Okay, so there is a pretty good chance that Peyton's birthday wished did not include getting our floors refinished but mine did. Sadly, that wish is not going to come true. After having four different people out to for estimates, they all said that there was no way they were going to refinish our floors. Now, we knew they were in bad shape and, believe me, we knew they were not going to look perfect in the end but - here are the facts.
1) They are made of super-soft Pine and will get scratched too easily
2) They have already been refinished a couple of times and since we do not have a subfloor under the floors sanding them down again could cause some structural problems (falling through to the basement while trying to walk into the kitchen anyone?)
3) The floors have warped/cupped so to sand them all the way to get all the finish off would make the boards too thin (see #2).
4) The house is 175 years old.
So, now we need to decide what the plan of action is going to be. One of the guys who came out said that he would just lay down new hardwood on top of the existing and another guy said it all had to come up and a new subfloor needs to go down.
For now, we are going to go out and buy some really dark stain to fill in all the scratches we have and put some poly over it - just to make things a little more presentable. But, when the time comes it sounds like we truly will be taking each room down to the studs. Goodbye walls, goodbye ceilings and now goodbye floors.
Although it is going to take a bit more time and cost a bit more money, I think this is a good thing. It will allow us to use the new subfloor to get the downstairs floor a little more even plus, we can now use the same flooring downstairs as well as upstairs (an area where we already knew we were going to have to replace the floors) as well as the floors in our potential/some day addition and we can have hardwood in our kitchen which is some weird combination of vinyl on top of plywood on top of original flooring on top of God knows what else. I like the idea that we will have the same flooring throughout the house.
Now it is just onto finding the flooring we want. Of course, I want wide planked Hickory and it doesn't get any more expensive than wide planked Hickory but I like the idea of our floors looking like they could look original to the home. Maybe Maple? Definitely NOT Oak! I don't know, I guess only time (and our budget) will tell.