Wide Plank Wood Flooring: A Popular Trend

Wide plank wood floors have been gaining popularity and can be seen in modern and historic homes encompassing a range of décor styles. This trend can be a beautiful addition to a home, but you may be wondering what is considered “wide plank flooring” and how can it be used. Before you decide which type of flooring you should choose, consider the advantages, disadvantages and costs of wide plank wood flooring.

Definition and use of wide planks

Wide plank is a term used to describe flooring where the individual boards are over five inches wide. Wide plank flooring can be used in any place you would use regular hardwood. However, this trend is often seen in very old homes with original flooring or where the floor has been replaced to reflect the time period.

Prior to the industrial revolution, floorboards were hand sawn and nailed down straight through the face of the board. Wide boards were used to decrease the labor in this intensive process. Depending on the type of wood selected, wide plank wood flooring is perfect for every room. Wide plank is generally considered a casual flooring option, with narrower boards being a more formal one.


The advantages of wide plank wood flooring are mostly a matter of your personal style preferences. Wide plank flooring can be cut from just about any type of wood. Softwoods, hardwoods, and exotics are all usually available in this style. You will generally have as many choices available to you as with standard width hardwood flooring. Wide planks are popular with exotic woods because of the rich colors and intense grain patterns.

Wide planks can be used to make a room look a little bigger. With fewer seams in the floor, this floor can help visually expand the space, making it appear bigger than it actually is. Also, because there are fewer seams, the room will have a calmer feel than it would with standard width boards.

Another advantage to wide plank wood flooring is that it is often made from reclaimed lumber. With increased interest in green building techniques and materials, many people want to find flooring options for their homes that are recycled, recyclable, or sustainable. Flooring made from reclaimed wood fits this requirement and even works for green certifications.


Wide plank wood flooring is more susceptible to shrinking and swelling than narrower boards in the same conditions. Excessive swelling can cause cupping, where the edges of the board lift up. Swelling can also cause crowning, where the middle of the board bows upward. Excessive shrinkage can cause larger than normal gaps between boards.

The best way to avoid any of these situations is to control the temperature and humidity in the home as much as possible. You can also get quarter sawn flooring which will help minimize these problems. You can also select engineered wood flooring which is less susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity than regular wood.

Another disadvantage can be the lead time. Many manufacturers only stock a couple of popular wider sizes. If you are looking for something unique, it may have to be special ordered which can increase the project time and cost.


There are many factors that affect the cost of a wide plank wood floor. As with any other wood flooring, the quality, species and plank size will affect your price. For any species of wood flooring, the price increases with the width of the board, so wide planks will cost more than standard sized planks. Custom orders and reclaimed wood products will also be more expensive. With reclaimed wood, it takes more work to sort, rework, and prepare it for reuse by consumers. Generally, engineered wide plank wood will cost less than solid wood flooring in the same size planks. ­

Gowdy Flooring can help you find the right wide plank wood flooring materials for any area in your home. If you have questions or need more information about our products and services, call us at (806) 353-6226. You can also connect with us via email on Contact Us. We invite you to visit to our showroom and office located at 5205 S. Coulter St. in Amarillo, Texas.