Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring vs Narrow? Which Is Best for You?

Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring vs Narrow? Which is Best for You?
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What Is Plank Hardwood Flooring

Many mistakenly assume that plank hardwood flooring and strip hardwood flooring are the same thing. While there are similarities, there are also differences that change the way you feel about your new floor.

The planks used for hardwood flooring are created by slicing the tree’s main trunk. Using the larger trunk as opposed to off-shoots or large limbs accomplishes two things. First, the size of the planks can be larger, often measuring as wide across as 20 inches (50.8 cm) and reaching lengths of 16-feet. The planks also contain a great deal of heartwood, which gives the planks a unique and artistic appearance. 

Advantages connected to plank hardwood flooring include:

  • Durability
  • Quality
  • Beauty

Strip hardwood flooring involves much narrower strips of wood. The flooring is created from limbs and smaller tree trunks, which means the flooring lacks the interesting visual appeal of the plank flooring. Because the parts of the tree used to create strip hardwood flooring are smaller, the strips are both narrower and shorter than plank flooring, meaning you’ll need lots of strips to cover your floor.

The Size of Your Room Helps Dictate the Size of the Planks

The size of the room you intend to have the wood flooring installed in plays a massive role in helping you decide between wide and narrow planks. The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the room, the narrower the plank. The reason for this is that when wide planks in a tiny room, the proportions seem wrong. In some cases, the effect is so strange that it becomes difficult for homeowners to concentrate while they’re in the room, causing them to eventually convert the room, with its gorgeous wood plank floor, into a storage space.

On the other hand, large rooms with narrow planks tend to have a cluttered or busy appearance. Designers recommend using a nice, wide plank in large rooms.

One thing to keep in mind is that when using a wide hardwood plank, long generally looks better than short. If you’re using a wider plank, you try to stick to lengths of 7-11′ if at all possible. The length and width combine to give your floor an elegant look. 

Variety Is Good

Don’t think that just because you’ve selected a wide wood plank for one room, that you’re locked into using the same wide plank throughout your entire home. Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach to laying a new wood plank in your home, choose a width that perfectly suits each room and shake things up. You’ll be much happier with the results.

If you want to get creative, play around with the idea of mixing up narrow and wide planks. You can even use different widths to create interesting flooring patterns. Using random widths of plank flooring is a trend that’s rapidly gaining in popularity. It’s also a look that seems to work in all rooms and complements both a rustic and modern decorating style. The biggest headache connected to using random widths of plank flooring is figuring out exactly how much plank flooring you’ll need to cover the entire space.

In addition to getting creative with the width of the hardwood planks, you can also try using different types of hardwood and using it to create a fun, varied look that turns an ordinary room into a work of art.

Determining the Cost of Plank Hardwood Flooring

Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring vs Narrow? Which is Best for You?

In most cases, the wider planks tend to cost more than narrower planks. The main reason for this is because the wider planks are made from older growth trees which are more valuable. The wider planks means each tree produces fewer planks. However, just because wider planks have a higher purchase price, it doesn’t mean that using wider planks will drastically increase the cost of flooring a room. Since the planks are wider, you’ll need fewer of them to cover the space. In the end, you may find that using a wider planks is actually more affordable.

Choosing the Ideal Plank Hardwood Flooring for Your Home

One of the great things about choosing plank flooring for your home is that you have an enormous variety of choices. Plank flooring comes in a variety of types of wood, and each type changes the way your home looks.

If you’re seeking a warm and cozy style, you want to look for heavily grained, darker plank flooring. Hardwoods that will likely appeal to you include:

  • Mahogany
  • Cherry
  • Walnut
  • Red Oak
  • Hickory 
  • Ash

The type of stain and sealant used on the planks will impact the final color. The darker, more heavily grained hardwoods look especially good when paired with a rustic design. The darker wood does a wonderful job absorbing light, which can help lower your heating bills. The downside to darker hardwood planks is that in some homes, the darker wood creates an oppressive impression.

If you desire a cooler or modern look, you should consider paler shades of hardwood. Trees that produce lighter hardwood flooring include:

  • Maple
  • Poplar
  • Birch

The great thing about choosing paler types of hardwood for your plank flooring is that the lighter colored wood is easy to work with and can make a small room appear much larger. The downside is that there have been some instances where the lighter colored planks made the room feel washed out.

Learn More About Wide vs Narrow Plank Hardwood Flooring

Choosing to install plank hardwood flooring in your home is a major decision. A high-quality hardwood floor will provide you with a lifetime of happy memories, you want to make sure you love the final results. The best way to ensure you are choosing the right width, color, and type of wood is seeking professional help. We will happily answer any questions you have about choosing the best width plank for your home. We’re also happy to provide information about the different types of hardwood used in our flooring options.

Contact a flooring professional today to get answers to all of your hardwood flooring questions. We can’t wait to set you up with the plank flooring of your dreams.

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