Original unfinished wood floor in bathroom - how do I protect it?
We finally got around to pulling up the old lino in our upstairs bathroom in preparation to install new tile. We uncovered the original wood floor under the lino which was a happy surprise, since the entire house got new wood floors around 1920 and the original floors were totally removed from the downstairs in the process.
The original wood floor is so beautiful that we have decided to keep it instead of installing tile over it. It's in good shape and is still in 1857 condition; that is, it's bare with no trace of varnish, stain or shellac. I am unsure of the wood species. Since it's from 1857 I'm sure it's a soft wood, but it was very resilient when I pressed my fingernail into it so I believe it's old growth.
I am not sure what to use to seal/finish it with. It's in a bathroom with a shower, so it's going to get a little wet from time to time (though nothing too bad.) I would like it to look as original as possible - no shiny finishes - so I think that leaves poly out. I'm okay with applying a stain of a similar shade if that would serve a purpose other than simply adding color. What are my options?