224995061_3cd669aa46_mThere are many different size widths of hardwood planks to choose from. How do you know which one is right for you?

First, let’s look at the different sizes available. Most hardwoods are available in 2 1/4″, 3″, 5″, 7″ and sometimes widths even wider. Boards are classified into two different groups. Plank and Strip. Strip refers to boards that are narrower than 3″. Plank refers to boards that are 3″ or greater.

Board width can change the look of a room as well as set the tone for the design style or scheme. For example, narrow boards like 2 1/4″ are usually found in older homes and more traditional homes. They are found in older homes predominantly because this was the only width available. In some really old homes you will find extremely wide widths. However, in some contemporary settings, you will find strips of natural maple and other species that are uniform in color and grain.

Board widths of 3″ are found in many types of homes including traditional and transitional. This look does not commit you to any one design style or type and therefore is a good choice when you have an eclectic look or one that does not fit into any one design category.

Wider boards are now being seen in all types of homes because of their ability to expand the look and size of a room. Wide boards such as 5″ and 7″ are helpful in creating a rustic or country look. This is why you will see a lot of wider width planks that are distressed.

An exception to choosing one particular width of flooring is to mix widths creating a random width installation pattern. This is often used when the boards being used have come from reclaimed sources.

A great tool to help determine what width hardwood is right for a room is the Virtual Room Designer found on the WFCA website.

Posted Monday, January 5th, 2009 at 3:46 pm
Filed Under Category: Hardwood Flooring
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Responses to “Hardwood Flooring Widths”

Pat Hicks

I absolutely concur, and what we have seen is that often by mixing the widths, the grain patterns and density varies to create an even more interesting floor.

In addition, the five inch width has been very popular in new construction as well as with re-models. Even when the wood is naturally distressed as our floors are, some light hand scrape is added. It is then stained with a dark, rich stain such as “Spice Brown” before the water based polyurethane sealer is applied.

The end result is a stunning floor that can be found in very high end custom homes as well as a room seeking a more rustic look.

Pat Hicks
New Life Hardwood Floors

Ellen @ Floors-Walls-Ceilings

Thank you for an excellent article-very helpful!

Hardwood Flooring

Excellent article. Selecting the proper width boards ensures you get the exact look you want for your home.


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Hardwood Flooring Orange County

Although wider width seem to be cornering a good portion of the market, we occasionally enjoy combination width that are being introduced from Provenza and Gemwoods. Odd sizes from Millstone Natural Series. There are some very wide planks in the market that do not make great flooring, one has to agree. Some of them will serve better purpose as shelves. Thanks for the article.

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