Using Eastern Spruce With Equilibrium Moisture Content For Hardwood Floors


Love your site so far, don’t have time to go through everything yet………………………………. eastern white cedar inside 3/4 x 6 inch t maybe V groove, maybe round edge groove and staining clear or light brown with Minwax or Varathane. Have you ever heard of a Cedar floor?

I figure it is harder than Pine……….Please advise if not a problem.

When you are talking Cedar, I can understand your comments with Red Cedar but would this include Eastern White Cedar?…………

A lot of people seem to put cedar on walls and ceilings in cottages but I suppose this is ok? as you are not walking on them and they are finished????

Are there any other reasonable priced softwoods? How does Spruce compare? The quality is not there as far as I can tell and it yellows also, but not as bad as pine. We had a 27 foot wall ten feet high of pine in our condo we bought, and got so sick of it after two years.



Dear Gary

Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is merely a sub-species of Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), and they both have the same lousy flooring properties. It’s acidic property will rust all but galvanized, stainless steel or copper nails on a deck. Yes, you can use it as an interior trim, and furniture and other light duty uses. But it will make for a very, very weak floor, as well as creating the dangerous dust like I said before.

Eastern Spruce is sometimes used as flooring (but generally sub-flooring) and there are three sub-species of Spruce (Picea spp.). This includes White, Red and Black Spruce, the Black being the most dense and White the least of the three. It’s only a little more durable than Eastern White Pine, but well selected lumber will have a straighter grain. You should have easy access to Red Spruce (Picea rubens) in Nova Scotia.

Seeing how you won’t be heating this space for long periods, be sure you use the screws and pegs, as outlined in the article. The cut nails won’t hold as well. The thicker plywood subfloor is needed to keep out moisture from below. Expect some gaps later on in the life of this floor, but make sure that it is truly kiln dried to the EMC (equilibrium moisture content) for INTERIOR WOOD in your area. A local cabinet making shop will know this. Home Depot people know almost squat, like you said.

One could always stain the Spruce interior floor if you wanted a more mellow aged look. But only if you followed the directions in my sanding and my staining articles, both well worth the read. And for really professional results when finishing the floor, the poly w/o bubbles article is priceless. Nobody has regretted buying these fine articles.

P.S. What article have you bought lately that included having an email discussion with the author?

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.