2018 Top Flooring Trends: Wide Planks
August 28, 2018 Tagged: Style Forecast
As more and more homes embrace open floor plans, special care must be taken when selecting flooring for the resulting great rooms.
Previously, when more walls divided the home, rooms were smaller and offered less distance for the eye to travel before hitting a wall. Thus, flooring was made with thinner widths and had many rows per room: standard 2.25” width planks installed in a 10’ room would result in around 53 rows of flooring. Install that in a 30’ wide great room, however, and you’d see 160 long rows of planks, which can make the room seem like one long bowling alley lane.
By contrast, a wider board results in fewer rows, with fewer seams between them. This lack of visual clutter makes rooms seem more spacious and open—even in traditional floor plans.
Another benefit of a wide plank is more surface area to appreciate wood’s inherent charm. Trees are similar to people in that each are different, with color variation, grain, knots, texture, and figure. When cutting the timber, increasing plank width will invariably show more variations in the finished floor. These elements are what make wood (or wood-look) products beautiful, and wide plank floors show them off perfectly.
Point to consider:
If you’re looking at wide boards, a corresponding longer length may be appropriate to keep the plank proportions balanced. Bonus: this cuts visual clutter yet again, as there are even fewer seams.
Finally, understand wide planks have restrictions. Some species of tree (walnut, for example) do not grow as large or as fast as others, making it difficult or costly to harvest these extra-large width planks.
"...a wider board results in fewer rows, with fewer seams between them. This lack of visual clutter makes rooms seem more spacious and open..."