Using pine boards as flooring is something we have done several times throughout the years. I have already shared a few posts about our pine flooring in the past. The first post was when we were installing it in the entryway of our old house. And the second post was a Q&A type of post. And, today, I decided to put together another post with all of the most recent pine flooring FAQs. There were quite a few!
We are in the finishing stages of our new house, which I owe you guys a huge update, by the way. And they just finished laying our pine flooring. I have to say that it looks pretty spectacular. So, this is a perfect time! Keep reading for all of the new FAQs on our pine flooring.
Let me first start by giving you a little history of our experience of installing and living with pine boards as flooring. Back in 2009, we bought a big house out in the country. You have probably heard me talking about it if you watch our social media stories. It was built in the late 70s and built to look old. They installed pine boards as flooring in this house. We LOVED them. Prior to us buying it, the finish had started to wear off in different spots, mainly around the dining room chairs. I mean, after 30 years, you would expect that. The kitchen and both bathrooms in that house had linoleum. So Deb and I laid the pine boards over the linoleum just like the rest of the house. We ended up then sanding the old floor and refinishing it so that it all matched. It looked so dang good. We loved them!
We ended up selling that house and moving to our tiny house, which was one of our rentals at the time. It was only about 600 square feet of living space. That house had linoleum in the bathroom so we again, laid the pine boards as flooring over that. I talked a lot about that time in our lives in this post.
We then bought, remodeled, and move into the house on Winchester, which is when I started this website. I wanted to document everything that we did there. Deb and I installed pine boards as flooring throughout the entire house. It is when I wrote those first two posts.
ALSO, we had pine boards installed as flooring in our storefront that we had for a few years.
So, that is our history with pine boards as flooring.
Now, let’s get on with the FAQs.
These are the most common questions that I received from our social media friends when I recently showed our pine floors in our new home.
To start, I announced that we will have our pine floors painted this time, rather than staining them. Painting wood, new or old, always causes quite a stir in people. It actually makes me laugh because I received messages in all caps like this – “DO NOT PAINT THESE FLOORS” or “PLEASE STAIN THEM.” I truly cannot imagine being that passionate about someone else’s floor choices. Remember, you don’t have to live with them. You can install whatever type of flooring that you want and, honestly, no one cares.
So, let’s start there and address the paint questions first.
It probably doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what color our floors will be. They will be straight white with no color added to it. And yes, all of them will be the same color of white. I am a huge fan of consistency throughout our homes. It is one thing we have always done and always loved.
Deb and I have lived with all different types of colors of pine floors, from really dark to lighter. And I’ve always wanted a painted wood floor. We have a lot of collections with a lot of different large pieces of furniture. And our furniture is all different types of wood colors. I want the focus of my rooms to be on that… collections, decor, and furniture. Those items pop against white. Plus, a lot of times certain finishes turn orange after a few years. That is what I do not want to happen.
This is a very common question and a huge misconception about flooring. We’ve lived with both dark and light flooring. I’m here to say that dark flooring is THE WORST to keep clean. You can stand at one end of the room and see every hair and every piece of dust all around the sides of the room where you don’t regularly walk. Lighter floors hide it A LOT more than darker. Think about a dark piece of furniture and how much dust you can see vs lighter. And as far as mud or dirt, we will have rugs that catch most of that dirt.
That is a very easy remedy. We will repaint it. I feel like touching up an scratches on a painted floor will be so much easier than looking at scratches on a stained floor. I truly am not worried about it.
Our painter is one that our builder subcontracted out, who happens to be my friend from high school. He has been a painter basically his entire life as his dad started the business. So I trust his expertise opinion. He is using a porch floor enamel paint and primer in one. I believe he will be using a few coats of a water-based sealer to give it a finished look. We want a water-based sealer so that it doesn’t turn yellow over time.
The painter is using porch floor enamel paint so they shouldn’t bleed through.
No. They are regular old pine boards that are actually 3/4″ thick. They used to be 1″ but times have changed. You definitely want to buy the best pine boards you can find due to the least expensive ones warp terribly.
The builder, of course, used his resources, but I believe he had them actually milled for this job. Because it was such a mass quantity. You normally cannot go into a store and find this many great pieces of lumber. I highly suggest talking to your local lumber yard.
This is why it is key to go to an actual lumber yard. They can order quality boards in a mass quantity for this type of project. You will never go to Menards or Lowes and find enough great boards for an entire house. You may be able to find enough for a room or two, but that’s probably it.
Out of all of our pine boards we installed as flooring, we have never had an issue with splinters. By the time you add the finish, it becomes a pretty smooth surface.
We, along with the crew who installed these, always lay the pine boards down using glue and nails both. Doing both prevents them from warping. And we using Liquid Nails as the adhesive.
The only time we have ever sanded before refinishing these pine boards is when there was a stamp from the lumber yard. And we only sanded that spot. So, no. You don’t need to sand them.
We used 6″, 8″, and 10″ pine boards in this house. In our previous homes and our storefront, we added a 12″ board to the mix. The 12″ did cup after a length of time but it didn’t bother us at all. We aren’t looking for perfection. By the way, you will NEVER have perfection with this type of flooring.
I HOPE! I love squeaky floors. Remember, we are going for an old house look and feel. By installing these pine boards as flooring, it already feels like an old house. So the sounds will really do the trick.
We have had these pine boards in our kitchen and bathrooms at several homes and we have never had an issue. But, then again, we don’t have standing water on them, which I don’t know any other floor that would do good with standing water.
Again, I don’t know what wood floors don’t scratch if you don’t take care of them. One thing I do know is that I had original oak flooring that I refinished in one of my old homes. I moved a piece of furniture myself and scratched the heck right out of them. I learned my lesson. Now when we move furniture, we use furniture sliders or carry the pieces. All wood floors will scratch if you aren’t careful. Also, this needs to be said. I do not let our dog run in the house so as far as her nails are concerned, they are fine as well. If you are one who allows that, they would more than likely scratch. Regular use and regular wear and tear will not scratch the floors.
The wood will definitely dry out. But, this crew, that our builder hired, installed them like you would regular hard wood. They used a nailer that actually pushed the wood together tighter than what you could pry them together by hand, which is how Deb and I installed them in the past. By installing them closer together, the cracks are minimal.
Absolutely not. We want to see the lines between the boards. I don’t want a solid looking piece of flooring. Seeing the cracks makes it look authentically old. The robot vacuum that we have does a pretty good job at keeping the cracks clean.
NOTE: If you want a PERFECT looking floor, using pine boards as flooring is NOT for you.
I would stick with a manufactured hard wood if that is what you are looking for. It isn’t our preference. Like I said above, we want our wood floors to look authentically old. And these do. I believe I covered a lot of the “cons” above… well at least what a lot of people would think are cons. Pine is a soft wood so it will scratch if you are rough on them. The boards will dry out and there will be cracks. We don’t think these are cons at all.
I addressed this question in the last post about these floors. And, I cannot answer it because we’ve never tried it. I would say NO, because of the dampness of concrete and the wood.
We used, and so did the flooring guys this weekend, liquid nails to glue them all down. Deb and I used an air nailer in our old house and then added square nails to make it look older. The floor guys used an actual hardwood floor nail gun that you hit with a hammer to get the wood closer together. And then they went through after the fact and attached them all to the joists with a air nails.
We ran the boards the opposite way of our floor joists so that they could be attached to them as well as the subflooring. But if you have a heavy subflooring, I would think you could run them either way. Because they won’t move if you use both adhesive and nails.
This is probably the number one question we are asked when we talk about using pine boards as flooring. When we were looking for flooring for the house on Winchester, this was the least expensive flooring alternative BY FAR. I believe we paid about $1/square foot at that house for the pine boards only. And then you have the cost of the adhesive and the square nails that we used, which we didn’t use the square nails this time due to painting them. Due to inflation, the cost of using pine boards as flooring right now is around $2/square foot for the lumber ONLY. You will have to add extra costs for the adhesive, nails, and whatever you use to finish it. And, of course, if you hire someone to install it.
Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions that aren’t covered in any of the posts I have written. And, I will try to add them to this post.