Wood flooring from the beginning of the last century continues to be a material that has more demand than opportunity for us to supply it.

A rare opportunity for our field crew to grab some old fir flooring in a 1910 structure.

We get less and less opportunities to salvage floors from this era, and when we do, it is not always able to be salvaged. When we do test patches on floors we often find that the floor has been refinished as many times as it can be, and there is not enough dimension left for reuse, or the wood has had too much exposure and simply would not survive the salvage process.

1920s Ponsell International electric floor machine ad.
Tongue and Groove milled wood floors made wood flooring more attractive to home builders and owners in the early 1900s. Quartersawn tongue and groove wood floors remain a popular option, though the finishes used today have had lots of advancements! Love this 1920s ads use of being endorsed by several nameless “prominent individuals”. So much easier when your influencers could remain anonymous!

Due to this demand, we work with a PNW mill to offer newly milled tongue and groove douglas fir flooring at Second Use stores. While this material is not ideal to patch an old floor, due to changes in the wood and standards in sizing, you can use it to install a new fir floor to get that classic PNW fir floor look.

Did you know that it was a common technique to install a higher grade hardwood floor at the edge of a room, while the center of a room would be a lesser grade as it was assumed a rug would be placed over it? In our neck of the woods, this often meant locally milled fir flooring surrounded by oak hardwood at the edges.

In partnership with a local mill, we stock two styles of fir flooring at our stores. Both are sold by the bundle and are available for under $6 a square foot.

3-1/8″ CVG Fir Flooring Shorts

This style of flooring is mostly clear vertical grain douglas fir with a nice tight grain. The boards are 3-1/8 inches wide and 3/4 -inch thick. They come in lengths varying from 3-5 feet long. Not hip to all that lingo? Clear refers the fact that you will find fewer knots or sap pockets, and vertical grain refers to the fact that the grain lines travels through the thickness of the board from top to bottom, sometimes referred to as quartersawn. These are C-grade and better, so you may find some milling irregularities.

3-1/8″ Character-grade Fir Flooring

These longer boards are marked as “D-grade” by the mill. They come in lengths varying from 6-16 feet. You will find more knots and sap pockets in these longer lengths, and may find some variation in thickness that doesn’t affect the wear layer. It is mixed grain from flat to vertical, and has the same 3-1/8 inch width and 3/4 inch thick dimensions as the shorter CVG boards.

When working with these fir flooring options, you will want to add around 20% extra square footage to your purchase from the size of space you want to install it in. As with all solid wood flooring, you’ll want to let the wood acclimate to its new home. For this flooring, let it acclimate for at least a week before you start installation. Even new douglas fir flooring is getting harder to find, and you will find that our prices are at least 50% lower than other available options in the area. Whether you are trying to keep or add that classic PNW look in your home, these two flooring options are a great deal as an alternative to hard-to-find salvaged flooring.

An example of original fir flooring butting up against modern fir flooring installed in an adjacent room.