Help With Pine Flooring?

melanie1422March 8, 2009

Hi all! My house was built in the late 1940s. The kitchen was added on to at some point in the 1950s, and underneath several layers of terrible vinyl flooring is a very nice 4x1 pine tongue and groove floor. This is not the subfloor - it is on top of the subfloor, but most of it has never been stained or finished at all. I was so excited to find it!

The problem is that after taking a wall down, I have a small portion where the pine is missing. Is there any way to get matching flooring to fill in? I have checked with my local architectural salvage, but they seem to only have oak flooring.

The missing section is about 6 inches by 7 feet. The boards, of course, run perpendicular to missing slice. The guy doing my floor says that if I can find more boards, he can move the old boards so that it looks like they belong. But where can I find the boards? I am not sure what kind of pine I have - I am in the South East and the guy just said they were "pine". The rest of the house has 2 1/2" boards, so I can't take any out of a closet. I might could remove some wood from underneath where my cabinets will go...would that work? The guy didn't seem to like that idea.

Please give me any advice you may have! I'd love to be able to finish these floors. Thanks in advance!

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I'm surprised you can't find any pine flooring salvage in the SE! :) I have actually used new lumber cut to spec for similar problems (moldings, trim, etc) - cost was not too bad either. If you have a lumber yard that does custom work they can cut a piece of pine for you in the right length and width, with tongue and groove. You could probably even take them a picture of your current floor so they can see if it is heart pine or whathaveyou. The trick would then be to stain it to match the other boards. You might not get a perfect match, but for me this is part of the charm of an old house. Good luck! :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 3:46AM
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There are companies in every state in the southeast that sell reclaimed pine. You don't say where you are, but if you google "heart pine" and your city/state, you should be able to find them. You may not have heart pine, but the companies usually sell varying grades of lumber.

I just had to buy some southern heart pine to repair some damaged areas in my 1912 colonial revival. The company was local, so they sent someone over to determine the grade that would match best. It worked out to about $9/sq ft, but they had a minimum order of 30 sq ft. I didn't need that much, but now I'll have extra to make thresholds etc or do future repairs.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 11:07AM
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If your house was built in the 1940's it's doubtful that the floors are heart pine; that species was pretty much extinct before 1900 although it's possible the house was built with old stock. The easiest way to tell if it's heart pine is to sand a small area down to bare wood & wet with turpentine (or water). Heart pine will turn a very distinct red while other pines will remain the original color.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 2:49PM
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You probably have southern yellow pine. That species is hard enough for flooring, northern pine tends to be softer.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:33AM
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I am thinking that it is yellow pine. The more gunky linoleum that comes off, the more yellow it looks. I have two boards so far that have turned red when wet, but maybe that is just a fluke.

I did find a guy who said that he can make replacement boards for my hole, however, I have to get a piece out to bring to him to match. Any ideas for the best way to do that? Or any ideas on getting the nasty linoleum to come off, other than chipping it off slowly?


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 12:51PM
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If it's in the kitchen, can you shift the boards so that the "gap" falls under cabinets? Sorry if that's a dumb suggestion! or, do you have any similar wood inside a closet somewhere?

Good luck!


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Hi Mary,
I asked about shifting so the problem is under the cabinets, but they didn't seem to think that would work at all. I'm really not sure why.

The rest of the house has a completely different wood in a smaller board size.

I think I've found someone who can make me some new boards (does this sound odd? He thinks he can make them match), I just have to get a piece of the flooring OUT so he can match it. And I'm still struggling with the awful linoleum. Yuck!

Thanks for the ideas!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 1:36PM
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