Original Hardwood Flooring Isn't Always Salvageable—Here's the Deal
"The two best indicators to tell if a wood floor is not salvageable are cracking or breakage along the perimeter of individual planks, and exposed nail heads—meaning the flooring has been sanded down so much the heads of the original blind nails are exposed," says Murray. Or there may be obvious damage upon first glance: "If there is significant water damage or deep-set staining, that could also prevent us from successfully refinishing an existing wood floor."
"A floor can be replaced in parts," says Murray. "However, it is incumbent on the installer to source the best possible matching lumber. Quite often, we specify custom mill flooring to match old flooring. We try to be careful with mixing in newer wood because it typically has wider growth rings."
"I think it is important to have a professional, like Stephen Estrin of I.J. Peiser’s Sons, refinish floors because there is always a strong chance of over sanding the flooring or improperly applying the finishes. You can only re-sand the floor so many times."
"I have found even when a floor seems to be unsalvageable, we have successfully employed remedies like wood patches called Dutchman patches that can result in a priceless look," Murray explains. "In other contexts, we suggest adding a floor covering, like sisal or carpet."