Since pulling up the carpet and refinishing hardwood floors on three levels of our new home would prove quite a nuisance for occupied space we decided it would be best to take advantage of an empty house before we moved in and get it done.
First thing's first, the company we used, Galebach's Floor Finishing, pulled up all of the carpet in the entire home. For the most part the softwood yellow pine floors were in pristine condition. They'd been covered by carpet and padding for over 30 years. If the previous owners to the previous owners had carpet that would mean they had been covered for over 50 years! In any case, they were near perfect. The original stain showed a good amount of red which gave the overall color a deep-orange feel - not our cup of tea, but they looked great for all the time they'd been covered up. The white specs on the floor in the following photo is just paint.
We discovered this ugly, green vinyl tile that was under the carpet in the bedroom. Luckily, it came up without any damage. Just a lot of mess! Also, we discovered this room had apparently been painted with sprayers at one point as there was an outline of over-spray around the room.
After the sanding was done the floors were immaculate. We were blown away by the quality. It looked as if the boards were just laid down. Below is a picture of the floors on the first level. Historically, when houses were built in the early 1900's the best wood was the thinnest and used on the first floor. After that, on each floor that ascended to the attic the wood quality degraded and the planks got wider. Ironically, today it's the opposite for board width - wider planks are more expensive.
This is what the wood looked like on the second level and attic. A lot more grain showing with wider planks.
This is the attic with even wider planks yet.
Choosing a stain made us very nervous. The yellow pine throws a red tint to whatever you put down. With that in mind we stayed away from colors like Red Mahogany, didn't want a red-fest going on in there. We really wanted to go dark, but knew that scratches would show up a whole lot more. So we ended up going for a Dark Walnut stain, but cut in half. Just right.
We had to stand in the doorways to take these photos because the floors were still wet. Not the best quality, but there will be lots more pictures to come so check back!