Wide-plank hardwood flooring is very popular for homeowners looking to create a distinct look for their home. Wide hardwood planks mimic the planks used in antique homes when wood was sawn by hand. Since trees were felled and processed by hand, the crafters would often keep the planks wide in order to minimize their machining. Wide planks went out of favor for a while but they are making a comeback. If you want to get in on this trend, you should consider a few things.
1 – Plank Thickness
Plank thickness is not very important for narrow hardwood flooring planks. However, for a wide plank, it becomes very important. Wide hardwood planks are more susceptible to cupping whent hey absorb moisture or when they dry out too quickly. Also, they are slightly weaker across the middle because they have more surface area. That could cause some problems if the subfloor is not as sturdy as you would like. In order to avoid many of the downfalls, you should choose planks that are about ¾ inch in thickness. Those will be strong enough to resist bending and cupping under normal circumstances. They won’t be unbreakable, but they will be strong planks.
2 – Plank Length
When you buy most hardwood floors, the planks come in a standard length. Wide planks, however, often come in many different lengths. When planks were wider, they were also varying in length because crafters had to use whichever wood they could find. That often meant creating planks of varying widths and varying lengths. Wide hardwood planks look great with varying lengths. They also look great with uniform length. Whichever you choose, you should be aware. Make sure to double check that you are getting the length, or lengths, that you want.
3 – Site
Where you are installing hardwood matters all the more with hardwood floors. If you are installing your hardwood flooring in the attic, basement, or ground level, you have to be particularly careful about moisture. Moisture will always be a problem for hardwood floors, but the wider planks are more susceptible to cupping or warping.
This can be avoided with a vapor layer underneath the hardwood floor. A vapor layer can be a waterproof barrier or even just a layer of varnish on the underside of the planks. Engineered hardwood floor is also less likely to cup or warp. A dehumidifier could also be a consideration.
These are three things you should consider before you buy into the wide-plank hardwood trend. Still have questions? Call Natural Beauty Wood Floors, your Detroit Hardwood Floor company to schedule a free consultation!