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If you follow any of the home design trend publications or attend home improvement expos, wide plank flooring is one of those features you’re likely to see a lot of these days. Wide plank hardwood floors are becoming increasingly popular both in new homes and in renovated spaces. They have a keen ability to add visual interest and a sense of space in both contemporary and traditional/rustic settings.

The question is—should you jump on the wide plank bandwagon? Will it enhance the beauty of your home for years to come, or will it appear dated in a few years? Is wide plank flooring right for every space? If not, when should it be used? Let’s take a closer look at this design trend so you can make an informed decision about whether wide plank hardwoods are right for your next project.

What Is Wide Plank Flooring?

The most common width of most hardwood floor planks is 2 1/4 inches, although they can obviously vary a bit in either direction. From a design perspective, we consider wide plank flooring to be any planking wider than 4 inches. The trendiest plank sizes currently range between 6-10 inches in width, and a few even go as wide as 20 inches. The wider planks tend to have more knots in them, which can look exceptionally attractive in rustic spaces. However, when you use select grade planks with fewer knots, they can enhance the look of modern and contemporary rooms, as well.

The Pros and Cons of Wide Planks

Like anything else, wide plank flooring has both advantages and disadvantages, and you’ll want to weigh these before making a decision.

The pros:

  • Adds visual interest to both modern and traditional spaces.
  • Fewer seams help the wood floor tie in better with the rest of the room.
  • Adds a sense of space and dimension.
  • Adds to the appraisal value of the home.

The cons:

  • The cost—wide planking is considerably more expensive than standard planking.
  • Availability—despite being a popular choice, wide plank flooring is scarcer and must often be special-ordered.
  • More humidity sensitive. Wide plank flooring can be more susceptible to cupping and crowning due to changes in humidity levels. It’s important to maintain optimal humidity levels at between 35-45 percent inside the home.

Factors to Consider When Deciding on Wide Plank Flooring

How do you know if wide plank hardwood floors are right for your space? When making a decision, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

  • The size of the room. Wide planks create an airy sense of space in larger rooms, but they can make smaller spaces look cramped.
  • The overall vibe of the room. Rustic spaces do very well with wide planks, especially when they are made from reclaimed wood. However, the wrong grade or shade of wood can conflict with modern or contemporary looks. For these, make sure you use select grade wood with fewer knots—preferably in a lighter shade or whitewashed look.
  • Your budget. Wide plank floors are expensive to install and require extra effort to maintain. Make sure you’re willing to spend both the money and the time.

Will Wide Plank Floors Go Out of Style?

Will your wide plank hardwood floors look dated in a few years? No one can predict the future, of course, but in our opinion, it’s not likely that this trend will prove to be a fad like other design trends. In fact, wide planks were the norm in colonial days, which is why many wide plank projects are made from reclaimed wood. So even if the trends change with the times, your wide plank floors will likely continue to look attractive for many years to come.

Whatever type of hardwood floors you decide to use, Renaissance Hardwood Floors is your flooring company of choice in northeast Oklahoma. If you’re looking to install wood flooring in Glenpool, Tulsa, Coweta, Claremore, Broken Arrow or other parts of Green Country, call us 918-298-4477 for a free estimate.