What Are the Different Types of Fir Floors?

Sheryl Butterfield
Sheryl Butterfield

Wood flooring offers durability and fits with a variety of decors. Fir floors are most often found in the northwestern region of the United States. The Douglas fir trees of the north and west U.S. are not only popular as Christmas trees, they also make sturdy hardwood floors.

Douglass fir wood floors tend to resist denting.
Douglass fir wood floors tend to resist denting.

The Douglas fir is from a different family of fir than the Balsam, White and Fraser firs. Firs are classified as soft wood because they are cone-bearing. The Douglas fir, however, proved to be stronger than other firs. Wood floors require a hard wood that is resistant to denting. Douglas firs meet this criteria, whereas other firs are too soft.

Douglas Firs are popular as Christmas trees.
Douglas Firs are popular as Christmas trees.

Fir floors made of Douglas fir are considered medium-hard and are lightweight compared to the strength they offer. These floors are resilient and versatile as far as interior decoration goes. They are not only appropriate for an ageless country decor or log cabin style, but fir floors mix well with modern furniture as well.

These majestic fir trees are native to high mountain forests of the Rocky Mountains. For commercial use, Douglas firs are sometimes fast-grown. Light layers grow in the spring and the wood is soft like balsa wood. The dark layers form later and are the strongest. These dark and light layers are both used for flooring, showing a vertical grain differences throughout.

Fir floors appear differently depending on how the Douglas fir wood is cut and treated. Decorative treatments, including wire brushed, re-sawn and circular sawn, can provide a look that complements a certain decor. For example, re-sawn fir that is heavy cut is rougher and more rustic in appearance.

Manufacturers sometimes put saw marks on dry Douglas fir planks to be used for floors. The treatment can prevent less cupping, or curling up from water contact. A fir floor using this type of process is appropriate for a very rustic look.

Fir flooring starts out as yellowish to tan to light brown in color. Color can change drastically over time if the floors receive direct sunlight. The grain of these floors is mostly straight with some waves or spirals in the texture. Almost all this type of flooring has a vertical grain. Finishers must take care not to over sand Douglas fir floors.

Fir flooring, like other hardwood flooring, can last many years longer than other types of floors. With the proper finishing and refinishing and cleaning methods, these floors are a beautiful wood species choice for a home or building.

Sheryl Butterfield
Sheryl Butterfield

Sheryl is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in articles about environmental issues, renewable energy, and parenting teenagers.

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Discussion Comments


I just recently purchased and installed vertical grain flooring for a restoration project on my old bungalow house. I purchased the material online and the wood looks beautiful. I love the look of Douglas fir floors. It really has a classic and warm look.

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