Southern Pine Interior Flooring
Southern Pine has been used as a flooring material since Colonial times, and has proven to be extremely durable, attractive and versatile. High-quality Southern Pine flooring, when properly installed and cared for, is capable of withstanding just about anything you and your family (even those family members with four legs) can dish out.
Designers have long recognized Southern Pine flooring for its inherent beauty, with its distinctive grain pattern and warm, golden color adding distinction to any room. And unlike carpet, Southern Pine flooring doesn’t trap dust and other allergens. No expensive vacuum cleaners are required to make your Southern Pine floors safe for those with allergies – a good old-fashioned broom will do the trick!
Southern Pine flooring comes in a variety of widths and grades. Standard widths range from 2 to 6 inches. “Strip” flooring is traditionally 3 1/2” or narrower. “Plank” flooring is classified as material 4” and wider. Most Southern Pine flooring is either 1” or 1 ¼” in thickness. Lengths of Southern Pine flooring range from 8 to 16 feet. Selecting flooring grade is completely a matter of personal taste. Southern Pine flooring grades are based on appearance criteria – the higher the grade, the fewer knots, stain, etc. The lower the grade, the more knots, etc. the flooring will have.Many people think the knots in Southern Pine flooring add more character and beauty to both the product and their home. Refer to the chart below for more information on Southern Pine flooring grades.
SPIB/TP Flooring Grade Descriptions
There are several other considerations to ponder when selecting Southern Pine flooring. While tongue-and-groove edges are the norm for Southern Pine flooring, how the ends of each board are finished is optional. Plain ends are cut straight across and will butt up to the end of the next board. End-matched flooring carries the tongue-and-groove style over to the ends of each board, which ultimately reduces waste and labor during installation.
When looking at the surface of flat or mixed grain flooring, you’ll notice that the growth ring configuration runs parallel to the wearing surface. Depending on the width of your flooring, you may even see the center of the growth ring on some boards. Edge or vertical grain flooring, meanwhile, features a perpendicular growth ring configuration on the surface. Edge grain Southern Pine flooring has a harder wearing surface than its flat grain counterpart, making it the best choice for high-traffic areas such as hallways or family rooms. This product is equivalent to quarter-sawn hardwood flooring.
And finally, decide whether you want Southern Pine flooring or Heart Pine flooring. Southern Pine lumber is composed of either sapwood or heartwood, or a combination of both. Heartwood is the dormant center of a tree. It is surrounded by the living sapwood. The most obvious visual distinction between heartwood and sapwood is the color. Sapwood is a golden-yellowish color, whereas heartwood has more of a reddish hue. Aside from the visual difference, heartwood also has a higher density than sapwood. This gives Heart Pine floors somewhat of a harder surface than flooring constructed of sapwood. If you decide to go with Heart Pine flooring, make sure that the flooring you buy comes from a forest in the Southeastern U.S. Pine from Central America, China and Russia is sometimes sold as Heart Pine, but flooring manufactured from these trees does not share Southern Yellow Pine’s two key features: durability and hardness.
With proper maintenance and care, your Southern Pine floors should last the lifetime of your home. The first step in maintaining your new floors is to make sure they are properly installed and finished. For more information on installing and finishing Southern Pine flooring, download our Guide to Southern Pine Flooring brochure. Just as you would with any wood flooring, protect your Southern Pine floors from damage by not wearing high-heeled shoes on the flooring, using area rugs in high-traffic areas, using doormats at entryways, not sliding heavy furniture or appliances on floors and not getting the flooring wet. With proper care, you can keep that “new” look on your Southern Pine floors for years to come.
Be sure to check out our Southern Pine projects for more great flooring ideas! Or, for more information about Southern Pine flooring products, download our Guide to Southern Pine Flooring brochure. Or, for a quick lesson on installing Southern Pine flooring, order a complimentary copy of our Flooring Installation Video.