Mystery Wood #1: Floor Type

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Sivers posted 04-08-2009 02:08 AM 1253 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Mystery Wood series no next part


The short story is that I need to try and match up the wood that my floor is made from. There are some areas that were patched with plywood and I would like to refinish it. This is my first attempt at adding pictures to a blog so hopefully it goes well.

I’ve refinished one room a while back and this is the same stuff so I know what it looks like when it is finished because it does darken quite a lot. Even after refinishing one room I never did figure out what type of wood it was. Here is the first room in it’s rough state. You can see where someone had to patch it up before, this was going to be mostly in a closet so I wasn’t as worried about it. I am pretty sure these patches are white pine.

OK, here it is wit a few coats of Poly. As you can see it really darkened with the finish.

Now I was able to get a piece up from the new section I need to match it up to. It looks the same as the previous room. I ran this piece through my planer and finished one end of it to see what the finished product will look like.

And here it shows how much it darkens with the finish. The finish is an oil based semi-gloss.

So here is where I could use some help. I don’t have a very good lumber mill near my place so next time I am travelling I will try to swing by a couple of places to see if they can help. In the meantime I figured I’d see if anyone out there has an idea on the identity. Even if I don’t find out exactly what it is I just need to match it up as close as I can so the new pieces blend in.

Here is what I know….to start, it’s a softwood, pretty light weight. Obviously not white pine…To me it looks like cedar when it is bare but it doesn’t smell like it and I have never heard of cedar flooring. The house was built in 1890 and this is the orginal flooring throughout the entire upstairs. The boards are roughly 4 inches wide, about 3/4” thick and are tongue and groove. Any ideas?

5 comments so far

View blackcherry's profile


3346 posts in 4908 days

#1 posted 04-08-2009 04:14 AM

My guess that it is cedar. Northern old growth Cedar will lose it aroma but not the color character, which I would say it is has. I took a quick look at your profile and I see your in Canada. If this was mill in the Northern part of Canada Cedar will grow harder than in the Midwest of USA because of the colder climate. If you have a small knot that has come lose boil it in a small pot and smell the vapor it may reveal itself. Well that my guess good luck…Blkcherry

View oldskoolmodder's profile


802 posts in 4765 days

#2 posted 04-08-2009 04:30 AM

blackcherry could be right.

Not all cedar has that cedar smell you might think it would have. I’m not connoisseur of Cedar, but the only stuff I’ve ever found with scent was red cedar, no matter how old it is. I was working at my Aunt’s house a few weeks ago, and I had to cut a few clapboards that ended up being red cedar over 90 years old, and when I cut into it, it was the most beautiful red and had the familiar scent like it was just fresh wood.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Sivers's profile


44 posts in 4468 days

#3 posted 04-08-2009 06:21 PM

I’m inclined to cedar as well, I’ve just never heard anything about cedar flooring. Are there many types of cedar out there? The only cedar I’ve touched is the 2×4’s I can pick up at Home Depot and this stuff just doesn’t smell like it. Could this be a non-aromatic type?

View blackcherry's profile


3346 posts in 4908 days

#4 posted 04-08-2009 06:53 PM

Soft wood that are milled in Northern Cold climate can achieve a harder density. Etan Allen used a Northern Canadian pine for a line of dining rm. furniture called American Treasure if I recall the name correctly. It could pass the same density test of cherry and walnut.

View Sivers's profile


44 posts in 4468 days

#5 posted 04-26-2009 06:00 AM

UPDATE: I went down to the local Home Depot and picked up some 5/8×6” cedar deck board..I was able to sort through and look for some of the darker boards…After a quick sand and a coat of Poly it has the identical color as the board seen above…...It is not as tightly grained but all the cedar I’ve seen had much wider grain so I think I am out of luck on that part…..Will have to settle for a color match and tread lightly….

You make a good point Blackcherry…makes sense…100 years ago they were using whatever happened to be here for building materials.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics