By Bonnie Phelps, WIR Contributor
Once you’ve made the decision to install Southern Yellow Pine flooring in your home or office, you can either hire a contractor to install it for you or you can choose to install it yourself. Before your order your wood, it’s helpful to know a few things about Southern Yellow Pine flooring.
Character is Built In
Pine can have a lot of character, with or without knots, with the stain really affecting the look and contrast piece to piece. Southern Yellow Pine can have both tight and open grain (or even a few curly grain pieces). Unlike other wood flooring, SYP flooring shows a lot of movement and color variation. It’s interesting to see that every plank grew in its own way, which only adds to the uniqueness of a space.
You also need to know that pine floors are NOT like oak floors, because SYP is a softwood, not a hardwood. Pine floors age and wear differently, but this only adds to the character. Some folks prefer letting the floors age on their own, some prefer a hand-scraped look that ages more quickly. Don’t fear dents in the floor…every dent tells a story.
Taking a Stain
The darker stains really show contrast. For example, stained vertical grain pine can look like exotic hardwood. If you want an even stain, it’s a good idea to seal your floor first. That’s because stain absorbs at different rates due to varying density in the grain. The tighter grains will absorb less stain than open grains. This variation showcases the unique character of the wood. If the flooring includes parts of the heart of the tree, you could also get a beautiful red tone that peaks through the stain.
Drying and Acclimating Your Floors
It’s important to have pine flooring dried down to about 8-9%, then let it acclimate for a week or two wherever they’re going to be put down. The reason this is important is because you don’t want cupping in your flooring and the wood will adjust itself to its new surroundings. The dryer your environment, the longer the wood will need to acclimate.
Common flooring terms you will hear:
Step-by-Step Instructions and Resources