Here at Reclaimed we think that you may be under the illusion that hardwood is more durable than softwood flooring simply because of the contrast in their names. But the truth is the terms “Reclaimed hardwood” and “ Reclaimed softwood” actually refer to a tree’s structure and origin, not its density – although most softwoods are more adaptable and flexiable than hardwood..
Reclaimed Wood lovers sometimes opt for the softwoods installing wood floors. Evergreen trees in the northern hemisphere, such as spruce, cedar, fir (including Douglas-fir) are some softwood species which appeal to those who desire a softer spring beneath their steps. Pine is the most popular softwood for installing wood floors.However, it is crucial to understand the basic differences between hardwood and softwood in order to effectively develop a strong and durable wood floor.
Softwood flooring denotes a pine-needle bearing tree and is typically softer than hardwood Floors , a leaf-growing tree. One of the more common types of softwood flooring is Southern Yellow Pine, slightly harder than some of the other pines. Douglas Fir is another fairly common type of softwood flooring.The differences between hardwood trees and softwood trees begin with a tree’s origin and its structure.
Softwood comes from gymnosperm trees – or trees with uncovered seeds. Think of cedar, pine and spruce, with exposed seeds that blow away to germinate and needles they keep year-round.
Softwoods have a system of straight, linear tubes (tracheids, not pores), which transport water and produce sap and provide strength to the stem.
Every wood species has something unique to offer in color and grain pattern. Hardwoods typically can be white, dark red, rich brown, and variations of those colors. Most softwoods tend to be yellow or reddish in color.
Grain patterns can also vary and have nothing to do with a wood being hard or soft. For example, fir is a softwood and has a very pronounced grain, but so does oak, which is a hardwood. The most common form of softwood flooring is a form of pine. The most common and cheapest are yellow pine, Baltic pine, Colombian pine or white fir. These can be provided in a variety of widths, the general rule the wider the board the higher the price.
Victorian pine floorboards are generally up to 7” wide, wider boards tend to be Georgian Flooring and are rare and expensive.
Douglas fir and pitch pine are harder, more durable with a straighter grain, and make a superior floor.
Old factories were invariably covered with roof boards for insulation under the tiles. They are increasingly popular as they are rough sawn and can be hand sanded to retain their rustic characteristics.