Fixing up hardwood floors too thin to sand

Q: We’re moving into a house with original thin strip floors, probably oak. They appear to be too thin to sand, especially in certain spots. In some rooms there is a good layer of poly over them. In others (like the hallways), they are very dark, untreated and cupping slightly. I refuse to get rid of these, but recognize that they probably can’t take another sand (especially in the areas that now have poly).

My plan is to screen the floors to remove the poly, do a very light hand sanding and then apply either a) hemp oil and wax, or b) osmo poly. Either of these finishes are supposed to be able to be maintained without future sanding.

What do you think of my plan to fix up hardwood floors too thin to sand?

A: What do I think of your plan? Well, first off, if some area are discoloured because there is no finish on them, those areas will have to be sanded to clean wood. Screening? That won’t remove all the finish to clean wood. Applying hemp oil to anything but bare, clean wood seems not a good idea. The best oil finish I’ve ever used is Waterlox. You might want to check out their site.

The cupping is a serious issue. If you try to ‘screen’ that you will likely take off all the finish on the raised edges and leave most of the boards untouched. Personally, I would do nothing or replace the floors.