Knotty Pine Versus Hardwood Flooring

Are you thinking about laying real wood flooring in your home or cabin?  The two favorite options are knotty pine and some type of hardwood. Whether you are building a new home or replacing the flooring in an existing home, knotty pine has some standout advantages.

Some of pine’s advantages over hardwood include a sustainable wood product, character, lower cost, stability, and easier to refinish. It’s also faster and easier to install than hardwood flooring.


Pine Trees Are Sustainable

If you are someone who appreciates sustaining our environment, you can help it out by using knotty pine wood for floors. Red pine, also called Norwegian Pine, is sustainable because the trees are planted and grown on federally controlled tree farms. When one block of trees is harvested, more trees are planted in their place.

On the other hand, native hardwoods like oak, maple, hickory, and cherry are replanted only on a limited basis. The wood is becoming scarcer and more expensive as more trees are cut down. We can all help our budgets and environment by choosing knotty pine flooring from a trusted dealer.


Knotty Pine Flooring Has More Character

The natural characteristics of knotty pine wood are gorgeous and desirable that includes:

  • Colorful dark knots that are eye-catching
  • More color variations than hardwoods
  • Interesting grain patterns
  • Some natural mineral streaks

Knotty pine has both heartwood and sapwood that provide color variety. Heartwood is typically red-yellow and darkens over time while sapwood is typically yellow-white. Trees harvested in the summer tend to have slightly darker colors than trees cut down in the spring. Pine that is radial cut tends to have a striped-looking grain and crosscut wood has a wavy-looking grain.

“Some of pine’s advantages over hardwood include a sustainable wood product, character, lower cost, stability, and easier to refinish. It’s also faster and easier to install than hardwood flooring.”

Knotty Pine Flooring Is More Cost-Effective

Another benefit of knotty pine flooring over hardwoods is cost-effectiveness. It’s easy to see once you have priced the two products. Pine flooring with the tongue and groove (T&G) end-matching feature costs less than one-half the price of common hardwoods. This chart shows the average national square foot price of pine and some native hardwoods.

Wood Price Range
Pine $1.50 - $5
Hickory $5 - $15
Maple $5 - $15
Red Oak $5 - $13
White Oak $5 - $15
White Ash $5 - $13
Cherry $5 - $15

You will need pine baseboards to complement the pine floors. They are available from the same supplier in a variety of sizes and styles.

Pine Wood Is Stable and Durable

One issue you may run into with hardwoods is they may expand and contract more than knotty pine wood. You don’t want unsightly spaces to emerge between the boards, and the solution is using stable pine flooring. This wood’s properties depend on the density of the annual growth rings. The best mills kiln dry pine to the perfect moisture content for stability and application of finishing products.

It’s not common knowledge that pine floors harden with age because the wood fibers compress upon themselves as we walk on the floors. The wood becomes denser and harder over time, especially in high-traffic areas.

Knotty Pine Is Faster And Easier To Install

Working with knotty pine flooring is a joy and anyone who has installed it knows why. Here’s what flooring experts, carpenters, and homeowners have to say about it.

  • Pine wood is lighter and easier to handle than hardwoods
  • Knotty pine is easier and faster to sand and saw
  • It taps in and nails easier and faster than hardwoods
  • The T&G/end-matching design requires less measuring and sawing
  • Pine flooring with the T&G/end-matching design is virtually a “no-waste” product

Knotty pine with all these benefits creates a winner of a product!

Knotty Pine Flooring Is Easier To Refinish

Should you decide to refinish your pine floors to change colors or remove some imperfections, you will find it’s easier to do with knotty pine. Since pine is a bit softer, it’s faster and easier to sand off the old finish. It’s a nonporous wood that will not hold the sanding dust like oak. There’s less vacuuming to do, and all these benefits save time.

When applying the new finish, you won’t need to add pore filler to the pine flooring compared to porous hardwoods. The stains and clear finishes readily soak into the wood faster that speeds up drying time.

In summary, knotty pine is the perfect wood for flooring in virtually all home styles. Its benefits over hardwoods are worth considering for your next wood flooring project.

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