I recently bought a house and the bedroom has a wooden floor. I have attached a picture of the floor, after it has been sanded. I have sanded the floor level and finished it with a P120 grain.

I am wondering with what kind of varnish I should treat it. The floor is certainly not oak. It's rather soft wood. All the information I can find is about oak or parquet hardwood floors. But that kind of wood is much harder so my guess is I would need something very tough.

Color-wise I think I would like it to be a bit darker than it is now. But whatever product is recommended for this kind of floor will probably come in colors?

Any input is appreciated.

This is a picture of the floor. enter image description here

3 Answers 3


That appears to be a subfloor (softwood, plain edges, face-nailed.) It's a good place to put a finish floor (hardwood, parquet, etc) and not a very good finish floor itself, no matter what you coat it with.

Softwood finish-floors are not unheard of, but that isn't one, IMHO.

  • That makes perfect sense. It has been used as the finish floor throughout the entire first floor, though. What would you recommend for the time May 30, 2016 at 6:11
  • being since I would like to put finish floor on the entire floor after a while? May 30, 2016 at 6:12
  • Depends on you and your budget. Some would carpet it - I hate the stuff, but some don't. Laminate "fake wood" can be fairly inexpensive. "Linoleum (which isn't these days, mostly) is inexpensive and easy to sweep, though ideally it would prefer the gaps to be filled. If you're just looking for a coating/finish and not actually covering it, a polyurethane (perhaps tinted) or a stain followed by polyurethane would do, if you can live with those gaps until you get a better finish floor on top of it.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 30, 2016 at 13:07

the gaps between boards are too big. It was not meant to be the finished floor. looks like pine, fir or something similar.


I have never seen subfloor that narrow, or run that close together in an old house. It has always been 1X6 or 1X8 with a 1/2" to 3/4" gap between boards. In some cases it has been 1X6 T&G loosely laid together. Also in many cases laid diagonally.

In my opinion, this was intended to be the finish floor that shrank excessively and perhaps face nailed at a later date to reduce/eliminate squeaks. Or the original installer chose to face nail. All the gaps are very uniform, is the reason I attest that to shrinkage. If it was laid as a subfloor the installer would not have taken the time to get it all uniformly tight, since it would have been covered up anyway.

What to do with it...Did you like the way it looked before, but just wanted to freshen it up? stain it, seal it and finish it the way you like.

Do confirm one thing please. The flooring ideally should be tongue and groove (T&G), if you can send a thin sliver of metal between the gaps here and there to see how far the sliver goes into the gap. It should go no more than 3/8" if the flooring is 1X material. I have seen 5/4 material on one floor, so it possibly could be slightly more. Under no circumstances it should go 3/4" into the gap.

Another note, in old houses, bedrooms are usually on the second floor, where a much cheaper (soft) wood is commonly used. Also there is in many cases, no subfloor even under the finish floor at all.

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