We are currently in the process of remodeling the kitchen of our circa 1890 home. After removing layers of linoleum we have begun to uncover the original finished floor of the kitchen. The boards are 1x6 tongue and groove boards nailed directly to the floor joists, no subfloor. We would like to use these as the finished floor. However, some glue is still stuck to the floor but I am hoping a good sanding would remove this. Can anyone identify what species of wood this floor is? I'm thinking it is either Heart Pine, Fir, or Oak, but I'm having a hard time telling. Also, does anyone have any tips on the best type of finish to use on these floors since they are in the kitchen?
Based on the look, the year and your location, I think that this is eastern white pine. Houses of that era in the east almost always were floored with pine nailed onto the joists. A fancy upgrade was to face nail 5/16 or 3/8 hardwood over these pine floors (I think that subfloor is a modern invention).
Looks like 1890 Georgia pine. To test it, scrape some of the strips of darker wood along the edge of the one board in pic 9967, if it smells like turpentine, then it's southern pine. The stripe looks like pitch pine, AKA georgia fatwood.
Casey--is that Georgia fatwood a white or yellow pine? There was still quite a bit of white pine coming out of PA, NY, MI, etc. in 1890, which is what I based my guess on.
I'm putting an oil based polyurethane on mine - Zars Classic - I rented a deck sander at Home Depot, not the orbital kind, this is square with one large sand paper. I used this because it is less aggressive than an orbital sander, which can sometimes gouge the floors if you're not super careful. Did a great job. I'm considering using a sealer prior to the poly.. still on the fence, probably will use it. I'm going with the oil based for the durability. I believe I can get that nice amber, pumpkin pine look - but it's the durability of the oil based, especially in the kitchen. My contractor used it 7 years ago on his, and is just now seeing some wear marks - and he wears shoes and boots on his floors. Good luck!
do not be so quick to sand the floors. First check between the tongue and grove how much grove is left. You could destroy the floor and cause the grove to break or crack away. I usually take a business card and slide it into the grove than bend. Than measure the business card. I usually had strip old floors with an oil based chemical stripper. All waterbased chemicals, sanding and waterbased finishes will damage or remove the patina.