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Wide Plank Flooring: How Wide is Too Wide?


Wide plank flooring is a big trend and has been in style for a few years. A blank is any board that is wider than 3″ while boards under 3″ are referred to as strip flooring. Wide plank flooring has many different appealing qualities. It is not as common which is one of the reasons people like it but there are times when it is not the right flooring for a specific space.

Wide plank flooring appears less busy because their reduction in seams. It also has the benefit of making a room feel larger because of the smoother lines. Wide plank flooring fits well in a contemporary space as well as a rustic space. There is more character in the boards because of the wider planks.

When it comes to wide plank natural wood there are some size limitations. Hickory is more likely to move than oak so it ideally is limited to 5″ plank at the very biggest. Wide plank boards shrink more so gaping can be a bigger concern.

The way the boards are cut is also important to consider. Rift and quarter sawn planks are more stable so they make better wide plank boards. The mill struggles to mill rift and quarter boards that are wider than 5″ and the acclimation process takes longer on these boards. There is a lot of waste associated with wide plank rift and quartered planks so the price reflects this.

Wide plank flooring generally is a natural grade but clear grades are available. The natural grade flooring has knots and character in the boards that show the natural elements of the wood.

If you are looking for an option to cut the costs of your wide plank flooring you may want to consider a varied width floor. Combining a variety of widths adds a lot of style to the floor but saves you from buying all expensive wide plank flooring.

Wide plank floors are beautiful but like any floor covering there are limitations. Talk with your local hardwood professionals to truly understand the options for your specific climate and home.

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