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American Chestnut wood floors

I have a house built in the 1800's, with American Chestnut wood floors. Planks are roughly 15" wide, 1' deep. I want to refurbish the floors and make them look great; but knowing how rare this wood is becoming, I can't see myself taking a big sander to them. Any advice?

Re: American Chestnut wood floors

If you want the floors to look new you're going to have to sand them - a 'big' sander won't take even a 1/16" off the thickness, provided the floors are in good condition to start with... but, I suspect given the age of the house the floors were finished with shellac and sanding shellac has the tendency to clog sandpaper very quickly... I hate working with the stuff! An alternative to sanding would be to just 'refreshen' the floors - give them a good scrubbing with a steelwool pad and a dewaxer/cleaner then reapply a topcoat finish... it won't look brand new, but it will keep the character of the existing floor and give it a fresh look.

Re: American Chestnut wood floors

Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate the advice. I got a lot of scrubbing to do, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Re: American Chestnut wood floors

If you do have to sand rent a random orbital floor sander rather than a drum sander. It's a lot easier to sand without stop marks and gouges you get with a drum sander. And you can sand right to the edge so you don;t need an edger.

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