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Wide Plank Flooring in Your Home

Updated on May 30, 2015
This flooring comes from reclaimed chestnut wood.
This flooring comes from reclaimed chestnut wood. | Source

In terms of functionality, homes today are far better than what our ancestors lived in. For shear beauty though, the homes of yesteryear win hands down, at least in my opinion. One way you can add the character of older homes to your home today is by adding wide plank flooring.

Wide plank flooring is anything with a width of five inches or greater. Widths up to 16" are commonly available.

Choice of Wood

Wide plank flooring is available in many types of wood. Many people like hardwoods due to their durability and toughness. Commonly available types of wide plank hardwoods include:

  • Ash
  • Chrerry
  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Walnut

Other folks prefer pine because they like the grain patterns. Wide plank flooring is available in these types of pine:

  • Southern longleaf heart pine
  • Southern yellow pine
  • Northeastern white pine

Wide plank flooring can also be made from reclaimed wood. Some companies even offer flooring made from reclaimed chestnut wood. Chestnut trees were once very common in the eastern United States, until chestnut blight was accidentally introduced to the United States and all but wiped them out.

Fixed Width or Random Width

Wide plank flooring can be installed in fixed width or random width. Fixed width planks are commonly available in even widths from 6 inches to 16 inches. 18 and 20 inch widths can usually be found without a lot of searching (Try Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring at http://www.wideplankflooring.com).

For that real old time feeling your home, nothing beats random width plank flooring. In the old days, when manpower was required to fell trees, it took a lot of work. Therefore they used as much of the tree as they possibly could, If you cut a wide plank out of the center of a log, the planks cut from wood next to it will have to be a little less wide. This continues until you get to fairly narrow planks at the sides.

Random width packages seem to vary considerably with the supplier. Some have random width within a fairly narrow range (8", 10" and 12"). Others, such as Zeagler Farms (http://pinewideplankflooring.net) have a much wider range of plank width (6", 8", 10", 12" and 14"). Here's a breakdown on the Zeagler Farms random width package by area:

  • 12% 6"
  • 18% 8"
  • 24% 10"
  • 28% 12"
  • 18% 14"


Planks cut from the center of a log are wider than those cut from the sides
Planks cut from the center of a log are wider than those cut from the sides | Source
Zeagler Farms "Tavern Style" random width wide plank flooring
Zeagler Farms "Tavern Style" random width wide plank flooring

Care of Wide Plank Flooring

Give wide plank flooring the same care you would for any other wood flooring to keep it looking beautiful. Here are a few tips:

  • Clean your floor often.with a broom or vacuum cleaner
  • Place floor mats at entry points
  • Clean up any spilled liquids right away
  • Occasionally clean the floor with a good wood cleaner like Murphy Oil Soap
  • Don't let the feet of your furniture directly contact the floor. Use felt or plastic pads under the furniture
  • Don't walk on the floor with stiletto heels or athletic shoes with cleats
  • Don't slide furniture on your floor - pick it up and move it
  • Don't wet mop your floors

With proper care, wide plank flooring should last a long time. It may still be in great shape when your grandchildren own the home.

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