How Much Does Pine Hardwood Flooring Cost?
Wood flooring is a popular choice for all types of homes. Pine floors in particular have many characteristics that make them desirable to homeowners. The benefits of these characteristics must be weighed against the drawbacks when deciding to lay a pine floor by hand or have one installed professionally.
Average minimum cost of pine flooring: $2,287 for 500 square feet of flooring
Average maximum cost of pine flooring: $2,872 for 500 square feet of flooring
Advantages of Pine Flooring
With its warm, bright color and unique grain patterns, pine is an attractive choice for flooring. Different grades of pine have different appearances. The higher the grade, the fewer knots that appear in the wood.
Pine is less expensive than other hardwoods, so even those on a budget may be able to consider it as a flooring option. It has decent staying power, is easy to stain and finish and provides a complementary appearance for most types of furniture. Heavy foot traffic doesn't damage a well-maintained pine floor; in fact, the wood will harden over time as the fibers compress.
Heat retention makes pine and other wood floors both economical and comfortable. Not only does wood flooring cut down on heating costs; it also radiates stored heat so that it is pleasant to walk on even in cooler conditions.
Disadvantages of Pine Flooring
Using pine for flooring does come with several drawbacks. As a softer wood, pine is prone to dents and scratches, and fixing scratches may require refinishing the whole floor. Moisture and humidity can cause damage or warping. If the underlying structure of the house is uneven, the floor won't lie correctly. Also pine doesn't have the longevity of other woods used for flooring.
Pine Flooring Options
Homeowners who wish to install pine floors have several options to choose from. Eastern white pine has an "authentic" wood look but is prone to minor cosmetic damage. Heart pine features more knots than Eastern white and has a predominant grain. Color choices for this type of wood include golden tones, brown and amber. Southern yellow pine is the most durable and thus more desirable.
Installation Methods and Materials
Pine flooring can be installed by a professional contractor or by homeowners themselves. Those who wish to tackle the job on their own should follow the same basic steps involved in all home improvement projects, including making a budget and gathering materials before beginning the job.
The first thing to do is choose what grade of pine to use. This determines how many knots the planks will have and thus the final appearance of the floor. Tongue-and-groove style boards are the best choice in any grade as they ensure that nails will be concealed once the floor has been laid.
Measure the area where the new floor is going to go, including any nooks and closet space. It's a good idea to factor in a margin of error around 10 percent just in case some of the wood purchased has something wrong with it or measurements are a little off. These numbers can also be used to determine the amount of other materials such as nails and glue that will be necessary to lay the floor.
Once lumber has been chosen and the correct amount purchased, it needs to be stacked in the room where the floor will be laid. This helps the wood "get used to" the moisture content of the room, ensuring stability and reducing the risk of warping. Leave the wood in the room for about two weeks to complete this process.
When the wood is ready, all baseboards and trim in the room must be removed using a pry bar. This leaves the space open for the new flooring to be installed. Making a detailed floor plan at this point aids in working out proper sizing for each board. Every new board laid should be nailed to a floor joist for optimal stability and to prevent squeaking.
After drawing the floor plan, a circular saw makes short work of cutting the boards to the correct sizes. Laying the first row requires nailing the tongue part of the boards to the joists by hand. On subsequent rows, a floor nailer and floor stapler can be used to hold the boards in place.
The finished floor should be oiled in a two-step process. Lay the first coat on thick and wait for about 15 minutes before applying a lighter coat. Allow another 15 minutes to elapse before cleaning up any "wet" areas. On the next day, it's a good idea to use sandpaper or a hand sander to buff the floor and ensure that there are no rough spots. Apply one last coat of oil to maintain the appearance of the wood. Once completed, the floor can then be stained if desired.
The other materials required to lay a pine wood floor by hand add to the cost. These include:
Pry bar: $6-$32
Finishing nails: $1.30-$17
Carpenter's glue: $2-$15 depending on quantity
Floor nailer: $149-$739
Floor stapler: $248-$399
Hand sander: $3-$11
Circular saw: $40-$1,050 corded or cordless
Professional labor: $1,906-$2,400
Maintaining Pine Floors
As a flooring material, pine is easy to maintain. It can be swept, mopped, vacuumed or washed without compromising its appearance. The use of floor cleaning chemicals should be kept to a minimum, however, and footwear such as high heels and cleats should never be worn when walking on pine.
Using throw rugs and runners in areas of the home that have high foot traffic reduces the potential for damage. Any spills should be wiped up as soon as they occur to prevent staining. Daily sweeping maintains an attractive appearance while applying a new coat of finish roughly every five years helps to protect the wood over time.
When properly installed and maintained, pine wood floors should last for years. Homeowners looking for a lower cost option that delivers the same look and similar durability as other hardwoods can rely on pine as an attractive flooring material.
Last updated on Mar 31, 2015
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