Listen to this post!
Hardwood floors are often a big selling point for a home whether it is brand new or of an older vintage. These older hardwood floors can be a bit of a problem though. If you are considering purchasing (or have already purchased) an older home with hardwood floors it may take a bit of detective work to figure out exactly what you have and the best way to care for them and/or restore them.
For example, how do you know exactly what type of hardwood flooring you are dealing with in an older home? If the sellers were not able to tell you actually it is not too hard to figure out. If the hardwood floors date back to the 1960s or the 1970s they are almost certainly finished with a varnish or a shellac and will need special extra care to avoid further damage.
To make sure, scrape a tiny spot(in an nicely inconspicuous place) with a fingernail. If the finish flakes away , it is almost certainly shellac or varnish. Neither finish is in use these days and modern options are far more durable, so you may want to consider having your hardwood floors sanded and refinished to ensure they remain (or are returned to) their beautiful best.
Years ago, mainly in the Seventies and Eighties, many people also choose to cover up hardwood flooring with carpet (why? who knows?), often leading to quite a surprise when th new homeowner lifts up a corner of carpeting and discovers what is beneath. Even though they might be covered in glue and old carpet padding if you find yourself in that situation and you would like that hardwood flooring back a good flooring professional should be able to help you do that.
On average a hardwood floor of any kind, old or newer will benefit from a professional sanding and refinishing once every 5-7 years. This is a relatively simple process for the pros and it will make sure your hardwood floors stay beautiful for decades and continue to add to the resale value of your home.