Douglas fir is often not recommended for flooring since it is a soft wood that can acquire dents and dings more readily than other hardwood varieties. However, with proper care and maintenance, fir flooring can last generations in your home and provide character and warmth that you will love for years to come.
Understanding the challenges of fir flooring and how to care for this surface, whether you’ve acquired it in an older home or are interested in laying new fir flooring yourself, will help prolong the life and enjoyment of your floors.
Benefits of Fir Flooring
Fir planks closely resemble heart pine in color and stability. However, due to the height of the trees and subsequent length of the boards, fir flooring boasts a uniformity of appearance that you won’t often find in other species. Fir is a beautiful creamy yellow to reddish brown color that works equally well in rustic and modern homes. Most fir flooring comes from the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, making it a perfect option for Vancouver homes, both in terms of style and sourcing materials.
Considerations of Fir Flooring
Douglas fir is a softwood variety, meaning it will scratch and dent more easily than hardwoods. It ranks 660 on the Janka hardness scale. Compared to the 1290 ranking of red oak, it quickly becomes apparent that fir will take more TLC than other types of flooring. Fir flooring requires a high quality finish to help it resist damage from pets, shoes, and other activity on your floors. It is also recommended to keep the floor free of dirt and debris that can be ground in to the boards and cause damage.
While some homeowners really love the character of fir and other softwood flooring varieties, like hemlock and pine, it’s not for everyone. It’s important to consider buyer preferences if your house might go on the market in the future. That said, fir is a beautiful wood and the benefit of any wood flooring is the ability to sand and refinish the surface, so any damage acquired over time can be repaired, if necessary.
If you would like to learn more about fir or other hardwood or softwood flooring options, contact our team at Floor Coverings International Northshore. We provide free in-home design consultations to help you find the perfect flooring for your Vancouver home.
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Photo by Zuzana Susterova