Have you been considering wide planks for your next flooring job? J. Gibson McIlvain (McIlvain.com) has seen an increasing demand for wide plank boards for flooring projects. As a result, they want consumers to know a few things about these types of boards and how they should be used for the best look.
Wide floor boards are those with 12 inch or wider planks. These work very well in a large space, and not quite as well in a small room. In the right space, however, they create a breathtaking look.
Finding the right wood to make these wide planks while still maintaining the beauty of these hardwoods is challenging for mills. It requires them to cut the entire length of the log, and some species simply do not have enough usable wood to create these wide boards. That is why it is tricky for consumers to obtain these boards.
The first step in properly installing 12-inch or wider flooring is choosing the species. Unfortunately, going this wide limits the choices you have, because not all species can be milled into a wide board. Also, quantity can be a problem, especially if you are picky about matching the color and grain of your boards. You will likely have to sacrifice some color and grain match in order to have these wide floors. Popular flooring choices like Walnut simply will not work in a wide floor. You may have to go with rustic flooring or a dark wood like Wenge. Even with these more widely available choices, you will still have some color and pattern inconsistencies to deal with.
Another potential challenge to overcome with wide flooring is the shorter board lengths you must have to get the width you want. This can make laying the flooring more of a challenge.
When installing these boards, you need to be sure the installer understands the changes that the weather will cause in the boards. Before installing, the boards need to be properly acclimatized. In other words, they need to be brought to the temperature and humidity of the room before they are installed. Also, a quality sub floor is essential when installing wide plank flooring, because these boards have a tendency not to lay flat over time.
Be sure to leave an expansion gap between the boards, even if they have a tongue and groove design. This will allow them to expand and shrink slightly with changes in the weather. If this is not installed, they will warp quickly. The only way to get around these gaps is to leave the entire floor as a floating floor, pushing the movement to the edges under the moulding. Either of these solutions will work, but they are absolutely necessary for the integrity and movement of wide floor boards.
In the right room, wide boards create a beautiful look. You simply need to choose the right product and install it properly, and you can benefit from this design in your home.