Douglas Fir Flooring (Pros and Cons & Design Guide)
This guide is to help you decide if Douglas Fir is right for you. Douglas Fir is a versatile and beautiful hardwood, but it can be tricky to choose the right flooring and the right design style.
It’s no mystery, Douglas Fir is a great flooring choice. It’s strong, durable, affordable, and it’s in high demand. But you need to know what you’re getting into if you decide to go with it for your flooring. This is the first of a two-part article on Douglas Fir. If you’re interested in learning more, check back in the summer and read the second part to find out just how beautiful this flooring is.
Here’s our guide to Douglas flooring: what it is, the texture, the pros and cons.
Douglas fir is one of the most beautiful and elegant wood floors you can have in your home. Despite its low score on the Yank hardness test, Douglas fir has many outstanding qualities that make it an unmatched, if underrated, choice for wood flooring.
These wood floors can add style to your home, improve its aesthetics and increase its resale value. Learn more about this incredible wood species to find out if Douglas fir flooring is right for your lifestyle.
What is a Douglas-fir?
Native to East Asia and western North America, this evergreen tree rises 295 feet or more above the forest floor canopy.
These trees have massive trunks, usually with a diameter of at least 2 meters. They are majestic and impressive, and are considered by loggers to be the best timber tree on the North American continent.
People associate Douglas fir with the beginning of the holiday season. Once the spirit of Thanksgiving fades, families begin cutting down Douglas fir trees to make Christmas trees.
This is not just a constant feature of Advent and Christmas. Douglas fir is also an essential element in luxury landscaping, adding an indispensable aesthetic touch to any lawn or garden.
Is Douglas fir a deciduous tree?
Douglas fir is classified as a softwood on the Yankee hardness scale and has a value of 660. By comparison : Teak is 1000 on the Yank scale, red oak 1290, hickory 1820 and Brazilian cherry 2350.
While it is helpful to use a scale to determine which wood is hard or soft, there is more to it than that. The terms coniferous and deciduous trees correspond to the scientific classifications of gymnosperms and angiosperms, respectively.
Hymenosperms have naked seeds and angiosperms have closed seeds. Spruce, cedar and fir are examples of hymenosperms.
Although gymnosperms are classified as soft species, it does not necessarily follow that they are softer than all hardwood species. For example, Douglas fir has a higher Janka score than chestnut (660 versus 540).
Douglas fir Grain
In general, conifers have small pores, so their wood has a closed grain. They also have a smooth texture, making them ideal for furniture and flooring. A person will never complain about a rough touch. These surfaces are therefore comfortable to lie or sit on.
The grain of Douglas fir is light brown with reddish or yellowish tones. The growth rings are often darker in hue, giving the grain an impressive contrasting wood grain pattern.
Quarter sawn Douglas fir can produce a smooth, straight grain. Flat sawn products have a wild grain pattern. They complement the floor perfectly and give every room a warm atmosphere and the illusion of movement underfoot.
Is Douglas fir good for flooring?
Although it is a coniferous species, Douglas fir is an exceptional material for wood flooring. It is a durable and resilient floor covering.
Many people avoid Douglas fir as a flooring material because of its low Janka rating. However, it is necessary to understand how Janka conducts the test to determine the hardness of wood species.
The test measures the force required to drive a 0.444-inch steel ball into the center of the wood. For example, it takes a force of 1,375 pounds to drive a steel ball into an Australian cypress tree. An average Douglas fir needs 660 pounds of pressure to push a steel trunk halfway.
Fortunately, there are at least six known varieties of Douglas fir, each with its own Yankee flavor. A Douglas fir from Montana, for example, scores 770 points and requires 770 pounds of pressure to drive a steel ball down the center.
So unless a 300 pound person has a 400 pound steel chair, the Douglas fir floor should hold up. It is hard enough for most modern floors.
If you’re worried about that, you can always turn to houses from the early 20th century. Look at the twentieth century in the Pacific Northwest. These houses had floors of Douglas fir and many are still standing today.
Although Douglas floors are on the softer end of the spectrum, they have unique features that many homeowners overlook. First, the Douglas fir is remarkably resistant. It can be folded into the desired shape and returns to its original state when needed. It never breaks, unlike fragile hardwood.
Douglas fir also has excellent characteristics in terms of compression, shear and parallelism of the fibres.
Homeowners who want to give their Douglas fir floors a facelift can add textures, including hand counting, hand rounding and wire brushing. These techniques give the natural elegance of Douglas fir a rustic look.
Advantages and disadvantages of Douglas floor
- Smoother texture than other wood floors
- A simpler grain for a more elegant look
- Sufficiently resistant for most wooden floors.
- Exceptional durability with proper maintenance
- Amazing resistance to decay if handled properly.
- The Douglas fir is a fast-growing and environmentally friendly species.
- More susceptible to scratches, scuffs, dents and indentations than harder wood floors
- May need to be polished or varnished to stay nice in sunlight.
- Can be expensive if you live in an area where Douglas fir is not available.
Douglas fir floor
Homeowners who love the elegance and durability of douglas fir, but can’t stand its susceptibility to scratches and scuffs, can always opt for a douglas fir floor. The process optimizes the unique properties of the main wood component.
Glazed wood floors can have several options. Laminated veneer, Douglas plywood, chemically compacted wood and glued wood are particularly popular with the fashion-conscious consumer.
Douglas floor manufacturers take into account the special characteristics of this coniferous species. They enhance or improve these properties through advanced technology. For example, the scratch resistance of Douglas fir can be increased by lamination.
The finger-jointed construction of the core also gives Douglas floors exceptional stability by reducing the constant shrinkage and expansion of the wood with temperature changes.
The layered construction of the wood can also increase the compressive strength of Douglas fir, increasing its strength and making it an exceptional choice for many wood flooring applications.
Conclusion on the Douglas fir
There are many reasons why 19th and 20th century houses. In the late 19th century, Douglas fir was the preferred flooring material. With proper maintenance, this flooring can last for over a century, giving your home a timeless elegance that few other floors can match.
Despite the wood’s modest hardness, Douglas fir is an excellent flooring material, especially in the form of parquet. It is the perfect combination of natural beauty, flexibility and durability that today’s families can enjoy for decades to come.
For more information, visit our oak floors gallery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Douglas fir suitable for flooring?
Douglas fir is not suitable for flooring.
Is Douglas fir wood expensive?
Douglas fir is a common type of wood that is not expensive.
Are fir floors durable?
Fir floors are durable, but they can be damaged by heavy objects.
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