Name that wood, again.

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Forum topic by Seamus0559 posted 03-20-2016 02:57 AM 836 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 1315 days

03-20-2016 02:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: alder oak mahogany cherry maple pine walnut elm beech floor hardwood flooring refinish question sander refurbishing finishing sanding traditional modern shaker victorian rustic arts and crafts greene and greene

I’ve updated the photos, and added a photo of a board I pulled up. Would like to hear thoughts on species. It’s similar to maple grain, but the coloring is off.

We pulled up the carpet in the attic, and found this flooring underneath. The previous owners cut
holes in the floor to run wire, and i need to patch. Im drawing a blank on this one. Its very light when it is dry, but as soon as i put a little water on it, it turns reddish brown. I thought it was beech, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe Elm? he home was built in 1909 and I’m in the Cleveland area. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

12 replies so far

View MNgary's profile


293 posts in 1835 days

#1 posted 03-20-2016 03:19 AM

Hmmm,built about the time blight was doing in the Chestnut trees.

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View builtinbkyn's profile


650 posts in 359 days

#2 posted 03-20-2016 03:29 AM

Old homes had SYP as underlayment and for finish flooring in less expensive homes.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn :)

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1562 posts in 1894 days

#3 posted 03-20-2016 11:22 AM

I believe that it is yellow poplar. The green heartwood would have oxidized to a light brown by now.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View bigblockyeti's profile


3570 posts in 1139 days

#4 posted 03-20-2016 01:27 PM

How wide are the board? Tongue and groove red oak was frequently used as sub flooring and was usually had a reveal of 2 1/4” wide.

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269 posts in 1041 days

#5 posted 03-20-2016 01:53 PM

Doesn’t look like chestnut.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View dhazelton's profile


2284 posts in 1715 days

#6 posted 03-20-2016 02:06 PM

See? I would have said chestnut. Southern yellow pine has much tighter grain and was usually used in narrower strips. If you have to patch in something I would just use white pine from the box store and stain as best you can to match.

View splintergroup's profile


720 posts in 641 days

#7 posted 03-20-2016 03:07 PM

Picture #5, top board has some of the ‘flecking’ I associate with Beech, but beyond that….

View Brendo's profile


5 posts in 216 days

#8 posted 03-20-2016 03:44 PM

Here’s my two cents, if I had to guess. The wood looks quite a bit like hickory to me and based off the pictures that would be my final answer. However, there are a lot of scratches in the flooring which suggests this wood may be softer than hickory. I think 10 people might give you a few different answers but that is because many woods look similar, and your flooring will have different looks from one piece to the piece next to it. So, you can probably find flooring of a few different species that would appear to match well enough to fool just about anyone. So don’t over think it. I think the absence of large pores in the latewood rules out the possibility of this being beech, oak or chestnut. It could be a pine or poplar, I suppose. Both would be quite soft in comparison to an oak or hickory and pine would probably have a distinct smell you could detect in a fresh cut through a board. I would replace this with hickory but I’m sure you could go to your local specialty hardwood distributor and pick through boards of different species to find something that works. Pick a species that’s close and pick through boards until you find one that has grain, figure, color that won’t stick out. Hope this helps.

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392 posts in 638 days

#9 posted 03-20-2016 09:03 PM

carpeted floors in an attic?

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92 posts in 286 days

#10 posted 03-20-2016 09:17 PM

I’d go with some kind of poplar. I wouldn’t try to pin it down to one species, though, considering how many there are and how easily they hybridize.

-- Unix programmers never die; they just > /dev/null

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1614 posts in 1735 days

#11 posted 03-20-2016 09:20 PM

I can see the ray flecks on some of those boards. Not a softwood.

-- See my work at and

View WDHLT15's profile


1562 posts in 1894 days

#12 posted 03-21-2016 12:33 AM

Oh yea of little faith…...........

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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