Can you id this hardwood floor?

jiggreenJanuary 31, 2011

I have no clue what kind of wood I uncovered in my sitting room and bedroom.

Hopefully you can tell from this picture..


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It looks like a pine subfloor.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 2:14PM
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Long before there was plywood, 1X usually pine was used as subfloor as jakabedy suggested.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 3:51PM
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Was the "subfloor" also the floor? There was no other flooring in this part of the house until the wall to wall carpeting was installed in 1971.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Can you see from the basement if there is any other sub flooring? In my house the subfloor runs at a diagonal compared to the support beams (probably some more technical term there that I don't know). Between the diagonal boards I can see the hardwood floor running perpendicular with the support beams. I have seen other discussions on using subfloor as your main floor, but I'm not sure what the gist of it all was.... I could try to get a picture, but you never know what's going to be peering back at you from my basement ceiling if you know what I mean...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 4:49PM
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What year was the house built and where is it located?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Everybody talks about subfloors, and from old books they were common, but my house built in 1908 doesn't have them--just the main flooring, which is about 1" thick--oak downstairs, and pine upstairs.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 5:58PM
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It looks like Southern Yellow Pine, which is what our house has upstairs and down. It's a nice hard species for floors, especially when it's 100 years old. It is still used commonly for porches. In my limited experience, it doesn't take stain very well, but it was often painted. If there's something over it, then it's a sub-floor, if not, well, then it's a floor.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 6:11PM
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The house is in Pennsylvania, it was built in 1814, but this part of the house is not original, from what we've been told, the addition was built in the late 1800's. There is no other subflooring, we pulled out a chimney flue that ran through the floor and were able to have a good look at what was underneath this floor. Same as in the rest of the house, floorboards over beams, with some of the floors being painted around the perimeter with what appears to be very old milk paint as if there were floorcloths down and the floorcloths were painted around. Prior to being plastered, the "subfloor" of the upstairs was the ceiling of the downstairs.

The term "subfloor" always kind of confuses me...because it implies that there was another flooring.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 8:42PM
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Pine sounds right, especially for our area and the age of the house. I wasn't sure though..I'm not good at id'ing wood based on graining, but I know lots of other people are! The older parts of the house have much wider floorboards and I know for a fact that those boards are pine and date back to the original build date in 1814. (confirmed by our local historical society when they came in to take pictures back in the 1990's for a book they published on local taverns of the 1800's)

After a light cleaning, here is what the floor looks like..

And I have to give credit to my hubby for all of his hard work today, AND for cleaning up the mess we made pulling up carpet tack strips and staples!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 9:06PM
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I'm not sure how far North "Southern" Yellow Pine grew back in 1814, but if it's not SYP, it certainly is a beautiful close-grained species and I hope you can preserve it. We have just SYP boards over joists (and innumerable layers of linoleum, etc. over that). From what I've heard, if your floor joists are "rough-hewn" from logs, the build vintage should be pre-1860. After that, joists were often sawmill-cut to dimensions.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:30AM
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Thanks for the close-up, it confirms my suspicion that you have a fir floor there.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 7:10PM
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We are really enjoying our "new" old floor! Please excuse the lack of decor. The floor is the first part of our beginning to decorate the sitting room. I still have to settle on a paint color for the walls, window treatments, decorations, lighting, etc. (the couch, picture on the wall, trunk and small black side table are staying in room though).... We're still in the "making do" and "making it right" stage!

I did a little bit of light sanding today, in order to smooth out some areas that seemed like they might put splinters in someone's foot. I did notice that there was NO pine smell at all when I sanded...unlike the wide width pine floors in the oldest part of the house. This wood though, had zero discernible scent when sanded. The other floors in the "original" part of the house...whew, the scent was overwhelmingly piney. Does fir have a scent when sanded?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 9:20PM
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Fir has a different odor from yellow pine, which is basically a turpentine kind of smell.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:37PM
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I think they look very homey. I know nothing of types ~ but I know what I like and I like the way they look :) Did the sanding pep them up a bit? And I must add that I am envious of the fact that your hubby knows how to work a broom ;) In this house, if I make a mess *I* have to clean it up ~ on the other hand if hubby makes a mess *I* have to clean it up, lol.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 8:29AM
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I can't tell you how happy we were when we found our wood floors (I think they're fir) under our old carpet. We used a u-sand -- I, the woman! used a u-sand-- to sand them all, it's an orbital sander, not a drum. I stained them dark like our woodwork, and finished them. All by myself. They look like a million bucks, and it might have cost $500 to have new old floors in 1000 square feet of our house. A steal!

We had the same kind of "painting" around the outside--ours was varnish, but basically, people put down area rugs in the center of the room, and the idea was, "why finish the floor in the whole room when we're going to have area rugs tacked down?" Isn't that a hoot? Could you imagine not painting the walls behind where you were going to hang a picture?


    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:49AM
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LOL kterlep, I am ashamed to admit to not painting behind a heavy desk w/ hutch...and forgetting about it until we moved! Can you post a picture of your floors? I'd love to have a look-see!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 4:38PM
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I thought that it was a fir floor as we have the same floors in our old farm house. When we did a remodel 10 years ago I wanted to go down to the original floors in the kitchen as I knew under layers of lino there would be a wood floor. The fellow that we had do the remodel was amazing, he stripped everything off and tried to sand it down but found the black tar like glue that was used to keep the original layer of lino intact was very difficult to get off so he took the whole floor up, turned it over and refinished the other side. They did have to replace a few boards and it is a much wider grain than the original very tight grain of the old wood. There are some old nail holes but it suits the 100 year old house.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 11:52PM
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It looks alot like the tongue and groove fir flooring the guys just laid down on my new front porch except your has a finish on it and mine doesn't .....yet!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:49AM
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