The Trend of Wide With Planks and Longer Lengths—Should You Jump Aboard?

wide width plank hardwood

As we roll into the 2014 flooring industry trade show season, it’s clear that manufacturers have gotten the message about the wide width plank and longer length trend. They’re responding with an array of options from 5” to 7” widths and longer lengths across their product lines. You now have choices in the popular muted colors as well as the darker tones. There are handscraped and distressed options galore.


Is this just a fad? Is this right for you?


Whether you’re planning to live in your home forever or just interested in a great investment, for most homes in the middle to upper price range, wider widths and longer lengths are a great choice. For homes near or at the top end of the market, it’s almost a requirement.


If you’re going to make an investment, you want it to be timeless. The desirability of experiencing the beauty of hardwood floors has never waned. Young people today scour across cities searching for hundred-year-old homes looking for wood floors. Old barn floors are being ripped up and reclaimed to be put into multi-million dollar New York penthouses. Capturing the warmth and charm of nature inside homes seems to never go out of style.


wide width plank kitchen hardwood

There was a period from the late 1950s until the early 1990s when people shied away from wood. Back then, it was the cost, cleaning and maintenance that held us back. Now, with hardwood floors being simpler than ever to install and easier to clean than most other surfaces, the race is on to enjoy all the benefits hardwoods bring.


With the overall trend toward authenticity and carrying natural beauty into the home, the best way to do it is with wider widths and longer planks. They expose more of the grain, coloration and intricacy of the wood. As the walls come down and everyone adopts more open floor plans, they’re great for tying together sprawling spaces.


It was once thought that wider planks had a shrinking effect, but designers have exposed that myth by embracing their use in smaller rooms. Longer length planks in combination with the wider widths reduce the number of seams creating clean lines and unmatched sophistication.


In short, the wider widths and longer planks make the statement many of you are going for. At the same time you create a welcoming, livable space.

southern yellow pine



Are you convinced?


Then let your imagination run wild!


For the most natural looks, choose from the array of domestic wood floors available. White oak with higher gloss provides a sleek, stylish, and clean feel. If you want all the character of grain and color variations, try southern yellow pine or hickory. These woods are readymade to charm. 

If you want the richness of color, try American Cherry. Like fine wine, it ages and gets better and better with time.

unfinished american cherry 6While you’re at it, consider incorporating distressing or handscraping. These elements add a sense of craftsmanship and create a lived-in look that evokes memories of days gone by.


If you are the adventurous type that wants to design a look unique to you, then maybe unfinished flooring is the choice for you. Because we tend to draw the trail blazers, our sales of unfinished ash, birch, maple and pine have climbed to new heights. As a result, we’ve been able to source mills across the country to accommodate any order. There’s no better way to put the stamp of authenticity on your project than creating it yourself.