Pine Wood Flooring – The Best in Business – TheFlooringlady

Pine flooring isn’t as popular today as it was in past centuries, but it is gaining in popularity quickly due to the gorgeous, shabby-chic, and natural look. If you’ve fallen in love with the look of pine flooring, but are afraid of the care involved, rest assured that pine flooring can be a good option for you. Pine is a softer wood than the popular hardwoods used on most floors today (like oak), meaning it shows wear and tear sooner and more readily than some of the other wood flooring options. But that distressed look is increasingly fashionable and, with the right sealer, you can control the level of distress your floor gets.

Get Lowest Price on Quality Pine Flooring

Buying pine flooring can be difficult especially when you are trying to determine the best price. 

However, over the past few years there have been a number of companies that have really disrupted the flooring space and now will ship direct to consumers high quality products at unbeatable prices (guaranteed). 

If you are looking to get Pine Flooring than I suggest checking out Lumber Liquidators and testing their Unbeatable Price Guarantee!

If you are dreaming of installing wood flooring but are afraid of the price, take heed! There is a wood flooring option for you that is not as expensive as the other hardwood flooring choices but that still looks great. The beauty of pine flooring only increases with the added wear and tear of real life use. Pine flooring is an inexpensive softwood that has a classic beauty and appeal. It is not as often the first choice that people consider when choosing wood flooring for their homes, but the rapid increase in popularity recently is due in large part to advancements made in sealant and protection options for this gorgeous flooring. If you’re still in love with the look of pine flooring, but afraid that your lifestyle could cause too much damage to this soft wood, you can investigate laminate options like these at Lumber Liquidators that can have the look of more exotic wood floors with a higher level of scratch and wear resistance.

Comparing Hardwood and Softwood Flooring

Most people only consider hardwood flooring like oak for their home, rather than the softwoods, because of the hardness factor. Softwoods are not generally as well thought of for flooring, even though they are less expensive, because people assume that they are not as sturdy and durable. The usability of pine flooring may surprise you, however.

Hardwood Flooring:
  • The most popular hardwood species used for flooring include oak, maple and hickory.
  • These hardwoods tend to be on the more expensive end (averages $8-$12 per square foot).
  • Holds up over time and can be refinished easily.
  • While harvesting hardwoods is not an especially sustainable practice since it takes a long time for the wood to grow to the point of being ready for harvesting, since the hardwoods are built to last, they will not need to be replaced, discarded or even recycled.
  • Radiates warmth and comfort in comparison to other flooring options.
  • Beautiful and classic choice.
Softwood Flooring:
  • Softwood flooring choices include spruce, fir, and pine flooring.
  • Softwoods are just as beautiful as the hardwoods for flooring and, in most cases, costs much less (pine flooring averages $5 per square foot.)
  • Pine flooring will continue to harden over the years with additional use and the refinishing process is as easy as refining hardwoods floors.
  • An ecological choice! Pine grows much faster and takes less space to grow, though with proper maintenance it will last long as the hardwood options.
  • Also holds onto warmth and is at least as comfortable as the other wood flooring options.
  • On trend but yet still a classic choice-some may even argue it is more of a vintage option.

Living With Pine Flooring

Pine flooring is a great choice for almost any home. Saving money on your wood floors can help you to save money to be spent more important things. These wide pine wood floor planks, like those shown in the video below, have a unique and homey look characteristic of the southeastern United States at a significantly lower budget than other wood flooring options. As they age, they take on additional character, and from the start have more knots and natural blemishes than many hardwoods. If you are looking for fewer knots, a higher grade pine flooring will be less gnarly, though because of the nature of the wood it will always have these beauty marks. If you love the look of wood flooring, but not the price of hardwoods, then this may be just the flooring choice for you.

Selecting Pine Flooring

There are some things that you need to keep in mind before purchasing these softwoods, however.

  1. When looking for softwood flooring, you will need to learn the names of the wood varieties that you are interested in. The reason is that softwoods are not normally marketed for flooring use and most stores will not offer them as a choice unless you specifically request them. By doing your research beforehand, you will be able to walk into the store with the knowledge that you need to get what you want and desire for your home.
  2. You need to keep in mind that softwoods are categorized as “soft” for a reason. They are softer than the hardwoods, which means that they are more easily dented and pitted. If pine is the look you are going for, you typically realize that this only helps to make the floors more beautiful and enhances the character of the flooring. But, if you do not think that the look of worn floors is what you are going for, you will probably not want to choose pine flooring.
  3. To minimize the appearance of dents, you will want to refrain from using a dark stain, because this stain makes them more noticeable. You may enjoy the beauty of the wood so much that you just want to leave it basically the natural color by applying polyurethane to it. It will look beautiful no matter which stain you choose.
  4. Pine flooring can be found in most stores, but it is usually found unfinished. You can find tongue and groove varieties, which it great for the do-it-yourselfer. By being able to finish it yourself, you are in control of how light or dark you stain it. Sawmills are your best source for the least expensive price, but lumberyards may be another source as well.

Installing Pine Flooring

Installing and finishing unfinished wood flooring takes longer, but the added beauty and value is well worth the additional time and effort. If you choose unfinished pine for your flooring, after installing the unfinished pine flooring, you need to sand the boards to ensure they level and mars are removed. After sanding, vacuum the dust from the floors using a shop-vac, getting them ready for finish. Your finish options are the same as with other hardwood floors, include polyurethane, stain, tung oil, or varnish, to name a few. You may want to really consider staining and sealing the wood yourself in order to get the look you seek.

A good DIY tip if you choose to finish pine flooring yourself, consider using a floodlight to make sure that you get the finish evenly on the floors. It’s also important that you lightly sand the floors between each layer of finish. The last layer of finish does not need to be sanded, but it must be completely dry before allowing people to walk on it. Then all you need to do is enjoy your floors.

Maintaining Pine Flooring

Like with the other hardwood floors, pine flooring is very easy to maintain. Keep the floors free of dust and debris to minimize scratches, use products that are compatible with the wood and are non-abrasive, and do not let spills or liquid of any kind sit on the floors, as water can cause staining. You should consider using rugs at entrance ways or in any especially busy areas of the home since the softer wood is more prone to damage. Every five years or so, you will want to apply another layer of finish to maintain the layer of protection between the floors and all the things that come across them, though five years may even be too frequent if the floors are not in a highly trafficked area of the home. Of course, if damage does occur the floors can be refinished, but you should not need to refinish the floors as any kind of regular maintenance.

Pine flooring is a gorgeous option that you should seriously consider. In comparison to other woods, pine trees are much more plentiful and sustainable than others and if ecological sustainability is an important factor in your flooring consideration, pine can check this off the list for you. Don’t let naysayers discourage you or scare you away from this flooring choice only because pine is on the softer end of hardwoods or may have a MOH that is on the low end. Other floors with a higher MOH, such as bamboo, may actually scratch just as easily as pine. Do your research before committing to any retailer for wood floors, as finding a reputable supplier and installer can make all the difference in your overall happiness with your floors in the long run. Consider reaching out for quotes from multiple agencies and get some professional opinions. Most, like Lumber Liquidators, will provide quotes and in home consultations with no up-front commitments required.

Get Lowest Price on Quality Pine Flooring

Buying pine flooring can be difficult especially when you are trying to determine the best price. 

However, over the past few years there have been a number of companies that have really disrupted the flooring space and now will ship direct to consumers high quality products at unbeatable prices (guaranteed). 

If you are looking to get Pine Flooring than I suggest checking out Lumber Liquidators and testing their Unbeatable Price Guarantee!

79 thoughts on “Pine Wood Flooring – The Best in Business – TheFlooringlady

  1. I bought a house with tongue and groove pine flooring undernieth the carpets, it’s unfinished wood, do I have to rent a big sander to sand it or could I do it by hand and then stain? I heard the big floor sanders are very hard to use, I am a woman so I need to find a way to finish these floors that I can physically handle.
    courtney at August 6, 2007 04:13 PM

  2. To have a great looking floor, hire a professional do the sanding and finishing.
    If you want to do it yourself and are handy at that kind of work, rent a large rotary sander and use it. Sanding the floors by hand may give you an uneven result, not to mention tired back and sore knees.
    The Flooring Lady at August 7, 2007 02:58 PM

  3. We bought a house that was built in 1890. It had carpet in every room. We ripped up the carpet and found beautiful oak hardwood floors downstairs and pine upstairs. One room upstairs needed to be sanded so we sanded it and now need to know what look would be best. Stain or polyurethane?
    scotty at October 26, 2007 12:57 AM

  4. I’m partial to natural woods so I’d only polyurethane. But if the natural color of the wood doesn’t match your decor, by all means stain it to get the look you want. Then apply a water-based polyurethane.

  5. Help! We purchased a beach house and my husband wants the cottage look. He is planning to purchased random unfinished pine. Finish with tung oil.
    I fear the dog, kids and other sandy friends will do more than just give the floor the nice worn look.
    Sand does give us challanges and we have been struggling for 6 months about what to do

  6. The cottage look is good. Unfinished pine is good. The worn/rustic look is good. But you want that look to be a look, not a reality.
    I have used tung oil on a book case and it looked great. It took several days to air enough to bring it into the house though. And we had to re-oil it every few months to keep the bookcase looking good. Even without the challenges of kids, pets and sand I’d personally shy away from it as a floor finish for that reason. But with those challenges, I personally would go with a durable, easy-care finish. I have loved the Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane on my cabinets, and door and window trim. There is a floor product I hear great things about. It’s easy to apply, dries quickly, and is hard as nails when cured. If you go with the satin finish (I don’t think they have a matte finish) you’ll get as natural a look as possible while protecting the pine flooring from the daily wear and tear a beach house can get.

  7. There are several variables that go into that decision. These variables include which polyurethane’s, the amount and type of traffic, and whether it’s a shoe-free environment or not. I’d go with at least two coats, and add a third or fourth depending on my situation. The manufacturer should also make recommendations that are worth heeding.

  8. we are wanting to put down approx. 2000 sq. ft. of tongue and groove pine flooring. we considered doing this ourselves. How hard would this be? also how much does a professional charge to stain and poly that flooring if we laid it ourselves? Thanks

  9. Hello!
    I really don’t know if you can lay the floor yourself as I have no idea how ‘handy’ you are. I would suggest finding do-it-yourself articles/websites to visit as much as possible and learn all you can so that you will be as prepared as possible.
    I don’t know what professionals would charge in your area because I don’t know where you are located. The amount can vary quite a bit, if you’re in a large metropolitan area it’s going to cost more. I would think that if you can tackle laying the flooring yourself then staining & applying polyurethane should be a breeze. :~) Remember too, that wood flooring doesn’t have to be stained if you’d rather go with the lighter, natural color.

  10. we just ripped up the carpet in our “new” home. it has pine floors. we like a pretty modern decor, so we want the floors to reflect that. if we have them sanded and finished will the look new again or will it give off more of a rustic type feel? also will the wood dent easily, like from high heels?
    thanks for your help.

  11. If a good sanding job is done, there’s no reason why the floors shouldn’t look good as new – or at least almost!
    I’m not sure about dents from high heels, I don’t see why they would leave dents so long as the wearers aren’t jumping up and down. ;o)

  12. Pine floors can be pretty soft so without the proper finish high heels — especially stiletto heels — can ding the floor. But with several coats of a hard polyurethane you might reduce the number of dents and dings.
    But as a wood floor “user” for many years I can tell you dents and dings happen. Just like with your car, get ready for the first one cuz it’ll make you unhappy. Since it’s natural it’s not perfect, which is what makes it perfect.

  13. Hi there,
    Could you critique & comment on this plan:
    2×3 floor joists on top of existing pressboard flooring with radiant heat pipes woven through notches in the studs with strips of metal flashing to hold them down- reflective foam and sand between the studs and around the PEX pipes, and (here’s where i need the big help:) tounge and groove pine nailed into the studs, or plywood with cork tiles……
    planning simple stain & polyurethane for color and durability on the pine….
    does anyone have experience with pine floor and radiant heat?
    does anyone have a cork floor critique?
    We have 3 big dogs, and welcome the groovy grooves from their nails- we like to feel Home, yet we dont want it destroyed. we also want something easy to clean.

  14. I think it sounds ok so long as your original floor joists can handle the extra weight – you may need to beef them up a bit.
    I would prefer pine flooring, but that’s just a personal opinion only, after a bad experience with a cork flooring company. You can use the search engine (top right-hand corner of every page) and type in cork flooring or natural cork and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  15. Carlyn,
    I’m confused. Why are you putting joists on top of your existing floor? And are you saying the PEX, reflective foam and sand are in place in the existing floor? Or are you just saying that’s what your existing floor is and you want to install pine or cork flooring on top of the pressboard?
    Are you sure it’s pressboard? That’s not an ideal subfloor for nailing things to.
    I have wood floors above radiant heat and had cork floors. I think the cork would have been fine, other than we had a defective batch (seems to have been a bit of that going around). When the wood floors went down we had to be careful to not nail too deep so we wouldn’t damage our PEX — short staples were the way we went.
    With big dogs I wouldn’t go with cork unless you could by unfinished cork and finish it in place with many coats of water-based sealer. I’d go with the pine, even though I loved my cork floors.

  16. Carlyn, I forgot to also mention that with radiant heat you should strongly consider an engineered pine flooring. I learned when I was shopping that engineered flooring is more dimensionally stable than solid wood so won’t be effected by the heat, or humidity for that matter, as much as solid wood will be.

  17. Thanks for your input Annie, it’s very much appreciated. I think that Carlyn was trying to imply that the base of the floor now is pressboard (or some sort of plywood at any rate) and that she only has an idea of what she wants to do, nothing’s done and her ideas aren’t finalized as of yet. Hopefully, Carlyn will be back to clarify a little for us.

  18. Hi ladies,
    Thank You Very Much for your suggestions and comments!!! It’s wonderful to bounce these ideas off~*
    I’m actually talking about a trailer.
    It’s all we could afford and have done a lot of transformation work to improve it so it’s more like a cabin: rough cut hemlock siding (cashed in most of the aluminium), closed in porches to make mud room and sunny sewing room on the back porch, all new appliances and fixtures: jacuzzi tub, bowl sink, new toilet, etc. and one big living room and one kitchen/dining/lounge/library/office (melts together in that order) so it feels more like a long house rather than a crappy paneled quick fix. we’ve taken so many trips to the transfer station with old insulation, panelling, carpet, etc!
    So, above the axles ;0) the floor is steel beams with 2X6 joists (insulated between with only tar paper stapling them up) with this press board layer and simple linoleum tiles on top, or plywood wherever we replaced water-damaged spots.
    we are planning to put 2x3s, 16″ on center, right on top of the pressboard and use 4″ screws to place them. then, between the 2x3s, cut reflective foam to fit snug, notch out grooves for the PEX pipe, and fill with sand. then, nail or staple the pine flooring onto that.
    what is engineered pine flooring?
    we are planning to buy tounge and groove or some kind of panelling from a local reputable sawmill that they would recommend for a floor. they have a kiln, so we thought that would help with the expansion for radiant heat.
    Thanks for the brain teaser, you wonderfull women!!!!
    : )
    have a fabulous day!!

  19. Thanks Carlyn,
    Use the search box in the upper right-hand corner and type in engineered pine flooring or engineered hardwood flooring — I think you’ll like the possibilities here! Oooh boy, and just when you think you had it all figured out! The choice is yours of course and getting it at the local lumber mill means that you could finish it how you want. There is unfinished engineered wood flooring too. Both are very good options.
    Sounds like you’ve done a really neat renovation – very creative! My husband & I started out in a trailer – basically gutted before we moved in – didn’t do like you did though. Heh. Which is why I wrote that it sounds wonderful – ours certainly wasn’t! I hated our trailer…………. but it was someplace to start out, live cheap & save for a house.
    Ooh yeah – smart move on your part, as high as scrap has been.

  20. We have discovered we have unfinished heart pine flooring in our living room and dining room that was installed back in the 1950’s when the house was built. It has been covered with carpet all these years. we want to refinish it but all the stain colors are coming up red. I was hoping to find a stain that would make it look more on the warm browns. Any suggestions?

  21. Hi Kathy,
    I don’t understand your comment about “all the stain colors are coming up red”. Could you clarify please?
    As a side note, heart pine naturally has reddish or golden tones, unlike sapwood. I’ve read that you can keep heart pine from turning red with an ultra violet inhibitor in the finish, but I don’t know how well this actually works, especially in old wood that has already been exposed to UV so long.
    My suggestion? Since these colors are inherent traits in heart pine, I wouldn’t try fighting it and enjoy the beautiful natural warm tones.

  22. Yes, we also have oak in the bedrooms and we tried to match or blend the two floors together. We tried Golden oak, Puritan Pine, Ipswich pine, and gunstock Minwax stains on a sample of the flooring. The golden oak looks real good on the oak (of course) but the heart pine just seems to look red and so did the other colors we have tried. I was hoping to find a stain that would make it look more warm brown (taupe) than red. We also tried Special Walnut but that makes it looks dirty. Now there has been no UV rays on the flooring because it has been covered with carpet for over 40 years. Thanks you for your response.

  23. Hi Kathy,
    Looking at the sample photos at MinWax, it looks like the gunstock stain is reddish to start with, the Ipswich pine and Puritan pine are both warm toned as well. Looks like “Driftwood” might be worth a shot. You know, you can always try to dilute the stain too, so it’s not so dark, maybe a color like the special walnut would work better that way. Sometimes combining colors will work too. I think it’s going to be difficult to come up with a color you’ll like because no matter what color stain you use, the base color of the heart pine is still going to be a factor in the final color.
    Minwax has a Hickory Gel Stain that looks like it might work too.
    Just found a page at MinWax’s site about stain matching – very resourceful and more in depth than what I’ve touched base on.
    Even though the floor has had carpet on it for 40 years, it’s still a floor that is at least 50 years old, maybe even closer to 60 — depending on what year it was built and was most likely exposed to sunlight as hardwood floors were very popular then. Now the trend seems to have moved away from carpeting mainly because of the materials they’re made from and how they trap allergens (mold, mildew, dust, etc.).

  24. I have just put in a wide plank pine tongue and groove floor (750+sq ft)…I sanded it 3 times and was told the best finish would be a diamond varathane water-based semi-gloss…well, after I had sanded and cleaned the wood…it was so soft on my bar feet. Now after the first coat of the varathane, it is so rough…I am going to hand sand the entire floor again, but I am hesitant to put the same stuff on. We have a pine armrail going down our stairs which is glossy by soft to the touch. I am sure my feet would like it…should I maybe have used a glossy varathane? And if so, can I put this over the semi-gloss…I am so disappointed right now…anyone have any ideas???

  25. Hello Flooring Lady.
    At this time, subject to change in near future, I’m thrilled about unloading 1300 square feet of pine T&G 4″ flooring into our empty new great room. We picked it up at the sawmill earlier today and have it stacked & spread so it can feel at home in it’s new climate. I’ve never been afraid of hard work and didn’t want to go into debt for oak pre finished floors. So the fun starts in a week or so. Anywho, both sides of the flooring are semi-smooth. However, the side which has the groove between boards is smoother. I assumed I should install the flooring with the ungrooved side which would result in even more sanding. Can I use the grooved side? Do you see any pros or cons to either? Thanks for any input. The sawmill commented that customers have gone either way, but she prefers the flat (ungrooved) side for easier cleaning. Thanks again.

  26. hi flooring lady,
    I have installed prefinished siberian pine in my dining room and am now refinishing my kitchen floor which is southern yellow pine installed in the 50’s. My question is that the siberian pine floors are very light and bright and almost blonde and when the kitchen southern yellow is sanded it looks like the sibirian, now ive done a couple test spots with poly and its turning the floors an amber color (which is the same color it was before i sanded) and i am really trying to get it to match the siberian. HELP!!!
    Ryan Wells

  27. Hi Ryan,
    It sounds like you’ll need to try staining one to match the other. There may not be a stain that will work perfectly, but you can always mix stains of the same type. Keep in mind too, that there’s really no reason that the two floors ‘have’ to match if you can live with that. Close is good! It’s going to be next to impossible to get them to match exactly. You won’t be able to get the golden color out of the Southern yellow pine.

  28. Hi – we are going to purchase pine flooring for our livingroom and bedrooms. I am still undecided as to what kind of pine – do I stain it – do I use tung oil or wax to finish it???
    I really want more of a golden/brown finish instead of a redish finish. So it looks antique like it has been in the house forever.
    Any help, insight, suggestions would be much appreciated

  29. Hi Mary,
    A lot of pine has reddish tones to it. There are several varieties that have more of a yellowish tone. You just need to explore on the internet a bit to figure out which have the lighter tones that you desire.
    You should finish it with a good sealer to protect both the wood and the stain. You should follow up with something along the lines of Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane to protect the floor itself. Products like this are available in different sheens, so you can get your new floor as glossy (or not!) as you like.

  30. Hello
    I have purchased a reclaimed victorian pine floor and would like it to be a dark finish such as a black-brown or deep brown (with the grain showing) for the Lounge and dining room. The house currently has an original victorian oak floor in the upstairs bedrooms that I would like to match as close as possible to the lounge and dining room (after sanding a oiling the bedroom floors in the same colour). Can you advise of an oil that I will be able to use on both different woods so the floors look as similar as possible?
    Thanks in advance
    Lee Dobbyn

  31. Hi Lee,
    No, I can’t recommend anything. This is one of those situations where you’re going to have to do some experimenting with different products/stains, etc. I hope you have some extra pieces of that reclaimed wood. Hopefully you’ll hit upon a good match. BTW – kudos for using reclaimed wood as it is the “green” thing to do! :~)

  32. Good Evening,
    My old house has 12″ wide pine flooring in much of the house. It’s not toungue and groove so in some places there is nearly a 1/4″ between planks,
    and its nailed down. Most of the house still has a rather dark stain and maybe varnish, but in the kitchen 95% of the stain and sealer is worn off.
    What should I do to the kitchen floor? Now it soaks up every spill or dog pee like a sponge.
    It’s so uneven it would have to be removed completely before I could put something else down, and I really would like to save it , cracks full of crumbs and all.
    Jean Norton

  33. Hi Jean,
    I would rent a sander to remove everything and then stain and seal the floor. I like Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane for a finish, it’s very durable. The cracks can actually be filled in with wood putty, sanded, and then stained and finished with the rest of the floor. You might also want to stain the floor and then use a clear epoxy coat coating instead. If you’re interested in going this route, please read up more on it. ;o)

  34. Hi there,
    I ran across your pages today. I like what I see, thanks in advance!!
    I just took delivery on a thousand feet of 5″ wide white pine. I want it to have a durable finish with a light color, similar to Cabot Limed Oak stain. What is your recomendation for the project? Sealing? Stain? Final finish? Once again, THANKS. Ryan E

  35. Thanks for your reply on 3-31, now for the next question.
    The way the floor is nailed down with big old nails with 1/4″ heads at the surface seems like a problem. Since the wood is soft should I try to sink them before sanding – or what? I thought about pulling them out and putting in screws.
    Thanks again
    Jean Norton

  36. Hi Jean,
    You can use screws if you like, obviously being careful not to do any damage, though you may not be happy with how the screws look unless you putty over them. Most people do usually nail the flooring as screws can hold “too well” – is less forgiving when you think about expansion/contraction and even house settling. You can sink them if you like and even use wood putty if you want to – it’s all up to you. Different people prefer different approaches and looks for the finished product. If you like the old “feel” that the nails give, sink them just below the surface.

  37. I am restoring a 1916 Florida home. I have been told the floor is yellow pine. It has many colors or shades running through it. Is this still available today. I have run across pine but not yellow pine. Also is this suitable for a kitchen and bathroom?

  38. Hi John,
    Yes, there is such a thing as yellow pine. ;~) As far as whether or not it’s suitable for a kitchen and bathroom, most people will tell you that it isn’t. I would disagree though, as I believe it depends upon what the homeowner wants and whether or not the flooring will be maintained properly. I’m not a big fan of wooden bathroom flooring myself, but my reasons are more of a personal nature. :~)

  39. My home was built in 1906 and I recently discovered that under lot of old linoleum, there is a wooden floor in the kitchen made of Hemlock. I beleive Hemlock is a softwood but is stronger than pine and most other softwoods. This area takes a lot of traffic. Once I clear the old linoleum and get the Hemlock sanded smooth, what would you recommend for the stain and/or finish that will help this softwood stand up to kitchen traffic?

  40. Hi Mike, Hemlock is one of the least hard and durable woods. It does sand pretty well but does marr rather easily in high traffic areas. It does not have much resistance to decay. It’s my understanding that Hemlock takes stain very well and I would recommend as a sealant.

  41. Just moved into a 1910 home with pine flooring under layers of linoleum et al. The floors are a bit ‘greyish’ in areas from dirt and perhaps just age, but when sanded in a few test areas where cabinets are going over top, nice blond wood shows up with lots of character – some knots, lots of nailholes from excessive floor nailing, and a few areas with minor damage (wood is flaking up but nothing so bad that we cant sand it down without going to deep).
    I sanded the small 2sq ft test area til the wood’s beautiful colour shows through, cleared out the grooves with a screwdriver (1/8″ or smaller througout) and shopvac’d it all, then wiped it with a damp cloth to pick up dust, let it dry, and put on one coat of oil based poly (minwax).
    Ive read through many sites and all the comments here and have a few questions:
    – water based poly over oil based? why?
    – wood conditioner before the poly?
    – tack cloth, or cloth soaked in ‘mineral spirits’ to clean after initial sanding?
    – fill the gaps then sand? they’re not too wide, and give character (and room to ‘breathe’ – it’s summer here but hasn’t been too much warm/humid weather yet really) – or will the gaps get much wider in winter thus should be filled? (We can vacuum them to keep them clean if they’re not too large so they bother bare feet ;) We’ve been walking on the unsanded floor for a week in bare feet actually, only the slivers from the small area where some wood is coming up bother us :)
    Ive heard of people filling the gaps with twine of a colour that matches the floor..?
    – if we leave the gaps, how much poly should we get into them?
    – sanding – guy at the hardware store who works on wood insisted we should be sanding WITH the grain or we’ll lose it entirely with the clear poly seal – but in applying the poly the wood DOES drink it up really fast, but I can clearly see the grain far more than before the poly – Im wondering if we’ll get TOO much grain – my test area was orbital hand sanded 90% (then the old sander broke), went to the store, got confused by the clerk re orbital vs belt, so came back to test by sanding the last 10% of the test section by hand WITH the grain (all of this with 80 grit), cleaned and poly’d – if we belt sand only with the grain, will the contrast of the grain be even more?
    – hand sanding with a small sander you say can make for uneven sanding (I guess cuz you’re working too close and cant see large areas to compare?) – we only have a 12×10′ room here with kitchen cabinets, so not much space – is a larger standup sander really needed? Obviously a hand sander around the cabinets/edges is required.
    – how many coats of poly? and sand with 200 or 320 between? What are people talking about ‘sealant’ then ‘poly’ on the wood?
    Sorry, lots of questions, thanks for the advice!

  42. Ken,
    What a glorious find! I am going to recommend you consult a professional on your questions as they can vary. I would also inquire of a professional in your area that specializes in refinishing vintage flooring. Good Luck Ken!

  43. I’m in the final stages of renovating and putting an addition on an 1880 house. The original has pine floors and the subcontractor used new pine in the addition, which I had expected would be stained to be close in color to the original floor. Instead, the sub sanded and coated the old pine and only put poly on the new, with the result that there’s a sharp difference in color between the two. Not at all what I wanted, since otherwise we replicated the details, moldings, fixtures and so on throughout. The flooring sub says the new pine will darken with age, but I worry that could be years and meanwhile I have a two-toned floor. He’s now suggested adding another layer of poly with a tint, but I’m not sure that makes sense. I’d really appreciate any advice.
    Many thanks.

  44. Marc,
    If you are concerned having your sub contractor use the poly-stain on your floors ask for another opinion!
    As an afterthought here is another issue some face when mixing vintage wood with new wood.
    Is there also a noticeable difference in the wood’s character? Most original old surfaces were hand hewn, hand sawn, hand planed or machine finished. Most wood on the market today has been milled and doesn’t have the hand hewn look. Mixing those 2 types of wood would produce a noticeable difference as the vintage wood would have more character and deeper tones.

  45. Hi,
    I have recently refinished my pine floors in the living room and dining room. They look great. Im thinking about doing it in the kitchen too. What is your opinion on pine floors in the kitchen

  46. Geoff,
    This would be a choice only you can make! I mention in the article
    “You need to keep in mind that softwoods are categorized that way for a reason. They are softer than the hardwoods, which means that they are more easily dented and pitted. For most people, they think that this only helps to make the floors more beautiful, but if you do not think that worn floors are beautiful, then you will probably not want to choose pine flooring. To minimize the appearance of dents, you will want to refrain from using a dark stain, because this stain makes them more noticeable”
    Pine has been used in kitchens and with the proper sealing and installation it can be a great addition to your home.

  47. I’m renovating an 1850’s stone barn and have installed some beautiful wide plank (12″-18″) pine from another old barn that we dismantled. We planed everything to a consistent thickness, “ship-lapped” the edges and sanded the exposed side to keep some of the original saw/kerf marks for that rustic, old world character.
    The resulting floors are absolutely beautiful with a perfect natural light to medium brown patina. I’d really like to keep the color just as it is but I need to put a protective finish on them since there will be a fair amount of traffic and wear in certain areas (and I’d like to make everything easy to clean).
    I’ve read great reviews and recommendations about the Zinsser Bulls Eye products, especially their Universal Sanding Sealer (to be used before any actual polyurethane). I tested this on some scrap pieces and the wood darkens dramatically when it’s applied. I really would like to keep the finish as close as possible to the original/current patina. Are there any protective products available that will do that?
    By the way, for grins we applied a small amount of tile grout sealer on another scrap piece(since it repels water and stains well), and the wood did not darken nearly as much.
    Any thoughts, suggestions or recommendations would be very helpful.

  48. Hi, it’s been a while since I posted here with my myriad of questions which I’ve reduced here :)
    After a lot of reading on the internet, talking to flooring guys at Home Depot and other Do It Yourself stores, and some experimenting, I thought I’d share my findings, and end with a simpler question.
    First of all my kitchen floor is 100 years old, dented in some place, flaking up in others, has scuffs, and even saw blade marks from old owners removing old flooring and applying new. All of that was removed to reveal soft white pine, which I’ve now sanded.
    Sanding was easy and safe. With all the scuffs and other ‘distressing’ on the floor, making a more noticeable sanding error was nearly impossible. (21″ beltsander with 60 paper, with the grain – my biggest mistake was removing too much ‘patina’ in a couple areas). They’ve gone from a dull grey back to a bright nearly-white (as white as pine gets), though some areas have a bit of light amber and browns and light greys in the grain that isnt removable by sanding (and I dont think I want to remove ALL character :).
    I tried water poly, oil poly, some stains as well in a test area and I liked none of it. Actually the oil poly was the best looking but also the most toxic and sticky/hard to deal with. Water poly looked like a coat of hard plastic on the floor. Really contrasted the ‘old’ historical wood underneath with the ‘new glassy layer’ on top (despite using the satin finish). With more reading I settled on Pure Tung Oil which I got from the local Lee Valley Tools.
    It is real Pure Tung Oil, not a tung-containing finish, and it is not diluted (though I have non-toxic citrius solvent to dilute if need be).
    Talking to the people there behind the desk they suggested PURE tung oil applied to the wood. The wood is very dry after sanding and readily drank up a test application of Circa 1950 diluted tung (toxic due to the mineral spirits used in it, so I didnt continue with it). After it soaked in, even one coat looked great but obviously needs more.
    However, Im not sure if I should dilute my pure tung oil with citrus solvent for ANY of the coats, or for only the first, or second, or subsequent or what. Since it takes long to dry for each coat, which I AM willing to go through ONCE for the whole floor, I cant wait 2 weeks for a test area to be done to figure out how to apply it.
    Do i need to sand (lightly) between coats?
    And finally, how should I apply it? I have a soft ‘rag brush’ on a pole (easier than on hands and knees), but how do I know when i’ve put enough on? How long do I leave it on before wiping off excess? How long before I do a 2nd coat, and until then, what are the rules for walking on it (in socks/bare feet/shoes/moving furniture/etc).
    Oh one slighlty-off-the-wall question – i read that some people used to keep white pine floors au naturel – no finish AT ALL. Just washed with water and lye every so often, and it builds up its own ‘finish’ over time – is that really viable at all? Do people do that? I think the slivers (which seem to be inevitable on my floor, as we’re walking on it in bare feet now) would be too much!

  49. Ken,
    I’ve never finished a floor with tung oil, but
    I have used it on furniture with great success – follow the directions on the container — and be aware that you’ll have to refinish it more
    frequently than if you use Varathane water based Diamond Coat Polyurethane
    Regarding your au naturel white pine floors: I’m sure people do leave their floors unfinished but I don’t recommend it because dirt and grime will
    get ground in — and lye is a harsh product to work with regularly;I prefer more environmentally friendly and simple approaches.

  50. Hello I just found your posting and they were useful. I had a question about finishing pine floor with VWBDCP this is a rental, and I think how difficult will to removed this refinish. In the past, I had horror experiences to removed old floors finish on old house. The finish was so sticky after apply the orange finish remover. It will stick on the sand paper in couple minutes then it have to change sand paper again verily used. It got to be so expensive that I ended putting carper. How to work removed old finished is so important has how to do finish that last.
    I will really appreciate your advice.
    Maida Strauss-W

  51. Hi there,
    I am about to change my carpet for the whole house. I realised that I have pine timber floor underneath. So now i have a choice for the lounge and hallway, should I reap the carpet and get the floor boards sanded and polished or shall I replace it with carpet. Price is not an issue but what is better? Any help.

  52. Maida,
    If a finish remover was applied, in my experience, the way to remove it and the finish is with a scraper. Once the finish is mostly removed then sanding can be used to remove the balance — wear a mask to keep fumes and dust out of lungs, for both aspects of this.

  53. Hi Sarita,
    Which is better would depend on your situation. Pine is a softer wood than the popular woods of today like oak, making it show wear and tear sooner and more readily. Are these “high traffic” areas that will get worn quickly? Do you have small children who would benefit from having carpet with padding in those rooms? Family members with allergies who could benefit from not having carpet in those rooms?
    Hard surface floors are easier to keep clean than carpet. I personally think the pine won’t be a problem in the areas you are talking about, and door mats will help reduce the grit that wears wood out.

  54. Thank you for your quick response. No there are no children. In terms of traffic, well I am hoping it to be used in the hallway and the living area. I do have asthma so I was leaning more towards polishing the boards rather than have another set of carpet. My unit is 28 years old so my biggest concern was if sanding and polishing would affect the structural strength of the floor – ie sanding means taking a few mm off the boards? I have also considered installing laminates on top of the pine boards- but I am getting mix messages on this from retailers.

  55. Hi there
    just another question. I previously polished my kitchen floor, which is also radiata pine. I think they used polyurethane – it came out with a clear finish. If I wanted to change this to a darker stain, would i have to re-sand this before applying another stain.
    And thanks very much for your help.

  56. Sarita,
    It sounds like the pine floors would be a choice. Sanding the floor should not affect the structural strength enough to make a difference.
    You can also ‘screen’ the floors, it’s a way to lightly sand hard wood floors. Look for Sanding Screens. They come in different grits depending on how much screening is needed.
    You may want to read about Laminate Flooring Installation to give you some ideas as to why you should or shouldn’t install the laminate.

  57. Hi Flooring Lady,
    Good article.
    I’m thinking of using pine flooring in my 3 season cottage. I’ve been told softwoods are the way to go here because the cottage is unheated during the winter.
    Any recommendations on board widths or special installation considerations for my application? I’m thinking of installing the floor this fall.

  58. Dan,
    I would be sure that the floors are installed correctly and they should be able to withstand the temperature changes. As for the sizes, you should choose what looks best to you.
    You may want to read Hardwood Flooring Installation.

  59. Thank you for this article. We have just put red pine floors in our cottage & want to stain them more golden coloured (not blond). Are there water based stains? If not, do you think we should stain them with oil based stain then put water based urethane on top?

  60. have bought solid pine love the nice dark oak look.what products should i choose too create this.and in which order should i apply them.want a nice shine,but be able too give it a mop from time too time.ur advice would be kindly taken

  61. Hi There,
    I wish that I could afford antique pine. Saw several floors in the east called pumpkin pine. Loved the color. My contractor has installed pine flooring. No idea what kind, looks nice has some notts, which I like. My question is how can I get it somewhat distressed before I do anything else to it and how can I get that lovely pumpkin color? I have children and dogs.

  62. Hi, I was delighted to find your article on old pine flooring and hope you can help. We have a 1920’s farm house with some sort of pine floors. We love the “weathered and soft” look. We plan to refinish all the floors eventually but can’t find the time and money to do it just yet.
    My question: is there some product or technique you can recommend to clean the floors and then quickly, lightly (and cheaply!) seal them? We’d like to add a bit of protection until we do find the time and money to refinish them.
    Thanx in advance!

  63. Susie,
    I do have experience making a floor look distressed, but have read many ideas like hitting it with chains, hammers, etc. You may want to call a local installer and ask for their suggestions.
    For the color, you should be able to stain the pine the shade you are looking for.

  64. Hello,
    My husband just installed over 800sq ft. of soft pine wood flooring in our house. Although it looks great, we have two kids and a dog and a cat and it appears no way to clean the floors. The floors are stained but not polyed – my husband does not want to poly the floors – the floors should not get wet – so how do I keep them clean except – not to walk on them, which of course is not a reality.
    Please help.
    Thank you so much – Tracey

  65. We have pulled up carpet in our 93 year old home. In the hallway, there is a pinewood floor that is in good condition. We have cleaned it, and now we would like to seal it. We do not plan to sand it, because we do not want to remove any of the patina. We would live to seal it , so that it will take more wear and tear. What product do you suggest that we use?

    • Hello!
      I’m so happy for you that you found quality pinewood flooring underneath the carpet in your 93 year old home! That sounds like a dream come true for many home-restoration aficionados. Typically, I would still recommend that you lightly sand the pine flooring with a fine grit sandpaper (by hand) so that the flooring will take the sealant better. You will also want to clean the floor very diligently before starting the sealant and in between every layer applied.
      I strongly suggest using a water-based polyurethane sealant if you like the more natural coloring of the pine. You will need lots of coats to provide adequate protection, but with the water based poly sealant you can reapply the coating every 6-8 hours. You can go with an oil-based sealant, but it does have a more yellow look that I think is more appealing on a more naturally yellow type of wood (like oak), as opposed to the pinewood.
      Please send pictures of the final product, and any in-process. I’d love to see how they turn out!

  66. I like how you said that pine wood floors have a homey look and feel of the southeastern U.S. My husband and I are going to be renovating our living room over this summer and we really want to get some kind of wood flooring to use. I would love to have this kind of look and feel in our living room considering my roots to the southeast.

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