Color: Heartwood is yellowish tan to light brown. Sapwood is tan to white. Heartwood may be confused with that of Southern Yellow Pine. Radical color change upon exposure to sunlight.
Grain: Normally straight, with occasional wavy or spiral texture. Nearly all fir flooring is vertical-grain or riftsawn clear-grade material.
Species & Grade Variations: Wood varies greatly in weight and strength. Young trees of moderate to rapid growth have reddish heartwood and are called “Red Fir”. The narrow-ringed wood of old trees may be yellowish-brown and is known as “Yellow Fir”.
Hardness (Janka): 660; 49% softer than Northern Red Oak.
Dimensional Stability: Above average (change coefficient .00267; 28% more stable than Red Oak).
Durability: Durable but easily dented. Somewhat brittle and splinters easily, especially with age. Used for flooring, but may not be suitable for all applications due to its softness.
Sawing / Machining: Harder to work with hand tools than the soft pines.
Sanding: Sands satisfactorily.
Nailing: Good holding ability.
Finishing: Some boards develop a slight pinkish to bright salmon color when finished with some products. Because of tendency toward color change, care must be taken to avoid oversanding when refinishing an existing floor.
Comments: Sometimes milled for flooring as end-grain block, which is significantly harder than plainsawn.
(Relative to plainsawn select Red Oak.)