Use the natural characteristics of wood to make your floor feel warmer

We all know the chill of a cold tile or concrete floor beneath our feet.

Even laminate flooring and some hardwoods can send a shiver through our bare soles first thing in the morning.

But have you ever considered why? The answer might surprise you – as may the simple solution.

Essentially, it comes down to density – harder woods are denser (and therefore have less internal air), whereas softer woods are less dense (more internal air).

When we touch real wood, its cells warm up to match our skin temperature; the higher level of internal air in softwoods enables this to happen more quickly.

For centuries, old pine and fir have been popular woods for flooring – not only for their rich, beautiful colour, but also for their warm feel. Even on a cold winter morning, a softwood floor is inviting to bare skin. This is why softwoods like pine and fir are still highly sought after for high-end flooring, and why many designers are incorporating them into their plans. The same goes for cork floors.

It’s ironic that as construction techniques evolve and we spend more and more dollars on new technologies like heated subfloors, hydronic systems and geothermal energy recovery, we often overlook the much simpler solution of using naturally warmer materials.

The next time you’re thinking about how to warm up your floors, consider a naturally warmer softwood.

Even when installed over concrete with an insulating underpad, a softwood floor can save you time and money while providing a luxurious feel that is natural, healthy and pleasing in more ways than one.

Great in bedrooms and rec rooms and able to turn a chilly basement into a favourite gathering space, a softwood floor may just be the simplest way to keep your tootsies toasty year-round.


Steve Roscoe is the owner of Woodland Flooring:  handcrafted flooring sustainably harvested from BC woods. He can be reached at 250-890-0402 or

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 8 edition online now. Browse the archives.