A Closer Look at Douglas Fir FlooringPosted: June 27, 2022
A closer look at Douglas Fir
If you are shopping for a solid real wood floor with a proven track record, you can’t do much better than Douglas Fir. With its stunning natural character, warm tones, and tight grain patterns, it’s in an elite class when it comes to organic beauty and historic usage. Other popular species of wood flooring like oak, maple, or hickory have a hard time rivaling all that Douglas Fir flooring has to offer.
Douglas Fir is a species of wood flooring that doesn’t cross your mind too often. However, as people start researching the pros and cons of all types of hardwood floors they are pleasantly surprised when they learn everything Douglas Fir flooring has to offer. That’s why we are going to go over some Douglas Fir wood flooring facts and its maintenance.
In the Western United States, Douglas-Fir is the most common tree by volume with nearly twice the volume of the next most common species which is Loblolly Pine located in the Southern United States. Timber companies re-plant Douglas Fir because it is adaptable, resilient, hardy, and yields the highest amount of timber of all trees in North America. Douglas Fir trees grow quickly and possess bark that is highly resistant to several diseases, pests, and wildfire. Douglas Fir trees have a lifespan of 500-1000 years and are one of the tallest species of trees in the world. Douglas Fir has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any wood species on the planet and is world-renowned for its durability, strength, and natural beauty. Douglas Fir is widely considered to be one of the finest and most versatile wood species available on the planet, it is commonly used in lumber, pilings, telephone poles, marine structures, railroad ties, furniture, fencing, decking, interior trim, molding, doors, floors, windows, siding, structural beams, and countless other applications around the world.
With all the options of hardwood floors to choose from, Douglas Fir can rival all of them. Douglas Fir has been used for construction and flooring for over 200 years. Many old granaries, barns, warehouses, and countless vintage structures were constructed from Douglas Fir. These historic structures have withstood the test of time and are now being reclaimed, recycled, and re-used in modern-day architecture.
We exclusively harvest Douglas Fir trees from Montana for a reason. Due to our long hard Winters, the growing season in the rugged Rocky Mountains is significantly less than in coastal regions. A shorter growing season produces tighter grain and more growth rings per inch, resulting in a more stable and dense floor. Montana Douglas Fir averages 15 growth rings per inch, compared to 2nd growth coastal Fir which typically averages 3-4 growth rings per inch. This doesn’t just make it lightweight and strong; it also makes it resistant to decay. While not inherently waterproof, Douglas Fir is the most stable species used for wood flooring anywhere in the world, due to its high modulus of elasticity. In layman’s terms, this means if Douglas Fir shrinks or swells when exposed to different climates, humidity levels, or environments, it will generally go back to its original shape once it returns to normal conditions. Very few if any other wood species have this dimensional stability.
We specialize in prefinished textured Douglas Fir flooring, such as wire brushed, circular sawn, and hand-scraped (also available in unfinished). We offer 8 hand-rubbed colors in each texture, for a total of 24 prefinished options. Along with the natural rustic character of Douglas Fir, adding a texture to your floor is an excellent way to combat the inevitable dent, ding, or scratch. Our floors are essentially “pre-worn”, any additional normal “wear and tear” simply adds to the character and rustic appeal. Textured wood flooring is not only great for residential homes but also a perfect choice for commercial locations, restaurants, bars, or any high-traffic area.
There are many options out there, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find such a wide selection of eco-friendly, sustainably harvested, quality crafted, and uniquely authentic wood flooring made in the U.S.A.
Maintaining Douglas Fir Floors
As with any hardwood flooring species, Douglas Fir is also prone to scrapes and scratches. One of the most common ways that hardwood floors get scratched is when grit, grime, dust, and dirt build up and act as an abrasive force against the surface of the floor, like sandpaper. To prevent this from happening only minimal regular cleaning is required. Sweeping regularly and occasionally vacuuming should prevent this problem, and periodic wiping with a damp cloth can also be beneficial.
Solid Douglas Fir floors can be easily refinished numerous times, and in most incidences will outlast our lifetime. Refinishing can be completed in 3 simple steps: lightly abrade the floor, clean thoroughly, and recoat with a self-leveling finish coat. We use and highly recommend a water-based catalyzed floor coating.
Routine Care and Maintenance for Douglas Fir Floors
- Vacuum, sweep, or dust mop your floor once a week, or more if needed. The vacuum head must be brushed or felt, and a wand attachment is preferable. Do not use vacuums with beater bars or hard heads. A hardwood floor swivel-head mop with a terry cloth cover is also highly recommended to eliminate fine particles of grit and dirt that can act like sandpaper on hardwood floors.
- Spills and tracked-in dirt should be wiped up immediately. For spot cleaning, apply a no-wax wood floor cleaner onto a clean cloth and rub it onto the spot.
- Periodically, as necessary, thoroughly clean the floor with a no-wax wood floor cleaner and a swivel-head mop with a terry cloth cover. Spray the floor cleaner directly onto the floor or dampen the mop and apply. DO NOT allow excess no-wax wood floor cleaner to remain on the floor’s surface. Excess liquid may damage the fiber of the wood.
- Use interior and exterior doormats at all entrances to collect dirt and moisture and prevent it from being tracked onto the floor.
- Area rugs are recommended in front of kitchen sinks, at all pivot points, and within high-traffic areas. Do not use rugs with solid rubber or vinyl backings. The rugs must be made of breathable material to prevent moisture entrapment.
- Never wet mop with water or cleaning products.
- Never use any of the following products (or products similar in nature) on your floor: ammonia-based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax-based products, detergents, bleach, polishes, oil soap, abrasive cleaning soaps, or acidic materials such as vinegar. Many of these products can pit or etch the finish of your flooring or prevent the proper use of recommended maintenance materials.
- Keep animal nails trimmed to minimize finish scratches.
- Do not damage your floor with shoes having heel taps or sharp objects protruding from the sole such as rocks, exposed nails, and gravel.
- Avoid walking on wood floors with spike or stiletto-healed shoes. Spike or stiletto high-heels must be properly maintained to prevent damage from the steel heel support.
- Do not roll or slide heavy objects directly upon the floor. When moving appliances or heavy furniture, consider laying a solid protective covering on your floor and gently “walk” the item across it. Carpet or cardboard is not adequate to prevent surface compression scratches.
- Use furniture leg protector pads under ALL furniture and make certain to keep them clean and well maintained.
- Replace hard, narrow furniture rollers with wide rubber rollers.
- Keep the relative humidity in your home between 35% and 55%.
- Protect your floor from direct sunlight. Use curtains with UV-resistant film on large glass doors and windows. Move area rugs occasionally as they block sunlight and may give the appearance of discoloring under the rug.
Our knowledgeable and educated staff is here to answer any additional questions you may have. Please call us today for a free quote: Ph# 406.642.7120 or click here to submit an inquiry online. We look forward to working with you on your next project!