Pine is an interesting wood. It’s considered an evergreen. There are over 100 species of pine trees that can range from 4 feet to 150 feet tall. Pine is used for woodworking and is a popular choice for wood flooring but the question remains – is pine a hardwood? The simple answer is…no. Pine is a softwood. But, there’s a lot more worth finding out before you scratch it off your list.
How Hard is Pine?
When considering pine for your solid hardwood flooring project, it’s important to note that it scores only a 380 on the Janka Scale. Typically, a wood with a rating of 850 and above is suitable for wood flooring. The harder the wood is, the less it is susceptible to denting, scratching, and showing dings and the longer it will last as a rule. Therefore, the softer it is, the more it will show signs of abuse and…the shorter its life expectancy will be.
- Sugar pine rates a 380.
- White pine rates 380.
- Yellow pine boasts an 870.
Why is pine popular for flooring if it’s not a hard wood?
When it comes to woodworking, pine is soft and easy to work with, making it an excellent choice for many crafts. Yellow pine has a Janka Score of 870 which slides it in as a contender for wood flooring.
Pine also has good dimensional stability which means maintains its structural integrity and original boundaries when its used in certain applications.
Pine is harder than some woods that are used for flooring like aspen and cedar. Despite being soft, it has a high strength-to-weight ratio. Most pine that is sold for flooring is top quality, so it is better than low quality harder woods.
Since pine is widely used to make cabinets and furniture, it’s also an excellent choice for flooring in rooms with matching pine accents.
Another big benefit of pine is that it is budget friendly. Some homeowners choose pine flooring because they can’t afford a higher priced wood.
Pine is light in color which makes it a favorite for those wishing to lighten up a dark room and for homeowners who use modern décor. It does tend to darken when exposed to light and other impacts of the environment.
It has a straight grain medium texture, so it doesn’t stick out but rather blends into the rooms aesthetics. The straight grain makes it take easily to stain and finish…another plus.
Pine is not recommended for humid climates or for areas of the house that are prone to flooding. It doesn’t resist water and dampness very well at all.
When used in engineered wood flooring, pine is moderately strong due to the extra materials used for reinforcement.
Installation of pine flooring is a cinch due to its workability.
Is Pine Flooring Right for Me?
If you’re considering purchasing pine flooring, it’s a good idea to consider your individual circumstances. If you’ll have a tremendous amount of foot traffic or have multiple pets or children who will be on it, you might not want to go with such a soft wood that will dent, scratch, and ding easily. For less traveled areas, pine is a very affordable choice.
If you live where the weather is humid or the room or rooms you are thinking of laying it in may flood from time to time, pine is not wise.
In the event that none of the circumstances connected with your home are on the list of disadvantages of pine, it very well be your new favorite flooring that will provide you with pleasure, beauty, and durability for years to come.