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southern pine flooring

1931 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  user1007
I am building a new house and want to install tongue and groove pine floors. Of course I know there is expensive heart of pine but there is also southern yellow pine that is much more affordable with a really charming look. I know it's a softer wood. Has anyone had any experience with this or any suggestions? I also want to do wide plank flooring as I prefer that look. Thanks! Lori::)
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I have lived in several houses that had yellow pine flooring, all of it rather old. Yes it is a soft wood, especially compared with maple or oak, which is in my current house. Old yellow pine is still available, it may be a little pricey, but you can get wide boards. I don't know if you can easily obtain wide yellow pine from newly cut trees. I believe installation is done the same as with oak, typically nails or staples. The finish may be different, all of my floors have been varnished, but there are all sorts of alternatives available, none of which I have personal experience with. Perhaps one of the floor installers here can comment.
I have specified pine of different types for clients, especially those seeking a more rustic look and wanting the lighter color pine offers. I do try to talk them all into quality bamboo if desire for a lighter colored floor is the goal with installing pine.

I worked mainly on antique homes it is was not uncommon to find hardwoods on the lower show off floor and pine in the upper living quarters spaces. I have seen some that made me question whether it really was over a century old and other floors that were very far gone. It all depended on how they were cared for and the respective given to their fairly soft nature.

If you go with pine I think the wide plank is spectacular if you can find it. You may have to dig around and have it special ordered. You do want to make sure what you get is dry before nailing it down. With pine, unless the flooring comes pre-finished, plan on shellac for knots and any sap scars. I would think seriously about a sanding sealer coat before the regular floor finishing as well. Apply the maximum number of poly coats that make sense. And remember that the high gloss seems to hold up best. For clients that don't like the high gloss look I just have the flooring folks do the last coat in matte.

I also would encourage you to shop for things like hall padding and runners as well as nice area rugs. In all instances, this is was why the 100 year old floor finishes I mentioned looked great a century later. Also shop around for things to go under the feet of especially heavy furniture.
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