Dating historic lumber

They could be monochromatic or fancifully ornamented, with geometrics such as checkerboard patterns a perennial favorite.

The use of stain and varnish, however—as is so often applied today by homeowners seeking a warm, honey-colored patina—was relatively uncommon; average 18th- or early 19th-century homeowners wouldn’t recognize a shiny floor in their post-and-beam homes.

This perception of the past is only partly accurate—in truth, polished hardwood floors (and room-size oriental carpets) were not commonplace until the late 19th century.

Treatment (pain relievers, gradual increase in activities, and other home treatment) may be started at this point.

Imaging studies will probably not be needed unless your doctor suspects a more serious cause of nerve root compression, such as an infection or tumor.

The first wooden floors in colonial America were wide, thick planks cut from the continent’s abundant old-growth forests.

Because of the trees’ age and massive diameter, the desirable heartwood was extremely tight-grained, making the lumber harder and more durable than the relatively immature wood of the same species that is harvested today.

Working together, they pushed and pulled at opposite ends of a long-bladed saw, carefully following chalk lines that indicated the direction of the cut.