Wide plank flooring creates arguably one of the most impressive wood floors and is ideally suited to the larger, free-flowing spaces so often seen in contemporary design. These imposing planks truly accentuate a big space, but they are equally as well suited to a small one since fewer joins mean a cleaner visual. And with more than 30 shades and finishes to choose from, these wide wood planks are sure to become the talking point in any scheme, whatever your stylistic preference.
What is the definition of "wide plank"?
Wide plank is a rather subjective term. Most wide wood flooring stops at 8", which is pretty much where Havwoods' planks start. Indeed, we only describe one-strip planks greater than 200mm (just under 8") as being wide, whilst the widest planks in our random width Hand Grade Collection can be as great as 480mm (19"). Furthermore, all of our planks are hardwood, engineered from European oak, not from the more common pine softwoods.
If you are looking for planks narrower than 200mm on this website, search 'wood planks' using the relevant filter for your preferred width.
Why are wood planks getting wider?
Traditional solid planks are affected by humidity whereas engineered wood - multilayered wood where the grain of each layer runs at right angles to the next - is far more stable. And the more stable the wood, the safer it is to use it for a wider plank.
More wide plank options from Europe
Clearly the size of a plank is limited by the size of the tree it comes from. But it is also limited by the way it has been cut. American mills usually use the plain sawn method, where a board is cut then the log turned 90 degrees before being cut again. This allows planks that qualify as rift or quarter sawn to be sold at a premium price, but it also means even the widest planks are nowhere near the maximum trunk width.
In Europe, where the vast majority of Havwoods' wood originates, the standard method is live sawing. Live sawn boards are simply cut straight across the log, meaning that full width planks are available. Live sawn planks also offer a number of other advantages and this method is gaining many fans amongst designers and high-end clients.
When to fit wide plank flooring
There are absolutely no rules when using a wider plank: they look good anywhere. Although large, open spaces would appear to be their most natural habitat, planks up to 260mm (10 1/4") wide also work well in small spaces. This is because there is a much higher proportion of wood to join so the floor appears less busy which opens up a smaller room. Always remember, whatever the grade of wood wide planks allow its natural beauty to really shine. So in a rustic or character grade plank the unique characteristics of the intricate patterns around the knots stand out, as does the elegance of the grain in cleaner planks.