Is Spruce a Hardwood? Pros, Cons & Properties
Spruce is a softwood with a lovely creamy color and hues that sometimes vary between white and yellow. It is straight-grained with an even texture. Spruce is commonly used for construction, crafting musical instruments, making boxes and crates, and has excellent woodworking qualities. Although spruce is not resistant to decay and is prone to insect attacks, it has superior compressive strength, making it incredibly easy to handle and shape into desired structures.
Since you can make spruce into many different objects, it is also excellent as a flooring solution. Even though it is not recommended to use spruce on floors that endure a lot of pressure and traffic, they will look fantastic in more private rooms such as bedrooms, walk-in closets, and offices.
Read on below to learn more about spruce, its exceptional properties, and whether it is a suitable option for your floors.
Hardwood vs. Softwood Trees
There are many significant differences between softwood and hardwood trees. What makes a tree belong to hardwood or softwood are its growth pattern, shedding of leaves, and the type of seed.
Is Spruce a Type of Hardwood?
Spruce is a coniferous evergreen tree that belongs to the genus Picea. Generally, softwoods have a much lighter color than hardwoods and a much lower density. Since spruce falls under the category of gymnosperms trees, it is a softwood type, not hardwood. Softwoods grow much faster than hardwood, and like most other softwoods, spruce tends to grow rapidly, and it can reach up to 200 feet in height.
Properties of Spruce
Spruce wood is a very bendable and flexible wood with high compressive strength. Even though spruce is considered a softwood, its strength is excellent, making it popular in the woodworking industry. Depending on the type of spruce, its hardness on the Janka scale can go up to 520 lbf, and while it may not have a high density or hardness, its bending and compressive strengths are impressive.
What is Spruce Used For?
Even though spruce is characterized by lightweight and low density, there are various uses for spruce lumber, making this wood highly valuable. It is affordable compared to other types of wood and has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio.
Building and construction work
Because spruce wood is so easy to work with, it is mainly used in construction and structural work. It’s flexible and is easy to bend and handle, making it perfect for these types of projects since you can craft almost any desired structure or shape. Spruce is affordable and available in the market compared to certain types of softwood and hardwood.
Many types of softwood are common for papermaking, such as pine, fir, and hemlock. Spruce is another softwood that is praised and commonly used in this industry. It has long cellulose fibers, making it valuable in the papermaking industry. When making paper that is consisted of high-quality fiber, spruce is an ideal solution for this.
Spruce has a big part in the industry of making instruments. It can serve for making entire instruments or only parts of instruments. You can commonly find it in the base construction of violins, guitars, and piano soundboards. What makes spruce so great in this industry are the closed growth rings that give the instruments made of spruce a unique sound.
Although untreated spruce lumber is prone to decay and insect attacks, treated spruce lumber is much more durable and stronger. Treated spruce lumber is an excellent choice for boat construction because of its rot-resisting properties and durability.
Boxes and crates
Since spruce wood is so lightweight and easy to handle, it has great use in the industry for making quality boxes and crates. They can hold heavy-weight goods, and since this wood makes transportation so easy, it is highly praised in this industry.
Is Spruce Good for Flooring?
Because spruce is softwood and generally has low density and hardness, it is not a standard option for flooring. Since spruce is so soft, it cannot endure a lot of pressure—over time, pressure points may occur. That being said, spruce can actually look amazing in low-traffic home areas, such as bedrooms or offices. As long as you avoid rooms that have a lot of traffic, your spruce flooring will be flawless for a long time.
There are many advantages to using spruce wood for your flooring. It gives a soft and velvety feeling while walking on it and gives your room a rustic yet classic look. It has a unique texture, with beautiful knot patterns that give your home warmth and charm.
How to properly maintain spruce flooring
After installing your new spruce flooring, it would be ideal to coat them with some type of replenishing oil. Natural linseed oil is excellent for nourishing your spruce floor while ensuring a pleasant appearance and feel. As a finishing touch, you can coat your floors twice— the first time during the production and the second time after you lay the boards.
Taking care of the spruce floor is very easy—all you need to do is wipe it with water and wood floor soap. This soap will clean the floor thoroughly and protect the surface from scratches and stains.
We hope we have provided you with insight into whether spruce flooring is a convenient solution and how to maintain them properly to have a lovely and long-lasting spruce floor. Spruce is an excellent option for flooring as soon as you stay away from rooms with a higher traffic volume. Maintaining a floor made of spruce wood is crucial, as it will ensure your floors are strong and healthy for a much longer time.
Featured Image Credit: Myriams Fotos, Pixabay