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Over 200 year old heart pine floors

Sherri Brown
2 months ago

Hi, I am on the fence about this. Thinking some input might help.
I am in the process of renovating a condo in Charleston. It was originally a rice warehouse built in 1780. We recently discovered the original heart pine floors nailed to the joists. They were under 100 year old pine, then tar paper. They are heavily stained black. The widths range from 8" to 16" and some boards are 16' long. This is the original old growth pine cut down by the colonists when they settled Charleston. There are 25-30 growth rings per square inch. I have "the" floor guy in Charleston restoring the floors. They have been cleaned and wire brushed and oiled, the method he prefers with this really old original heart pine. My dilemma is do I leave it like it is now? It is very rustic, not what I am used to. The next step is sanding, then there is no going back to this look. Now, you can see all the history. Once sanded, it will become more red not the black it is now. I have decorated my condo pretty high end with furnishings, appliances, etc. and I know decor wise, sanding and putting a wax or water based finish will make them "dressier ." He doesn't recommend polyurethane. Being a wood guy, he is all about keeping the history of the floors, but from an aesthetic view, I am leaning toward sanding them.
I am attaching pics of how they are now and a pic of the floors in a condo in the same building that sanded theirs. They are the red heart pine floors.

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