There are many things to consider when choosing a floor, whether it is made of wood, tile or an artificial wood laminate. The different types of wood flooring vary in durability, color and cost. The advantages of pine flooring can depend on the nature of an interior design, the type of room and price considerations. Among these advantages are that it is durable and relatively inexpensive.
Pine is called a softwood like other wood that comes from cone-bearing or evergreen trees. Softwoods might dent more easily than hardwoods such as oak, they still generally are durable floors when properly cared for. Pine flooring has a yellow-brown color that will darken with age, although refinishing will restore its color. Pine flooring might contain whorls and knots or be a clearer wood with a finer grain. Hardwoods usually command a higher price than softwoods, so another advantage of pine flooring its comparatively low cost.
Varieties of pine used in flooring include the eastern white pine and the southern yellow or longleaf pine. The eastern white pine is not, however, an optimally durable wood. Therefore, the southern yellow is more sought-after. Boards taken from the center or heart of the tree have fewer whorls and knotting than those taken from the outside. A combination of both grades can yield an attractive floor when the two types are alternated or intermixed.
Pine flooring is durable enough for heavily trafficked rooms such as the kitchen. Good maintenance and daily sweeping will increase the length of time before refinishing becomes necessary. Another thing to consider is the existing or desired room décor. The golden-brown color of pine is attractive but might not suit a particular owner’s wishes.
One advantage of pine flooring is that it sometimes is used as the subfloor in older homes. If this is the case, the owner might choose to sand, finish and seal the pine boards. Some repair of damaged boards might be necessary, but old boards that have darkened with age will regain their vibrant-yet-mellow color. Removing carpet or tile and bypassing installation of a new surface is another possible advantage of pine flooring.
One way to gain the aesthetic advantages of pine flooring through a less expensive option is to choose a laminate. Laminates have a thin top layer that mimics the character and color of wood. The bonded composite layers underneath provide a durable floor, the level surface is easy to clean, and laminate will be largely impervious to water.