While pine is often used in the construction of houses and is frequently made into beautiful furniture, pine flooring has been in the shadow of hardwoods like oak and maple for quite some time. Pine, the true workhorse of the lumber world, is viewed by some as unworthy to showcase. The fact of the matter is, however, that pine floors are becoming more and more attractive by the day, and the pine lumber that was left out in the cold the longest is now having its day in the sun.
Pine Flooring Installation Specs
Before choosing pine for their next wood flooring material, most homeowners want to know the skinny on pine flooring installation in particular the specifications for this wood and its ability to deliver a long-lasting residential floor for a reasonable cost to the personal finances and the environment….
- Pine Floor Price: Many homeowners choose pine for their next floor simply for its affordable cost. The average pine product for a residential flooring application might cost somewhere between $1.50-$2.00/sq. ft., where most other common wood floors will cost $2.50-$5.00. Of course, not all pine is created equal and some homeowners use this inexpensive baseline to justify a premium line of pine.
- Hardness Rating: Pine is not a hardwood, but some pine species are harder than others. Caribbean pine, for example, is harder than many maple species, a common hardwood. Unfortunately, the hardest pines are not indigenous to North America, which means they will tend to be costlier and less eco-friendly.
- Eco-Friendly Qualities: Pine trees tend to grow much faster than most hardwoods. Therefore, pine is a more sustainable source of wood than something like oak or maple, since replanted trees will reach maturity much more quickly.
- Vertical Cut Pine Floors: Made from quarter sawn milling techniques, vertical cut pine flooring is more durable and holds up better to heavy traffic. It is often used in commercial settings for its combination of strength and good looks, but homeowners looking for a high-quality pine floor would do well to choose this option.
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Reclaimed Pine Flooring
Those who would describe pine floors as anything less than striking obviously haven’t seen a floor made of reclaimed pine. Much wood that was used for industrial purposes 100 years ago is now being salvaged, refinished, and sold to the world as reclaimed pine. Many of the pine species that are being touched up are now quite rare (due to poor harvesting practices that were used in the past), but the look is just as elegant as any hardwood you might find. Aside from its surface appearance, reclaimed pine flooring is also sought after because of its history. Having a floor that is made of wood from a long gone textile mill is very appealing for many people. Using this wood in new construction brings a sense of authenticity to the home that most hardwoods would be hard pressed to match.
River Reclaimed Pine Floors
Oddly enough, pine shines the brightest after it has been neglected for a while. Many years ago, timber was transported from the forest to the mill by sending it floating downstream. Some of the logs didn’t make it and became submerged along the way, where they remained until entrepreneurs show the pluck necessary to reclaim the logs. The bold look and compelling patina of a river reclaimed pine floor is truly something to behold. Its rarity and the difficult process of retrieving and processing it make river-reclaimed wood rather expensive. Those who love exotic wood, however, often attest that it is worth every penny.