Refinishing an old 3/8 thick strip floor

Q: We purchased a very old semi-detached home that was built in 1914. The living/dining room area is approximately 300 square feet. I love the colour of the hardwood (chestnut) and I think it is probably a very good quality hardwood, but its very marked up and there was a wall that was removed which has left it’s mark. The slats are long and skinny. Instead of replacing the hardwood floors (which is also an option) – how easily can old wood with lots of flaws be beautifully refinished?

A: It depends! The old style strip flooring was only 3/8 thick. You can safely sand it twice. Then it becomes a flip of a coin. A solid sub floor helps, since there would not be a lot of movement between the sub floor and surface floor. Sometimes marks that are left in the wood from dragging heavy objects can create a permanent “scar” that can never be removed.