Hardwood pine flooring

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Instead of pine flooring, my "contractor" installed pine wood. The wood was not kiln dried. One floor has been stained & looks horrible another hasn't had anything done to it yet. Any suggestions?
q how to pre treat hardwood pine flooring, flooring, hardwood floors, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, woodworking projects
  36 answers
  • They actually need to pre-treat the wood with a conditioner to eliminate blotchiness & make sure that the wood acclimates for a few weeks (or more) before installing. If the issue is just blotchiness - resand, if it is shrinkage, etc... you are probably looking at getting it pulled up & redone

    • See 6 previous
    • Touchedpainter Touchedpainter on Mar 29, 2017
      I also am a Commercial Painting/Surface Coating Contractor of 40+ years

  • Yes though I would generally recommend a pro do this (yes I even hire this out) - it is pretty easy to over sand areas and they can help blend areas that might just be a bit off.

    • Karen Fritts-Brown Karen Fritts-Brown on Dec 28, 2014
      Thank you! The "contractor'" was a two bit thief that did shoddy work & stole my money so I may have to live with it for awhile.

  • Loretta Halberg (Gypsie) Loretta Halberg (Gypsie) on Dec 28, 2014
    I bought some very inexpensive plywood laid it butt to butt w/glue. No varnish, just polyurethane for floors and now have a beautiful wooden kitchen floor.

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    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 28, 2014
      Pine is a soft wood.. they will not take much without showing wear.

  • Loretta Halberg (Gypsie) Loretta Halberg (Gypsie) on Dec 28, 2014
    The plywood I bought was already smooth and only about $7.00 a sheet. My place is so small it took 4.5 sheets. The polyurethane cost more than the plywood. I don't know how to put pic on PC, so cannot show you. Like you I cannot afford much. However I really like my new floor. My 4 legged babies seem to like it also. Easier to clean. I did not know Pine was soft wood. I am learning a lot. Thank you Terra! . Enjoy your floors as I am mine.

  • 512181 512181 on Dec 29, 2014
    You might try sanding them down and using a swedish soap finish. http://www.storefrontlife.com/soaped-floors/

  • You313504 You313504 on Dec 29, 2014
    Sand them down, let them acclaimate for 2-3 weeks, apply sanding sealer from the paint dept. Follow durectiins carefully, then stain as per directions. Should stain evenly, might need two coats. 3 coats of poly and you'll be good to go. Trust me in this, we went thru a similar experience. Take pictures for documentation when filing your complaint against the contractor.

  • Leigh Rowan Leigh Rowan on Dec 29, 2014
    As they dry gaps will appear between boards, could be as much as 1/4 per seam. This could take awhile but it will happen. Don't invwest money or time on thiis.

  • Marsha Schwarz Marsha Schwarz on Dec 29, 2014
    Karen, I suggest you get a professional that you can trust, then discuss this with them. I am not a builder or anything other than we have remodeled several houses for our personal homes. The last big job we did was a Victorian house from the turn of the century. It had the original pine wood floor. I wanted to stay true to the house so we left it in the living room and dining room. OMG. that didn't last long. We could not even walk in our socks as the splinters coming off the floor were horrible. We finally gave in and covered it. So beyond your cosmetics of how it looks with stain etc. ... what does the future durability hold, I suggest that should be your biggest concern?

  • D.j. Dalrymple D.j. Dalrymple on Dec 29, 2014
    All flooring needs to acclimate before install to allow it to adjust to the house it is going in. I would sand odd the stain and finish and allow to dry out for at least 2 weeks before doing anything to it. Then if I was going to retain remember that pine has a yellow color so stain a small area and allow it to dry overnight to see if you like your result. Every board will take the color different and pine is always a soft floor as opposed to maple or oak. If you could afford a floor person I would get an estimate on having this job done professionally. Good luck

  • Louis Lieberman Louis Lieberman on Dec 29, 2014
    sand with a power sander stain seal & spray with nitro lacquer or 2 part polyetherene lacqer

  • Phillip Williams Phillip Williams on Dec 29, 2014
    I have seen a couple of misguided statements here, so I'll throw this in for you to consider. Pine is not just pine. There are several varieties. Most white pine is far too soft to use for flooring, but Southern Yellow pine is very hard and has been used for several hundred years for flooring. Old growth Heart pine is much to be desired and can be had from lumber salvage yards and other such places. It's not cheap, but it will last forever and is beautiful.

    • Barbara Burnham Barbara Burnham on Dec 29, 2014
      Glad you said it so I didn't have to type it. 1st step is find out what kind of pine. That will make all the difference in how you proceed. If it is a hard pine, it is worth it's weight in gold and after discussing with a hardwood flooring specialist patience may have to become your life word. If not one of the hard sturdy pines, I suggest removal, salvage for aging and future projects or Craigslist and get a new longlasting durable floor.

  • Sheila Sheila on Dec 29, 2014
    If it is not kiln dried, I agree with Leigh. It will shrink more. 2-3 weeks wont cut it. It could take as much as 2 years, though indoors probably less. Pull it up. Also, pine doesnt stain evenly- ever. There will always be variations in it due to how soft it is and its growth pattern. It also shows wear and tear more than hardwoods. That may be the look you are going for, but it doesnt sound like it. I kind of like the plywood idea, I have seen it done to good effect, but you have to like that kind of funky industrial vibe. Rolled sheet cork is nice in kitchens, but it can be a little pricey. Or watch the sales and see if you can find a nice laminate or engineered hardwood that you like and have it installed by the supplier. They contract with local carpenters who have experience with flooring installation or have their own staff, frequently. It's a little extra protection. Get referrals.

  • Sherie Sherie on Dec 29, 2014
    Pine will stain very unevenly (patchy) unless it is conditioned first to seal the pores. Apply a prestain conditioner (buy at home depot) before staining the other floor if you want the stain to look more uniform. No need to "kiln" dry the wood if it has been adequately air dryed. In either case the wood should be stacked on pallets inside the house to acclimate to the humidity/dryness of the house before installing. The stain looks patchy in your photo so I'm betting no prestain conditioner was applied. Sand it down, condition, restain, ...it will be fine!

  • Deborah Deborah on Dec 29, 2014
    I have a pine board floor that my son and I installed as we have two children in wheelchairs and could not afford hardwood. We used the cheapest 1x12's that I could get. We curfed the bottom of the boards to prevent cupping. They still shrink up some every winter and and we use two products and have had great success with them both to fill cracks. One is DuraSeal Wood Patch and the other is a product from our Ace hardware to patch log siding. It stretches and shrinks with the seasons and comes pre-stained to match your floor. It comes in a long tube like caulk and you use a caulk gun to apply it with a putty knife to push it into the cracks. We have had this floor now throughout our house for 13 years and it finally needs a new stain and poly coat. Remember, we have over 20-30 people coming and going in our house on a weekly basis with the nurses and other staff and then the wheelchairs that bring in all of the dirt and sand. They have never curled or cupped, and the finish has lasted a very good long time. The character of pine is such that it will always look rustic and that is it's beauty! Don't worry if it looks a bit blotchy or has multiple shadings. People come in and just love my floor for those very reasons!

  • Carol Carol on Dec 29, 2014
    Throw some dirt on it and have a dance.

  • Paula G Paula G on Dec 29, 2014
    We have old pine floors in our summer place and I first washed them with Murphy's oil soap - no rinsing. I then oiled them and after doing this 3 or 4 times (at least a day apart) they took on a patina. Yes, the floors are soft but the small indentations get shiny too and the floor gives the room character.

  • It will also shrink. A friend of ours had the type of floors you got. Well, at least it shrank here in the desert.

  • Margaret King Margaret King on Dec 29, 2014
    can you sue him for your money back?!

  • Pat Zagami Pat Zagami on Dec 29, 2014
    It is the contractors fault and he should take it up and put the right flooring down. You only have maybe 1 year to get him to do this. It may be different in the state you live.

  • Karen Cederquist Karen Cederquist on Dec 29, 2014
    Sue your contractor!

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    • Donna W Donna W on Jan 02, 2015
      @Nancy J Goldwire In general, contractors are cheats and thieves. We're in talks with attorneys over shoddy workmanship and materials used in our new addition done by CIC contracting and this sort of cutting corners was common to them. They even took our building materials we purchased for another project from our basement for use in the new addition!

  • Enjb Enjb on Dec 29, 2014
    There are wood conditioners that help you to get a more even stain application. Check with your local big box hardware store. I would definitely find out more about the wood itself and how it was installed. If the wood wasn't kiln dried it will definitely shrink and probably cup up if it was not installed properly. You may need legal remedy of the situation.

  • Patricia Miller-Darrow Patricia Miller-Darrow on Dec 30, 2014
    I for one happen to love heartwood pinewood floors. The older they get the harder they will get, meanwhile the subtles scapes and markes,(to me anyway) only add character. I have had them stained dark,which I didn't like, and left light and sealed, I did like, but I loved a medium honey stain, sealed, and everyone loved them. To each his own! Don't worry because they are not maple or oak, love them for what they are!!

    • Rosie Walsh Rosie Walsh on Dec 31, 2014
      @Patricia Miller-Darrow Don't think these are pine heartwood, but merely pine lumber.

  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Dec 30, 2014
    WE installed pine floors in our house 35 years ago. They were a lap and gap( tongue and grove) like some use for roofs ( 8 inch wide 12 foot long). We sanded them and then used Minawax stain Jacobe bean on them. Then put 2 coats of hard varnish down. I wanted to destress them but hubby didn't let me. Wish I had. The only problem is that they do dent but after 35 years they are still in good shape. I move my furniture around 2 times a year too. I use( QUick and Shine) a product on them I get from this man I also just found a Wal Mart too. Quick Shine works wonderful.You can ask ThIS MAN WHAT CAN BE DONE TOO. HE HAS GOOD ADVICE. http://www.happyhandyman.com/ Now that your floor is sealed with this stain reseal with another one and do it darker.The stain should even out better this time. Try on piece of wood first.

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    • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Jan 02, 2015
      @Donna W Ours weren't for floors they were to be used for the roofing or decking of a roof. We saw them and thought to use them so could nail together. What exactly did this contractor use? Was it just plain 1x4 0r 1x6,1x8 or 1x12's . How did he put down? Did he glue it nail it to sub floor or what. My family is from carpenters so might could help if knew more. I could get you some help. Are they starting to cup? If this is the case I would call him out on it and take to court if he won't fix it right.

  • Nancy J Goldwire Nancy J Goldwire on Dec 30, 2014
    No one has mentioned PAINT ??? Painted floors are beautiful. My son added a very large game rm to his home, put down tongue & groove pine floors, 6" wide. Then he painted them, them distressed them. Beautiful.

    • Donna W Donna W on Jan 02, 2015
      @Nancy J Goldwire You missed the point...these boards aren't for floors, but building furniture. Painted or not, large gaps and gaping cracks will appear as these dry out. It must be way too easy to get a Contractors license these days. Builders are either stupid, or cheats.

  • Karen Cederquist Karen Cederquist on Dec 31, 2014
    The woman, who originally, asked this question, never mentioned that these floors are tongue and groove. The picture looks just like pine planks,laid side by side. I would be upset as hell, if that was my house. One, she should have been paying more attention to what was going on. 2: if she asked for pine flooring, she got ripped off. No matter now well these were installed, they will curl, and never take a stain that looks good. If the contractor will not correct it, then call the state board!

  • She said hardwood pine, not heart wood. But pine isn't a hard wood so I'm not sure what she's got.

    • Donna W Donna W on Jan 02, 2015
      @Susan Weistling Croley Gardner I think what she got is screwed.

  • BBB BBB on Jan 02, 2015
    It's hard to tell from the picture what the issue really is. Is it that she needs to stain it again or remove them ?

  • Karen Fritts-Brown Karen Fritts-Brown on Jan 02, 2015
    I would like to thank everyone so very much for your suggestions. I think I'm going to sand & try the conditioner then re-stain. If that doesn't work I'll probably live with them until i can replace them. A few suggested suing him, that's in the process. Others stated if been screwed that is so true, he got me for a lot of money. I've found many others that he's done this to. I checked him out before hiring but obviously didn't talk to the right ones.

  • Nancy J Goldwire Nancy J Goldwire on Jan 02, 2015
    PLEASE! Everyone, check with your State Licensing Dept to see if Contractors need to be lincensed. Then check Angie's List for referrals. Lastly, BE THERE to look after your money! There are many reliable contractors out there, so let's not call them all crooks. I know all this from EXPERIENCE. I wasn't around often enough, so the contractor (?) took every chance he could to do shoddy work. Looks to me like you, weren't there either & didn't ask enough questions. Hope you have better luck with this new treatment on your floors.

  • BBB BBB on Feb 23, 2015
    I would sand it and put on a dark stain to make it look even. Otherwise I do love the look.

  • Jen Jen on Feb 23, 2015
    I would try a wood conditioner first. Pine can look blotchy when stained but a good wood conditioner can even out those imperfections. If all else fails.....paint them!

  • Debbie Gartner Debbie Gartner on Mar 29, 2017
    The first thing I would do is call a real flooring contractor and ask them what is really going on. Is it T&G, is it installed correctly or incorrectly, etc. From the picture, it looks like yellow pine (which is cheap, but while not my go to wood, but it we sand it all the time, especially on 3rd floors of older homes). From the picture, it also looks like this isn't sanded/refinished correctly. This isn't surprising as many handymen and GC's are not experts at flooring and especially with refinishing. Ironically, it's more challenging to refinish the softer pines, especially if you don't do this all the time. Not only do you need a conditioner (which looks like it's missed), but you need to sand w/ 3 grits finer and finer (and the grits are different than grits you'd use for oak). It doesn't look like either were done. Hence, the stain wasn't absorbed properly and the poly won't adhere properly. BUT, get a real local expert to look at this in person. That way, you know what the problem(s) is/are, how to solve them and a better case against the contractor. If this can be solved just by sanding and refinishing, it's a much less expensive fix. Good luck with this and getting a refund. I hope it works out well for you.

  • Touchedpainter Touchedpainter on Mar 29, 2017
    I am a Commercial Contractor. Angie's List is a scam run by a company. They only list contractors that pay a monthly fee. The Contractors are not vetted. I, ever skeptical, never signed up. So many of my contractor friends were badly hurt. The comments also were not vetted, & were from "trolls". My friends didn't even do work for some of the worst comments, & when they tried to remove themselves from Angie's List, they couldn't. The removal process didn't work. I have always told clients, if you want a painter go to the painting supply stores, (NOT THE BOX STORES like Home Depot, Lowes). Same for carpenters, go to lumber yard... Plumbers, Electricians go to their supple stores. Boy do they know who the good ones are & especially the ones who "know just enough to be dangerous." In my state only Plumbers & Electricians have to be licensed. No other trade has the ability to licensed even if they want to. Licensing also has NOTHING to do with ability nor integrity, I only shows they apprenticed their craft for the required amount of time required for the licensing. Contact BBB they will let you know if there are complaints, and if there aren't, or they have no knowledge of that company, BBB contacts the company to get more information from them. BBB will get back to you with what ever info they can collect, even if it is none. Go to the supplier of that profession, They KNOW who is good & who is not, in that profession.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Apr 01, 2017
    Call Mike Holmes!  Seriously, I'd report the contractor to the BBB and the State licensing board. Shame on him. Take plenty of pictures and document everything. Create a journal for legal purposes. I'd rent a sander, clean and condition the wood, stain, then seal the wood, replacing only those boards that must be replaced first. I wish you the best of luck. May many blessings come your way in 2017.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Apr 06, 2022

    You could go over it with vinyl flooring get a floating floor put it right over that looks like he used plywood .Jerk