Wide or narrow hardwood flooring planks: Does it matter?

Wide or narrow hardwood flooring planks: Does it matter?

There is an excellent debate about plank width and hardwood flooring these days. And you're probably wondering if the floorboards should be wide (anything over five inches) or narrow (generally, about 3.25 inches).

Don't stress! That decision ultimately comes down to your style and design vision. Plank width also determines whether the room looks large and airy or small and cluttered.

A little historical perspective

In the past, people just accepted–and loved–the flexibility of plank size. The floorboards can be cut into any shape or size, accommodating any decor.

Over the years, however, more and more homes came with an open floor plan. That resulted in the hardwood flooring planks getting even wider and longer; there was more space!

And so the discussion began.

The charm of wide planks

In the 1800s, wide planks were all you saw so that they could look traditional with a somewhat historical old-time charm.
Make no mistake, though, because, with the right furnishing, they can look just as modern and fit into any decor.

They can also make a room look more spacious because of the fewer visual interruptions, i.e., seams. This is a good choice for rooms with high ceilings where the hardwood floors can get a little lost.

Narrow planks can also make a look larger

They can also visually enlarge a room, especially if it’s small and cluttered. Depending on color and furnishings, a narrow plank can make a room look bright, airy, and understated– or dramatic and striking.

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