has anyone used poplar as a hard wood floor

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Forum topic by pauljuilleret posted 07-07-2017 01:41 PM 2486 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 2419 days

07-07-2017 01:41 PM

I just finished making tung and grove siding out of poplar. after I finished the mill work I then pre conditioned it and stained it with a cherry stain, followed by two coats of spar varnish. it was then installed on a front porch. The owner now asked me about using it as flooring. I know it isn’t as hard as Oak or Maple but is harder than the southern yellow pine they have down now. toss me some ideas as to how you folks feel bout this idea. Thanks in advance for your help

12 replies so far

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1542 days

#1 posted 07-07-2017 01:46 PM

“toss me some ideas as to how you folks feel bout this idea.”

Its too soft, in addition to butt-ugly.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3365 days

#2 posted 07-07-2017 01:52 PM

It is a bit soft, and would have to be expected to get dinged and beat up. I think it would be about expectations. Wouldn’t be my choice, not that it matters.

View johnstoneb's profile


3144 posts in 2939 days

#3 posted 07-07-2017 01:53 PM

wood database Poplar is considerably softer (560 janka), than the southern yellow pines vary from (&00 to 900) depending on species.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Woodknack's profile


13382 posts in 3147 days

#4 posted 07-07-2017 01:57 PM

Poplar and SYP are going to be similar in hardness. It’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison because pine has hard/soft growth rings. I agree with Shane that it’s about expectations. It’s not going to perform or last as long as oak or hard maple but at the rate people remodel these days, maybe won’t matter.

-- Rick M,

View splintergroup's profile


3771 posts in 1989 days

#5 posted 07-07-2017 02:28 PM

Poplar is a stable wood and rather inexpensive. If the color and grain pattern are agreeable, why not use it?
It won’t have the durability of oak, but other “soft” woods get used as flooring all the time. Going in with tempered expectations might actually yield some pleasant surprises.

View MrRon's profile


5910 posts in 4010 days

#6 posted 07-09-2017 04:23 PM

All woods have been used for flooring from the earliest times. Whatever was available in the area was used. It’s only since the advent of worldwide transportation and factory made flooring that the more durable species of wood has been used. It all boils down to durability vs cost. Appearance is also another factor.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4135 days

#7 posted 07-09-2017 04:27 PM

Use it but apply an epoxy finish to harden the surface.

View tomsteve's profile


1037 posts in 1986 days

#8 posted 07-09-2017 04:43 PM

All woods have been used for flooring from the earliest times. Whatever was available in the area was used.

- MrRon

quite a few years ago i was over a friends helping him with some kitchen plumbing in the oooooold farmhouse he was living in. the house has wide plank shiplap flooring that i thought was different shades of stain on different boards.workin down in the basement/root cellar i stopped and looked at the underside of the flooring. there was red and white oak, maple,poplar, pine, hickory. it wasnt different shades of stain- just different species of lumber- whatever was available on the property to cut.
what blew me away was a couple months later helping him with some siding. we tore off the old shiplap siding and could see the ends of the floor boards. full 2” thick!

poplar,imo, would make a good floor as long as its known it might ding and scrape easier than harder woods

View bandit571's profile


25866 posts in 3450 days

#9 posted 07-09-2017 05:08 PM

Poplar would work, then use area rugs to help protect it….like they used to do with the Front Parlors….Fancy wood around the edges where they’d show, Pine, fir poplar under a rug so it won’t show.

Maybe take so “Car Siding” and lay that down? Grooves down, of course…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4065 days

#10 posted 07-09-2017 05:49 PM

With modern finishes there’s no reason you couldn’t use poplar. Look for something better than the normal big box floor poly and look at catalyzed and specialty finishes.

This stuff is amazing:

And I’ve heard good things about this:

View bondogaposis's profile


5783 posts in 3118 days

#11 posted 07-09-2017 06:34 PM

Use it but apply an epoxy finish to harden the surface.

- papadan

It will still dent. I wouldn’t use it, too soft.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Madmark2's profile


1351 posts in 1355 days

#12 posted 07-09-2017 06:39 PM

Ipe or jatoba come to mind – neither will easily dent.


-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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