Pros and Cons of Wide Plank Wood Flooring (A Buyer’s Guide)

The old-world charm of wide plank wood flooring has made it a popular trend. It’s a classic option for homeowners who prefer traditional floors with a rustic appeal. Typically made of distressed or reclaimed solid hardwood boards, the planks range from 6 to 20 inches wide, hence the name.

If you’re considering wide plank wood flooring for your home, first evaluate its benefits and drawbacks. Read on to learn what they are.

Wide Plank Wood Flooring

Wide Plank Wood Flooring: Advantages and Disadvantages

Wide plank wood flooring is a popular way to give your home a rustic look. To help you make a smart choice, let’s analyze their advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of Wide Plank Wood Flooring

1) They Make a Small Area Appear Larger

As the name suggests, wide plank wood flooring is wider than commonly-sized flooring planks. They start at about 5 inches wide and can go up to as wide as 12, depending on the wood and manufacturer. This combination of length and width tricks the eyes into believing a small room is larger than it is.

2) They Complement Rustic Decor

They Complement Rustic Decor

As mentioned, this flooring creates a classic look that works well with rustic decor. It shows off more of the wood’s natural grain and texture to enhance your floor’s visual appeal. With these come knots and imperfections that add a unique touch that gives them an unconventional appearance. Wild plank wood flooring is the perfect choice for homes with farmhouse, rustic, shabby chic or traditional home decor.

3) They Increase Property Value

Like hardwood flooring, wide plank wood flooring increases your home’s resale value, making it an excellent investment that offers good ROI.

4) They Have Fewer Seams

They Have Fewer Seams

Wide plank wood planks have fewer seams, which means fewer interruptions of the natural lines of both the wood and the room. This makes your floor appear wider and you get a better view of the vertical grains, thus enhancing its appearance.

5) They Are Easy to Install

One wide plank takes up the space of two or more narrow ones, meaning it takes less time to fill a room with 7″ boards than 3″ ones. That also means you can cover a large area with fewer planks in less time, thus reducing labour costs and other installation-related expenses.

Drawbacks of Wide Plank Wood Flooring

1) They’re Expensive

Wide plank wood flooring is notably more expensive than other planks. The price of planks also varies a lot depending on the species of wood you use. For example, wide planks made from reclaimed wood are cheaper than those manufactured from new solid hardwood.

2) They Are Susceptible to Moisture Damage

They Are Susceptible to Moisture Damage

Wide plank wood boards don’t have as many seams as narrower boards. This makes them prone to warping or cupping due to changes in humidity. That’s why wide planks are not recommended for environments that have wide humidity fluctuations. These humidity changes can cause hardwood flooring to shrink and expand, with the problem particularly acute in wide planks. This can be solved with kiln drying but it adds to the cost.

3) Their Availability Is Limited

Wide planks are not widely available. Instead, they must be special ordered which can extend your flooring project’s timeline.

4) They Are Not DIY-Friendly

Flooring materials like laminate and vinyl are easy for DIY enthusiasts to install. But wide plank wood flooring? Not so much.

This type requires a good amount of skill to deal with cupping and cracking of boards and to install them without gaps. Unlike newly-manufactured wide plank flooring that has tongue-and-groove edges, reclaimed planks often don’t, so need to be nailed down into the floor joists.

Installing wide plank wood flooring is a major investment that can transform your home from drab to fabulous. But it comes with some limitations which is why it’s advisable to evaluate the pros and cons before buying. It adds a rustic charm to your floor but at a price. It also takes less time to install but requires skills beyond that of a hobbyist. And while it creates the illusion of a larger space, it’s susceptible to damage when exposed to moisture. If you have questions, contact our flooring experts for answers.


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