The tung oil finish is messy, it really brings out the different colors in the wood, and seems to offer no benefits (in retrospect) over polyurethane.  The breathability (which tung oil had) that might prevent water from remaining trapped in the ground level flooring I think is ultimately negligible.  Meanwhile, it offers no resistance to denting or surface impact. This old wood seems a little too fragile (at least the upstairs batch) to remain uncovered.  New plan: resand floor once, fill gaps properly (see aside below), and apply 3 coats of matte polyurethane.  Yikes!

The flooring guys are used to doing a crappy job, I guess, of filling the gaps between floor boards.  I had always heard that people use sawdust from the sanding process, and mix it with glue and fill the gaps.  These guys merely mixed the sawdust with the oil finish, somehow thinking that would harden and stick.  I could remove it, obviously, with my car key.  It was horrible.  I had them remove all of that yesterday, and reinstall with “wood flour cement.”  I guess the sawdust is considered “wood flour”, and this product is the cement.  You mix the two.  Its not so easy to find, and is only sold to flooring installers because it’s highly flammable.  However, it hardens quickly and is apparently the best approach.  I hope it works out! Pictures to come once I see that this plan is back on track.  Here are the interim pics that I hope to physically photoshop-ishly undo.


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