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How to identify the quality of pine flooring

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Sue Ross 108/03/2018 17:26:49
5 forum posts
5 photos

Hello. I'm hoping to get some advice on timber flooring, apologies if it's not appropriate. My Victorian terraced house currently has chipboard flooring and I'm looking into the possibility of reclaimed boards. It's two rooms knocked into one so is quite big but unfortunately it's quite dark. I'd like to have a floor with light wide-ish boards that don't go orange/yellow.

I'm on a limited budget and I've received a sample from a timber yard which they say is about 40 years old and have been reclaimed from a hospital. It's 22mm thick and 220mm wide and £25 sq.m. There are no nail holes as they say it was fixed with metal straps and under a vinyl covering. It's being sold unsanded and sanded twice. My sample has been sanded twice and I've sanded half of it myself to see how much lighter it will go (see first two photos). It seems to come up with a pinkish hue.

I spoke to a fitter who hasn't seen the sample but said I should be very wary as at that price it might be scaffolding boards that have been split and then dirtied up to make them look older. I found the wood on ebay but the firm is trading, albeit mainly in fencing and garden sheds. They're a couple of hundred miles away so I haven't visited them to look at the wood yet.

I've read that better quality pine has rings that are denser but how else can I be sure that I'm buying the right quality. Can you tell from the photos what kind of wood it is and whether it's suitable for flooring? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

sample 1.jpg

sample 2.jpg

sample 3.jpg

sanded twice 1.jpg


Derek Lane11/03/2018 16:06:02
3219 forum posts
1004 photos

I may not be the best person to answer this question but them boards don't really look as though they would hold op to much traffic. With the samples could you not take them to a local wood yard and just ask if it would be suitable.

Can you push your finger nail into the wood and mark it easy if you can then I would say no good.

But please get an expert with this type of thing, personally I would go for a hardwood. The boards that they have shown a picture does look a bit like scaffold board

Sue Ross 112/03/2018 14:05:33
5 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks for the reply. Compared to the poor quality you see in DIY stores which comes in at the same price the wood is quite hard. I took a sharp knife to it and it's made what I'd call an 'acceptable scratch'. But you're right, I'll visit some timber merchants and see what they say and how it compares. Thanks

derek willis 113/03/2018 09:21:47
99 forum posts
12 photos


The boards you have shown are about the average for flooring grade timber, as an ex builder, I can

assure you that what you have shown will be quite adequate for the purpose.

All standard flooring is Deal or what is known as softwood, hardwood will be extortionately expensive

lay these boards, hire cramps and tighten up the joints 3 or 4 boards at a time, hire a floor and edging

sander and give them the professional look when done, they'll look good and will last you all the time

you will need them, especially if you use flooring sealer or polyurethane finish.

Good luck with this project.


Sue Ross 114/03/2018 21:39:46
5 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks. I took it to a wood reclamation place, apparently it's Oregon pine, no more than 15 years old. They said the danger was that its age means it could still split whereas they have a fully mature one at £45 sq m. I'm concerned it will darken over time so they also showed me spruce at £45 too - softer but a whiter wood. At similar prices I'm wondering if I should just go for engineered hardwood. I'm going round in circles at the moment!

Thanks for the advice, had not thought about clamps so that's very helpful.

Sue Ross 114/03/2018 21:57:34
5 forum posts
5 photos

By the way, the existing subfloor is chipboard on joists. It's all quite solid and I was advised to either glue or nail the new boards down. My preference would be to screw them, that way if you ever need to raise them to get to pipes or electrics etc, there's less chance of damage. Do opinions vary widely?

derek willis 115/03/2018 13:42:05
99 forum posts
12 photos

Sue, All wood will darken over time unless sealed, obviously hardwood is preferable

to any other, but at what cost, I would not go down the screw route, it would be quite

ugly, nail it and punch in the heads, glueing will stop any surface noise such as

squeaking and access will always be difficult with a double layer anyhow.


Sue Ross 116/03/2018 22:21:36
5 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks again for the sound advice.

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