I’ve always loved wood flooring. Personally, there is nothing like walking into a house where the wood flooring is suitably selected to bring out the colors of the home. One of my guilty pleasures is honestly walking around the house barefoot. The finish that a wood flooring gives is unbeatable.
However, we’ve come to a point where buyers and home-owners have so many options in flooring trends these days, that to choose a flooring has become a nightmare, to say the least.
Quick Pine Wood Flooring Pros and Cons:
Pros: lower cost, myriad of colors and types, can be easily stained, painted and sealed for added durability, considered an ecological and sustainable softwood, it looks great with rustic, vintage and homey warm look.
Cons: Because it is softwood it’s prone to damage and scratches in high traffic areas, must be refinished periodically.
If you’re already aware of the multiple possibilities between hardwood and softwood flooring, I’m sure you’ve let out a sob every now and then.
The market is filled with hardwood floors and nobody will advise you to install a softwood floor.
Nonetheless, softwood has been in growing popularity, especially Pine and that is exactly what I will talk about in this article.
Softwood Vs Hardwood
Pinewood flooring has gained popularity in the market. The reason why pine has been in a growing trend in the latest home décor options is that pine wood is cheaper than other hardwood options out there, and because of its rustic, chic look.
A typical hardwood flooring such as oak might cost you around $5 to $10 which is a pretty steep price to pay. Furthermore, this is the starting range for hardwood options and the prices will only keep on increasing as you explore more alternatives.
Be warned that this cost is simply the cost of buying a piece of wood. You will also end up paying the installation charges of the said flooring.
Adding the cost of buying and installing, you’d be paying a pretty penny for just the flooring and if you plan on remodeling the entire house, that said, you can say goodbye to your dream house.
To alleviate your problems, my answer would be Pine! Pinewood can cost you anywhere between a dollar to six, which if you think about it is as cheap as it can get. If you can get a decent flooring option for less than $6, I will install it in every corner.
The price seems like an attractive factor. Couple that with Pine’s attractive antiquity look, you have the perfect flooring option.
Here is a video about installing distressed pine flooring in a house:
(A tip for the environmentalists, opting for pine can certainly be a wiser option for your conscience as pine trees can grow at a rapid pace and require less space.)
Let’s now see some pros and cons of pine wood if you decide to select this as your floor material for your home:
Pine Wood Pros
- -There are more than 200 types of pine trees, thus this lumber comes in myriad colors that depend upon pine tree type.
- -Find and reclaim Southern Yellow pine planks measuring 1½-inches thick and they should last a lifetime.
- -Pine can be stained and sealed with polyurethane to prolong its look and life.
- -Offers a vintage, distressed look in homes decorated to look homey and rugged. Pine can be whitewashed, too.
- -Pine floors are durable when protected. You can find examples of pine floors in use that are 100 years old—and older.
- -This softwood comes in several grades to fit myriad budgets. Grades 1 and 2 are best suited to flooring.
- -You can find pine planks manufactured with tongue and groove edges if you don’t want nails to show on your floor.
- -This softwood is unique, offering decorators a prominent grain, pin holes and knots that add to the wood’s character.
- -Pine often comes pre-finished. Paint, stain, varnish or apply tung oil to it to achieve results you desire or leave the floor unfinished for a natural look.
- -Not many people know that pine flooring hardens over time as a result of fiber compression.
- -Pine planking is available in so many widths, you can customize the look of your floor simply by choosing a wider or narrower option.
- -Pine is considered a sustainable softwood and has been certified as such by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
- -Pine grows faster than hardwoods, so pine forests are replenished faster.
- -Budget-friendly, pine costs less than hardwood floors – sometimes up to half the price of oak, maple and mahogany.
- -Yellow Pine and Western White Pine rank 690 and 420 on the hardness scale while Heart Pine, at 1,225, is stronger than Walnut and Cherry.
Pine Wood Cons
- -Since pine is a soft wood, it’s prone to extreme damage and scratches in high traffic areas.
- -Installed without a proper finish, pine can shrink or swell in humid climates.
- -Because it is softwood, even low traffic areas can be easily damaged, especially if left in its natural state.
- -Deep gorges and scrapes can force plank replacement that may then not match the floor’s pattern when installed.
- -Think twice about pine flooring if your cats or dogs still have their claws.
- -Pine requires regular dusting and vacuuming because even debris can mar surfaces.
- -Must be refinished periodically, even if you apply polyurethane coating when installing the floor.
- -Finish on pine floors may only last five years if they see a lot of action.
- -Avoid staining Southern Yellow pine floor surfaces or the finish could get blotchy.
- -Though considered the epitome of pine wood, Heart Pine floors can be difficult to install and extremely expensive.
- -Be wary of products that do not identify exact pine types or you could be over-charged for a common variety of pine.
- -If you’re not handy, having your softwood floor restored could turn into a costly job.
- -If you are handy, the refinishing process is arduous and involves thoroughly cleaning the floor, sanding, cleaning again, applying sealant, applying a stain or finish followed by 2 or 3 polyurethane coatings.
- -In some areas, finished pine flooring may not be sold at lumber yards and other home fix-up retailers, thus you will have to go to a sawmill to get it.
- -The sturdiest pine floors are built with Old Growth Heart Pine which grows only an inch every 30 years. This tree is fast becoming endangered and may eventually disappear.
Other Factors to Consider
Considering the aforementioned factors, there might be a few other aspects that needs consideration before investing in pine wood flooring.
If you plan on investing in pine, you should quite honestly consider knowing everything about pinewood beforehand.
This is because most softwoods, including pine, are not usually promoted as flooring options which is why it might be slightly difficult to gain pine and when you do the seller might not let you in on all the information regarding this type of material.
(Ps. Reading this article on Pinewood is all the information you need.)
You should also consider that pine, categorized as softwood, is more susceptible to dents, scratches and the general wear and tear. On the contrary, if you ask me, that should be the reason you install pine because personally, I love the look of worn out wood.
The roughness of the look gives the pine wood flooring its character. The rustic look will easily have you remember your days snuggled in a small little tree house. That being said, if you do not prefer the said look, you probably should not lean towards pine wood flooring.
To minimize the dents and scratches what you can do is stain the wood or use some sort of wood varnish that goes well with pine. This will ensure the durability of the wood. You can also choose to leave pine wood unfinished to give it a natural look.
Other factors to consider:
- Pine is a classic, vintage option. It is impossible to go wrong with it.
- Can age gracefully when exposed to natural sunlight, which causes it to darken.
- The higher the grade of pine wood, the fewer the knots.
- As easy to maintain as hardwoods. Choose your furniture wisely and use carpets/rugs or doormats at high traffic areas to reduce wear and tear.
- Goes without saying, avoid spilling water!
Different Types of Pine Wood Flooring
When you decide on pinewood flooring, your choices don’t end there! There is a whole range of options to choose from.
From sugar pine and longleaf pine to antique heart pine, the options are practically endless. Below we will break down just a few of the types of pine to help make your decision a little bit easier:
White Pine Wood
White pine wood is a soft pine with even grain. It has a gradual transition from earlywood to latewood, making it light with a low density.
White pines have a fine texture and relatively small resin canals. White pine wood has a distinct color with the heartwood being a pinkish, tinted light brown and the sapwood a yellow so pale that it seems white.
The sub-varieties of this category are very easily distinguishable because they each have varying characteristics.
The main sub-varieties include sugar pine, western white pine, and eastern white pine. Sugar pine is the largest of the pine species.
It has a straight grain with an even coarse texture. It has large resin canals as compared to other white pine that are very distinguished when the wood is sawn.
Western white pine also has a straight grain with a medium texture. It has the characteristics of typical white pine when it comes to color, but the color tends to darken with age.
Eastern white pine has the finest texture of the lot with a straight grain. The color is similar to that of western white pine, even darkening with age.
White Pine Flooring Pros and Cons
- Easy to work with
- Distinct look
- Can cause allergic reactions to some people
- Can be expensive
Yellow Pine Wood
Yellow pine wood is divided into two main categories with southern yellow pine and western yellow pine, each with their respective subsets of wood.
Southern yellow pine is a high-density hard pine. Their density ranges between 36-42 lbs. per cubic foot with an uneven grain.
This tree has a very swift transition from earlywood to latewood. The colors of this wood are red-toned brown at the heartwood and creamy-white with a tinge of yellow at the sapwood.
Varieties in this subsection of pine include loblolly, slash, shortleaf, and longleaf varieties, to name a few.
The western yellow pine is a softer wood variety, sitting as a great transition between hard and soft pine. Even though this wood has the same abrupt transition, it is a much lighter variety, weighing in at about 29lbs per cubic foot.
This wood also has a more even grain compared to the southern variety. The sapwood of this tree is similar in color to the southern yellow pine, but the heartwood is light reddish-brown with a touch of yellow.
The subsets of this variety are lodgepole and ponderosa pine, both of which are very similar in characteristics and sold interchangeably.
Yellow Pine Flooring Pros and Cons
- Modest pricing
- Very durable
- Very strong
- Can cause allergic reactions to some people
- Difficult to work with
Red Pine Wood
Red pine is usually found in one variety only, known by the same name or as Norway pine. Red pine has a straight grain with an even texture that is neither too fine nor too coarse.
The color of red pine is reddish-brown at the heartwood and pale, whitish-yellow at the sapwood. It weighs in at 34lbs per cubic foot, making it a dense wood. Red pine has a unique quality, which is that it has an oily feel to the touch.
Heart Pine Wood Flooring
Heart pine is technically a subcategory in all pines, but mainly in southern yellow pines’ longleaf variety. Heart pine is made exclusively from the heartwood of pine, most often of the longleaf pine.
The trees used to make this type of flooring are typically 100 years old, giving the flooring an abundance of character and strength.
An even older version of this flooring, with trees being as old as 300 years, is called antique heart pine flooring. This type of flooring is beautiful to look at and also considered environmentally conscious.
Heart Pine Flooring Pros and Cons
- Environmentally sustainable
- Has character
- Great color
- Comparatively tougher to work with, especially with sandpaper
- Can cause allergic reactions to some people
Do not let anybody discourage you from getting the gorgeous look of a pine wood flooring. With proper care and installation, pine wood is just as viable an option as other hardwoods and material in the market.
Further reading: Read all about hickory wood flooring.
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