Old water mark

Q: I just bought an old house. I ripped up the worn-out carpet in the hall to find hardwood flooring underneath. It extends into the bedrooms. However, the hallway has an area of what appears to be water damage.

It is stained, and the boards even seem to have changed in texture and seem to have shrunk some. Can that be sanded down, or will I need to replace those boards?

A: While it is impossible to know for sure if such a mark will come out with sanding, it is likely that area will need to be changed. This floor is probably only 3/8 thick top to bottom, and can’t really tolerate more than 2, sometimes 3 sandings.