Hardwood Flooring Width – South Texas Flooring 713-660-9189
Hardwood Flooring Width. South Texas Flooring 713-660-9189 Technically, wood flooring is specified as either “strip” flooring or “plank” flooring. Strip flooring is 2 ¼” wide (across the top) or less, and plank flooring is 3” or wider.
Much of the wood flooring installed in houses before the twentieth century had a “face-width” of 4 inches or more; sometimes as wide as 6”, 8”, or even 12”. But most of the homes built from the early 1900’s going forward incorporated a “standard” width of wood flooring of 2 ¼” face-width. But this width adjustment was not due to any change in customer preference; there is a practical reason why the more narrow wood flooring became popular.
Wood floor mill technicians had known for some time that the more open area of each floor board that was exposed to the air, the more moisture that a board could retain. A board that takes in excessive moisture tends to swell, and in the case of boards used in flooring, the swelling can result in a “cupped” appearance. So sometime in the early 20th century, when technology and machinery advancements allowed the mills to be more adept at sawing and producing the more narrow-width boards, the mills were more than glad to start producing a product that would take in less moisture, and thus be more stable. The result was the now standardized 2 ¼” width floor boards, so common in homes built between 1920 and 1970, and still used in many newly constructed houses.
In the past 20 years or so, plank flooring (wider face widths) have become more popular, especially 3″ ( 3 1/4″ is also common). And it is not unusual to see varying face widths used together in the same room; for instance, a length of 3″ (for the entire length of a room), next to a length of 5″, and then maybe even a length of 7″, then back to the 3″, followed by 5″, 7″ etc., all the way across the room.
But for solid wood flooring , 2 1/4″ is still the most common width, followed by 3″. For engineered (manufactured) wood flooring, 3″ is more often used, mainly because it is more cost efficient for the manufacturers (of engineered flooring) to produce 3″ (or 3 1/4″) as opposed to 2 1/4″