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Beetle Kill Pine: Sustainable AND Beautiful - Ward Hardwood Flooring

September 5, 2018

What You Need to Know About Beetle Kill Pine At Your Hardwood Floor Showroom

Building a sustainable and eco-friendly home involves more than just upgrading your home’s appliances to energy-efficient models. It involves being selective about the materials you incorporate throughout the structure. Luckily, in Colorado, we have access to a sustainable and beautiful building material, perfect for making your home’s interior look as unique as you could possibly want: beetle kill pine. This material is the perfect choice for your home’s hardwood flooring installation, but before you commit to using beetle kill pine in your house, there are a few things you’ll need to know. 
Beetle Kill Would Be Waste-Wood Otherwise

Throughout the Southwest, mountain pine beetles have destroyed large swaths of the forest by laying eggs inside the pine trees native to Colorado, New Mexico, and Northern Arizona. While insects laying eggs inside the bark are not always harmful, these bugs really pack a punch. They leave behind a blue stain fungus that keeps the tree from being able to repel the insects. Over time, the fungus spreads and kills the tree, preventing it from absorbing the nutrients it needs to survive. Without milling the wood as a sustainable flooring and siding material, it would otherwise be useless, slowly composting in the woods or acting as tinder for wildfires.
The Fungus Is What Causes The Stain

Beetle kill flooring is well known for its distinctive blue tint. Though it may look like it was artificially stained, the color is a direct result of the fungus introduced by the mountain pine beetle. Though it’s a fungus, it’s not harmful to your home or to humans, especially after the wood is treated. Prior to being installed in your house, the wood is heat-treated, killing any residual insects, fungi, bacteria, or spores lurking inside the panels. This makes it completely safe and prevents the fungus from spreading to any other wood in your house. 
More Coloration Doesn’t Mean Lesser Quality Wood

Contrary to popular belief, the fungus doesn’t diminish the structural integrity of the wood. It simply kills the tree, the structural integrity of the planks is only impacted by the number of knots and the overall quality of the milling process, not by the amount of “beetle kill” coloration on the wood. If you want to create a unique almost completely blue floor, you can without worrying about adding stabilizing supports.  
Beetle Kill Pine Can Be Used Everywhere

Though many people choose to install beetle kill for flooring, it can be incorporated almost anywhere in your house. Use sanded panels to create a decorative accent wall in the living room or frame out your fireplace using the distinctive boards. If you want to create a more rustic look, consider using the panels to add depth and dimension to your ceiling. The only limit is your imagination. With the right treatment and carpentry, beetle kill can be turned into almost anything. 

No Two Planks Are Alike

Because beetle kill pine produces a unique finish and color, there’s no way to create a uniform appearance. This makes the material perfect for homeowners wanting to make a room unique and help their home stand out from the rest in the neighborhood. If you’re wanting to create a uniform floor or wood-paneled wall, you’ll be better off choosing a wood like oak, maple, or cherry. These woods are easily stained and can give you a more uniform and cohesive look. Though all hardwood will have unique rings and natural imperfections, only beetle kill will give you a wide range of natural color variations from within the same tree. 
Waste Wood Can Be Used Decoratively

As with all wood floors, you’ll have some waste wood either from cuts or imperfections that you don’t want to include in your hardwood installation. However, the unique color of beetle kill wood lends itself to decoration. With a bit of creativity, the waste wood can be turned into beautiful inlaid designs, trim above the chimney, and even as standalone artwork. The more of the waste wood you can incorporate into your home’s build, the more sustainable the project will be. While it may not impact your bottom line, it will give you the chance to express your creativity and add unique touches to your house. 

Beetle kill pine is a fantastic addition to almost any home, whether you’re renovating a room or building from the ground up. At Ward Hardwood Flooring, our dedicated staff will help you create a home you can be proud of. You’ll have the flexibility to buy materials and handle the installation on your own or let our experienced crew get your floor installed quickly. Already have flooring you love, but want to make it look like new again? We can refinish and repair existing planks to breathe new life into your house. Fill out our contact form for your free no-obligation hardwood flooring installation estimate today.