Pine for flooring? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Default Pine for flooring?

I have been doing a lot of research on Wide plank pine floors and I understand that pine is a soft wood. So my question is, what wood should I use instead? I only have about 938 sqft to cover and pine was my first choice because of price. Is there any way to strengthen pine so it can withstand the abuse of heavy traffic and moving furniture? Its more of a cost issue than anything and all hard woods seem to be way more than I planned on spending.
If Pine is my only choice do you all suggest for me to buy it already tongue and grooved or do it my self?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 06:03 PM
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There are quite a few different pines and some are hard enough to be used for flooring but they likely still dent. My father-in-law tried Douglas fir, which is harder than (most?) pines but it still dented too. Oak is the most common in North America because it is the most plentiful native hardwood that is wear and dent resistant. I installed some bamboo flooring which is 3 plies thick and laminated like plywood which makes it very stable and it is 10% harder than oak. It might be worth checking out.

Adding T&G to your own flooring is a fairly big job and has to be reasonably accurate or you will have problems later. You need both ends done as well and they are the hardest to do because you usually need to do them handheld because they are too hard to slide across a router table unless your boards are all short lengths. They are normally done with a molding machine and this can be a done for hire job in many locations which is also something you may want to consider.

Your profile doesn't offer much information about you which is why we encourage members to fill it out. Fir example I don't know if you have a router table or are used to using one. Many bits are only recommended for use with a router table for safety reasons and I think the T&G set is one on them.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 06:27 PM
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Charles' comment re bamboo is really sound advice, if you want the wood look.
Some damn fine looking product out there!
Otherwise, Oak, Maple, and Alder, up North here. D. Fir maybe on the top floor where there's less wear, but you will probably regret it down the road. I've had way too many clients ask me if there's any way I could salvage their D. Fir floors...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 06:48 PM
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Eastern White Pine flooring was the choice of the early New England colonists...
those floors are still standing the test of time...

Long Leaf Heart Pine flooring was the strong, tough building material used throughout the Southeast and Eastern Seaboard in the 1800s, earning the moniker “the wood that spawned the American Industrial Revolution"...
another excellent choice...

dents only add to the warmth and character of the floor...
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 09:48 PM
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A classic wide plank pine floor looks great with a few dents. I would never attempt to mill it myself. If your grooves are slightly mis aligned, you'll have lips everywhere. It'll be very noticeable when the clear coat goes on. Could be a splinter hazard, too.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 06:14 AM
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I recently installed about 400 sq. ft. of Bruce T&G Hardwood to match the rest of the downstairs flooring. Luckily, I have 3/4" plywood subflooring (rare in these parts), so installation was only tedious and a back-breaking experience. I paid my kids $1 per row if they helped bring the boards to me while I was on the floor; or in my little boy's case he actually lined them up and snugged them into place. Then all I had to do was use the HF pneumatic flooring nailer to lock them down. 3000 nails, and only one misfire (due to forgetting to turn the air compressor back on.

Heart pine was common here in TN back in the 1800-1920's, then oak took over. Stick with kiln dried hardwoods, or you'll be sorry when you have to repair or replace later on. I did see an article on the Shopsmith forum of a man who built about a 2000 sq. ft. cabin entirely of pallet wood (mostly oak, I would assume), so anything can be done if labor is not a factor. Post a thread as to how you do it.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 07:25 AM
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Pine will work but it is not cheap by any means. If you want wide plank floors then expect to pay a premium price. Your best bet for this is reclaimed wood which is usually heart pine. If you have a Lumber Liquidator near you you can pick up some pretty cheap flooring but not wide plank.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 11:02 AM
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You didn't state where you were putting it,having said that you can get "utility" grade 2 1/4" oak for around $0.99 per ft at lumber liqudators and other places like that. When I build my shop I plan on going that route.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 02:13 PM
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Default Cedar Was Used on Floors Too

Just for reference, I worked on the oldest Queen Ann in Olympia, Washington. Among my many projects was adding to the exiting floor and hiding old register holes.

Interestingly, the entire house was Northwest Red Cedar, including the floor. The finish was just amber shellac. Though the house was eight years old then, the floor was in pretty good shape. That, likely, was due to the shellac and it's ease of application throughout the years after the initial application.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well I bought 8" by 8' planks. 187 to be exact. It was premium grade with little to zero knots I will be installing them with 10d rose head cut nails that I purchased from tremont nail co. I'm just gonna ease the edge of them with a round over bit to reduce splintering. I will take pictures when I'm done but that probably won't be until next week sometime. Thanks for all the helpful insight
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