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Wide Plank Flooring: How Wide is Too Wide?


Wide plank flooring is one of the hottest trends in hardwood flooring. It has been a popular choice for a few years. Plank flooring refers to wood flooring with board widths that are larger than three inches.

Wide plank floors appeal to customer for different reasons. It is stunningly beautiful and looks different than many other big box flooring materials. Wide plank flooring is not always an ideal choice. Some wood species and cuts are not ideal in the wide plank width or can be impossible to produce.

Wide plank flooring works best in medium to large size rooms because it can easily overtake a smaller space. It does help the room seem more spacious. The reduction in seams makes the room flow better and feel less busy.

Wide plank flooring fits a variety of different design styles. It looks great in a contemporary style home but also works well in rustic spaces and colonial style spaces. The wider planks make it easier to showcase the natural beauty of the wood. The knots show more and the natural grain patterns have more room.

When looking into wide plank floors you may be wondering how wide you can go and what the limitations are. There are a few different limitations based on the specifies of your wood. IF you are choosing an oak product you may be able to get larger planks than if you had chosen hickory. Different wood species are more stable than others and the stability of the wood is stressed with wider planks making some woods not viable at ranging widths. Wider planks shrink more than a strip width board when the moisture content changes.

The cut of wide plank flooring is very important. For greater stability in the floor a rift and quarter sawn cut is ideal. Rift sawn boards are the most ideal for wide plank flooring but it can be hard to get this cut in boards wider than 5 inches. The trees needed to make a 5 inch or wider rift sawn only floor would be huge. Quarter sawn boards are easier to come by and more economical. When you get into the wider planks the grade can change as well. Generally the natural grades are available in wide plank but some clear grade is available. Natural grades show off the characteristics and natural beauty of the wood including knots and grain movement.

Wide plank is beautiful but not for every home or floor. Talking with a wood flooring expert is the best way to find out if its a viable option for your home.

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