Any tricks to tell what kind of wood the floor is?

terri_pacnwMarch 18, 2014

We are looking at a house that has neat wood floors, but they need to be spiffed up. Sanded and finished! I'm guessing. Not sure if we would stain them of not or just put on some poly.
This is the front room floor. The mantel needs to be cleaned a bit too.

Would they be the same wood?

Built in 1947 in Western WA.

I'm guessing they could be oak, but they could also be fir or pine, since all three are in abundance here.
The hall and bedrooms are the same floor but no design.

Any ideas?

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I can't see from the pictures but look at the grain and natural coloring. You can find species pictures online.

Each wood takes stain differently so be sure to test first.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:56AM
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Thank you for the tip. I am going today. I'll try and get a decent close up to compare.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:18AM
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So what does the type of wood have to do with it?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:48PM
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Geoffrey, I don't know if it does or doesn't. This is all new to me. I know that the floors need to be sanded or buffed and protected. Maybe a stain.
I didn't know if different woods act differently, prefer different stain and prep.

More photos of the floor. First two are the fancy living room. Last one is the master. All three bedrooms look pretty much like each other..
The front rooms are bleached and stained a lot.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:44PM
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Youre floors are Red Oak. Was there carpet at one point covering the floor?
Id be very cautious of doing just a buff n coat. Mainly thinking whatever finish is on currently wont adhere properly. Plus wont take of any deep scratches.

Red Oak sands and stains nicely. Will probably require some elbow grease to remove old finish as in my experience will probably gum up the paper pretty easily.

Nice looking floors. Somebody put somevreal effort in installing it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:01PM
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Thank you for the identification.
Now I know what I'll be working with.
I am unsure if there was ever carpet on them. The house has been empty a few years. We are about to put in a bid and hopefully buy it.

I like to know what I have to do before I make final decisions. :)

Our current living arrangement allows for us to do the floors over several weeks before moving in. Or any other work that would be better done with no occupants.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:44PM
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Do you think we should go for the stain color that the mantel is exhibiting?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:59PM
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Youre mantel looks like whiteoak to me. So going natural on the floor will look close but not perfect. Your floors are going to exhibit more color variation.

You could stain it. Its up to you. But if you have the budget/time sand the floors. Start fresh in your new home!

Be aware that in some pics it looks like you might have some stains in the wood. That may or may not sand clean.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:55PM
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From a distance the wood looks like White Oak, based on the amount of color variation. In the closeup it look more like Red Oak. Dura Seal Golden Oak or Chestnut would look nice. Freshly finished Red Oak looks nice in natural color. If you use oil poly, I'm not crazy about how Red Oak turns orange/yellow with age. If you're curious whether it ever had carpet over it, look for tack strip holes on the perimeter.

It looks like a very nice floor but it would be best to resand it while you're not living there. I am a bit worried about the splintered edge at the corner in picture 5 and whether the stained areas in the dining room (?) would sand out. You might want to see if you can get some carpenters glue under that splinter before sanding. If the stains don't sand out, staining the floor might help obscure them. Once the furniture is in place, it will be a minor issue overall.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:18PM
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Yes, I noticed the splinter in the photo..didn't notice it on the floor though when looking at it.

Thank you all for your advice and information!

I know it will be a ton of work, some long weekends and after work hours.
Before we move in. But worth it to bring those amazingly crafted floors back to life!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:21PM
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I don't think the mantel is original to the house.

It's definitely not the 1940s-50s style.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:38PM
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