Pine. Its beauty and versatility has been recognized for centuries.
Some have even ventured to label pine as ‘the wood that built America’. Yep, it’s been used for furniture, structures, boats, and yes, floors since colonial times and likely long before that.
But that was then. This is the 21st century. There are a whole lot of floor covering options on the market. Is pine still a sensible choice for the modern homeowner?
As promised in our first installment on Oak Hardwood Flooring, we’re back here at Denver Dustless with the second edition of our Hardwood (and Softwood) Flooring Species series, featuring (of course) pine!
Let’s highlight a handful of the many high points of pine wood floors as well as just a couple of minor drawbacks to consider before you commit to a floor covering for your next remodel or home building project.
Pine Wood Floor Covering
Pine is a short and sweet word to describe a widely varied and beloved group of softwood featuring over 100 species. Native to the Northern Hemisphere, pine species are abundant and can be broken down into a few major groups. Still, even within those groups, the species vary greatly, each with their own characteristics. Three common types of pine used for flooring are Heart Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, and Eastern White Pine.
The most knotty of pine species, Heart Pine has unique, exaggerated character. Heart Pine features large grains swirling into rich bursts of sunset-toned knots, simply demanding to be noticed. Many homeowners are drawn to the charm of heartwood. Golden, amber tones as well as deep reds make Heart Pine flooring a gorgeous and dramatic statement in a home.
Since heartwood is the densest out of these three kinds of pine, many homeowners opt for Heart Pine, drawn to its strength and stability. It has all the warmth of tone and comfort underfoot that makes softwood so desirable without compromising too much on the durability of hardwood.
Southern Yellow Pine
Southern Yellow Pine varies widely in color and tone from deep reds to oranges and (of course) yellows. The grain is wide and decorated by classic knots that typify pine, bringing traditional warmth to a space. It has been one of the most cost-effective and classically popular flooring choices in America for decades.
As the most durable of the three main types of pine wood, Southern Yellow Pine is one of the most desirable, especially for homeowners looking to minimize the appearance of wear and tear on their floors.
Eastern White Pine
In contrast to its Southern Yellow cousin, Eastern White Pine is more susceptible to minor surface damage, such as scratches and dings. However, its authentic, charming look makes it a strong contender for many homeowners. It can be found in New England in colonial homes that have stood for centuries, making it America’s oldest and most classic wood floor covering.
Widely popular wide pine floor planks are typically made from Eastern White Pine. “Because Eastern White Pines are allowed to grow for up to 80 to 100 years before the trees are harvested for lumber, it’s available in very wide widths, up to 20 inches. Lengths range from 5 to 12 feet,” says EasternWhitePine.org.
Install a Timeless Pine Wood Floor
Advantages of Pine
Homey – The rustic quality of pine makes it a perfect pairing for country cabins, log homes and other rugged décor styles. It is easy on the feet (not too rigid!) and easy on the eyes, evoking warmth and coziness.
Durable – Pine does not easily shrink and swell, making it a practical choice in even humid environments. The oldest homes in America have proven that when well maintained, a pine floor can last for decades, or longer. Pine can stand up to high foot traffic, and any cosmetic ware tends to only add to its character.
Resists Decay – Pine does not easily rot or decay. This is a desirable quality in any home building material. Due to its longevity, many people have been able to reclaim pine wood from old buildings and use the reclaimed wood for their new construction.
Versatile Style – Known for taking easy to varnish, stains, tung oil, and paint, pine floors can be finished to match really any aesthetic imaginable. Whether your aesthetic is antique or ultra-chic, there is a pine floor finish for you.
Heat Retention – Pine wood effectively retains heat. This special property of pine makes it not only comfortable to walk on even in cooler temperatures, but also equates to lower heating bills in the winter.
Easy Maintenance – A simple routine of sweeping or vacuuming and mopping is sufficient to polish up pine. Keep harsh chemicals as well as high heels and cleats to a minimum. From time to time (as with any soft or hardwood floor), it will need to be refinished.
Disadvantages of Pine
Prone to Dents – As a softwood, pine ranks much lower on the Janka Scale than most wood floor covering, and especially when compared to hardwood, such as walnut, mahogany, or cherry. Since pine is softer, it is more prone to quickly show dents, dings, scratches and other cosmetic blemishes.
Too Many Options – With so many species of pine flooring on the market as well as finishing options, some homeowners feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices. There are too many pretty pines to choose from!
Price Range of Pine Flooring
Think wood floors are out of reach on your budget?
Pine is even less expensive than some types of laminate. Pine is well-known as one of the most affordable wood flooring options on the market. As a softwood (less durable), it is typically less expensive than most hardwoods. Pine can cost as much as fifty percent less than some types of hardwood, like maple or oak.
The overall quality of pine as opposed to other softwoods makes it one of the most sensible choices for budget-minded folks who don’t want to compromise on a beautiful, authentic wood floor.
Origins and Sustainability of Pine Hardwood
Compared with the majority of trees typically used for floor covering, pine matures rather quickly, which equates to high production rates. Woodguide.org explains that “Softwood species are fast growing, meaning that with the same amount of land more wood can be produced each year.”
The high availability and speedy growth of pine makes it one of the most eco-friendly wood flooring choices on the market. The increasing popularity of reclaimed pine wood flooring is also a ‘win’ for eco-friendliness and recycling.
Finding the Pine Floor for You
Denver Dustless has wide variety of pine softwood flooring. Our Hardwood (and Softwood!) Flooring Showroom experts will happily help you locate the precise wood you are looking for.
Make an appointment to come see our expansive floor covering selection. We look forward to discussing your flooring options with you and answering any questions you may have left about pine wood flooring.
Don’t forget to stay tuned for our next edition of our new blog series on hardwood varieties!