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Wide solid wood flooring is a classic wood flooring option with wide planks that are a good deal sturdier than those used in narrow wood flooring, so your options are basically unlimited in terms of wood, grain, finish and so on. It gives a dramatic effect that looks equally good in 200-year-old Victorian houses and sleek modern homes. Generally, when we say wide plank, we mean anything above 120 millimetres, and boards can range up to 260 millimetres. In addition to the toughest hardwoods, like oak, bamboo and acacia, wide plank wood floors can be made from softer woods like pine and fir.
Since it is a classic choice that has been used for centuries, wide plank flooring is commonly what you get when you opt for "reclaimed" wood – that is, wood that has been gathered from old homes.
This type of wood is great for wide solid wood flooring because it has already stood the test of time, having remained in healthy condition for hundreds of years. Additionally, if it came from a very old home, it is likely that your reclaimed wood had been sourced from an old growth forest, which gives it even more kudos in the durability category.
Old growth also means the wood is extra "stable" and won’t swell or shrink too much compared to wood coming from newer trees.
Beyond the sheer variety, wide plank floors have a number of advantages over those that use narrow planks. First, they are much quicker to prepare and lay. Since narrow planks are more fragile, they often need to be cut into shorter pieces to be used in multi strip or parquet patterns. It is preferable to lay wide solid wood flooring, however, in a single strip pattern. And this saves you, and whoever is doing your fitting, a good deal of time.
Furthermore, there is the aesthetic appeal of wide plank floors. While some people like the busyness and intricate designs of parquet floors and multi strip layouts, others find the dramatic elegance of wide plank flooring more appealing. It is definitely a matter of style and taste, but it is hard to knock the grandeur of wide solid wood flooring.
One drawback, however, of the wide plank model is that the floorboards tend to shrink and swell a bit more than other types of flooring. For that reason, there are some extra precautions you will need to take to prevent "cupping", or the tendency of swelling boards to lift up at the edges, as well as the emergence of gaps between shrunken boards.
The most important thing to do is to try to control the humidity and temperature in the room. The room’s climate is the biggest factor in whether boards shrink or swell, and big fluctuations can make a big difference.
So, use air conditioners and humidifiers to keep your wood flooring heathy in the summer and the winter. Do this, and you’ll be able to enjoy your wide solid wood flooring for a very long time.
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180mm Brushed and Oiled European Solid Oak Wood Flooring, 20mm Thick
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