Latest Discussions : Flooring & Stairs


06:30PM | 10/25/01
Member Since: 10/24/01
2 lifetime posts
My southern California home was the original ranch house for a lemon and orange grove in the mid '40's. We've lived in it since '82 and have never really scrutinized what's beneath the carpetting. I invited a flooring contractor over to disuss our options in getting a hardwood floor in our main room, approx. 800 square feet. Pulling up a corner it was decided we have douglas fir as the original floor. Sorry, I still haven't asked a question!

OK.. so how does doug fir stack up to the harder hardwoods? How does it wear? How does the grain look and is it pleasing to the eye? How many coats of polyurethane is enough? The contractor mentioned a reddish tint to most douglas firs. I guess what I'm getting at is the fact I'm kind of buying a pig in a poke by not knowing how the finished product is going to look. Until I yank the carpet out I won't even know if this project is feasible depending on conditions I find. So I'm here just to gleam knowledge and reassure myself before committing to a couple grand.



08:05AM | 10/26/01
Member Since: 09/03/01
14 lifetime posts
The look of the Douglas fir will depend on its age and how it was sawn. You can manage the color with stains and finishes.

My next door neighbor renovated his 1930 house. It has a second story porch and when they sanded the floor it was quarter sawn Douglas fir. The grain is very tight and the floor is beautiful. They decided to put a natural finish on it instead of painting it -- which I don't suggest on an outdoor porch even though it's covered and there are trees around. (It's a porch, not a deck, and there is a T&G ceiling below it so you can't pressure wash it like a deck.)

I would sand a small part of your floor to check out the grain and color. Try some finishes in a test portion before you do the whole thing. Fir is softer than oak, so you will have to be more careful with tables and chairs, but you should be able to manage it. If the grain nice then it is well worth it and much less expensive than a new floor.

Maybe someone else can comment on the hardness of the wood.

Good luck!


03:30PM | 10/26/01
Member Since: 09/23/01
242 lifetime posts
Douglas Fir will make a beautiful floor, Yes it is softer than red oak, But if you were to put in the same floor today it would cost you twice that of oak. There are many old houses here in the pacific northwest with fir floors.
I would forget polyurethane and go with Synteko or Glitsa Swedish finish. I would not stain the floor, but just clear coat it.


06:28AM | 10/31/01
Member Since: 10/24/01
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the tips and ideas. They are much appreciated. I'll post back in about a month how end result looked.


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