in the sitting area and at the door going outside. My questions are: Is sanding the best approach to this style pine floor? Also, is it better to leave the pine natural or attempt to stain? (I realised staining pine is a careful chore). My primary concerns are best looks for the resale of the house and durability in a high traffic and constantly sunlit room. I will be using a professional for this work.
A: Using a professional. I would say that is a wise choice. Assuming these pine floors are original with the house, or very old, I would sand and finish natural, without staining. You will need at least 3 coats of floor finish. Old pine can exhibit plenty of it’s own warm colouration on it’s own, and unless it has water stains on it, I would not try to hide the natural colour. As you say, pine is not the easiest wood to stain.
Are you sure this orange discolouration you mention is not actually paint? You are giving me horrible flash backs here.:)
Durability has less to do with the pine itself, and more to do with using good quality finishes. Of course it is a soft wood and does easily dent. There is no way to avoid that possibility, except trying to be careful.