Wide Plank Flooring: How Wide is Too Wide?

Wide Plank Flooring has been in fashion for some time now.   A plank floor refers to a board width wider than 3″.  Anything less than 3″ wide is strip flooring.

There are many reasons for wanting wide plank flooring.  It’s beautiful and it’s not the run of the mill commodity product that you get from some all inclusive flooring box store.  But wide plank doesn’t always work.  There are some species and cuts that are better and some that are just about impossible to create.

Benefits to Wide Plank Flooring:

*makes room appear larger.
– less busy
– fewer seams throughout the room

* Great for a contemporary space

Wide plank R&Q Clear White Oak.  Great contemporary look
Wide plank R&Q Clear White Oak. Great contemporary look

* Great for rustic, colonial style

White Oak - Live Sawn - 8 inch - Rough Sawn Marked
White Oak – 8″ Live Sawn with Circle Saw marks

*Shows off the beauty of the wood.  Allows for more knots and figure.

White Oak Live Sawn
White Oak Live Sawn 4″ wide planks

But how wide is too wide?   What are some limitations people need to be aware of?

* The right species is important!
–  Some species are more dimensionally stable than others.
– For example, Hickory moves more than Oak.
-We won’t sell a hickory plank wider than 5″ without really trying to dissuade the buyer.
2 1/4" hickory is a better choice wide plank because of the movement.
2 1/4″ hickory is a better choice wide plank

* Wide plank boards will shrink more than strip boards for a given change in moisture content

* The right CUT is important
– Rift & Quarter Sawn is more stable.
– Learn more about it in this article in the Hardwood Magazine that Jessica Hickman wrote.
–  Learn more on our website as well.

Rift & Quarter Sawn Board Face and Edges

 

 

 

Rift Sawn boards are difficult to have in really wide plank.  5″ is doable, but difficult anything wider than that could take a long time to accumulate.   Read the article in the hardwood flooring magazine for a more descriptive explanation, but if you look at the picture below  it is an example of a quarter of a log.   The boards that come from the outside of the wedge will be the rift sawn.  You can see by the way the log is cut in order to get this look, you would need really really large trees to get wide plank Rift Only boards.

 

This is a quartered of the a log and how the boards are cut creating the quartered sawn on the outside with the annual rings at 90 degrees to the face,  and the smaller rift sawn boards with the annual rings at 45 degrees to the face
This is a quartered of the a log and how the boards are cut creating the quartered sawn on the outside with the annual rings at 90 degrees to the face, and the smaller rift sawn boards with the annual rings at 45 degrees to the fac

Wide Plank is great with Natural Grades as well as Clear Grades of flooring.  The natural grades allow for the knots and characteristics and really show off the beauty of the wood.

Using random width pattern is a great way to get some wide planks throughout your floor and keep down on cost.

Random width, White Oak Live Sawn
Random width, White Oak Live Sawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allegheny Live Sawn is one of the most economical options for a wide plank.    It’s also very dimensionally stable.  We can go up to 12″ wide with this cut and be confident it will lay well in your home!

If you have any questions with wide plank your best bet is to give us a call and discuss the look you’re wanting and we have help let you know if it’s possible or not!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Print

Virtual Tour Interest Check

Logo: Hickman Woods Family of Companies

Interested in a Virtual Tour?   
Sign up for updates on upcoming events.