Hardwood flooring presents some of the most versatile interior decor elements in home settings. These floors are undeniably beautiful, from texture to the ambience and everything in-between.
But, hardwood floors aren’t just beautiful; they’re also durable and functional. And they’ll fit in any setting, from traditional to contemporary and minimalistic designs.
Therefore it’s not surprising that most homeowners prefer hardwood flooring options. But then again, hardwood planks have been a popular choice among homeowners for centuries. At a point, hardware floors depicted exquisite taste, luxury and affluence. However, nowadays, its use has found its way into the general market and now, they’re hardwood floors.
However, most hardwood flooring designs use narrow wood strips. Nonetheless, some people prefer long planks for their flooring designs. But, of course, long flooring planks have advantages and disadvantages compared to other hardwood designs. Here we’ll discuss the pros and cons of long plank floorings in interior designs.
Long or Wide Planks Flooring?
The common term is long-wide plank flooring. However, several people refer to it as long plank flooring, which we’ll call this blog. What you call it doesn’t matter as long as the other person gets what you’re talking about.
So, long plank flooring refers to a type of flooring comprising planks which are notably wider than your average batten. The defining dimensions for long planks typically vary by region. For example, the standard European width for long plank flooring starts from 220mm. On the other hand, wide planks in the North American market describe slabs of 180mm and above width.
In addition, long flooring planks typically have lengths ranging between 1.2m and 2.4m. However, the longer the plank, the narrower it’ll probably be. That’s because wood flooring tends to warp during acclimation.
Difference Between Long Plank Flooring and Regular Slabs
The name already explains the difference between the general type of wood flooring and long plank flooring. Long plank floors are generally wider and longer than standard wood flooring. In addition, they often come in limited tree species. But more notably, manufacturers prefer to use reclaimed wood for long planks.
In addition, manufacturers make vintage wide flooring planks by hand-scraping specific wood species. So, they typically feature rough-hewn surfaces, which adds a significant level of character to the space.
Manufacturers prefer to use reclaimed wood because only a few types of wood are applicable for long plank hardwood floors. So, it’s relatively challenging to get the wood for the planks.
Reclaimed woods are easier and cheaper to obtain, so manufacturers opt for them. Nonetheless, you can still get wide planks from new timber in Canada. But you should prepare to pay more for them.
What Makes Them Fashionable?
Long plank flooring plays a Visual trick which makes you perceive the space to be longer and wider than its actual dimensions. The flooring pattern features fewer joints in its makeup thanks to the length and width of the battens. So, It stretches the environmental ambience and makes it cozier. That’s why it’s perfect for making a relatively congested area seem roomier.
As a result, combining this flooring design with more traditional installations creates a calming and clutter-free impression. That’s why people often recommend it for small spaces. But it also works beautifully for large-family homes.
The Type of Materials You Can Use For Long Plank Flooring
One of the most beautiful things about long planks is that they’re very flexible. So, you can customize them as much as you like. You can choose the type of finish you want. In addition, you can determine the texture and many other things. Plus, you don’t have to stick to a particular finish forever. If you get bored of one colour, you can do a refinishing for the floor.
Not only that, you can still choose the type of material you want. So, let’s look at some of the common options you can use for your long plank flooring.
The solid hardwood option is the commonest wood flooring you’ll ever come across. That’s not surprising, considering it’s the original and arguably the best. People often recommend it for various designs and for a good reason. Nothing compares to authentic solid timber flooring materials.
Solid hardwoods are often stronger, more beautiful and have more character than other wood options. They also ooze class as a perfect representation of your high taste in exquisite decorations. You can hardly go wrong with solid hardwood floors.
Engineered hardwood floors are products of augmented hardwood planks—manufacturers design engineered wood by gluing layers of wood slabs together to form one thicker plank. As a result, a single plank can have up to five layers of thinner slabs. People also refer to them as composite, man-made or manufactured boards.
Some manufacturers use composite materials for their engineered wood floor cores. So, they don’t necessarily need to be cut from timber to derive their shape or length. That’s also why they’re often cheaper and easier to use.
Laminate materials are pretty similar to engineered wood slabs. Their structure and composition are also identical. However, engineered wood floors typically feature several layers of wood with some composite materials mixed in. On the other hand, laminate flooring materials primarily feature composite material with a top surface layer having a wood’s semblance.
So, laminate flooring is the synthetic version of wood floors. The manufacturers may also use carbon fibre materials for the core. As a result, they’re often cheaper than solid or engineered hardwood floors. But don’t worry; they retain a striking semblance to the original deal. So, people won’t know that you have laminate floors unless you tell them.
Clinic Vinyl Flooring
Clinic vinyl flooring is the best option after solid hardwood if you intend to install long planks in high-traffic areas. Thanks to its water resistance and hard-wearing ability, it also works perfectly for wet locations. Then again, it’s super easy to install. It has a quick-lay locking mechanism that makes it easy to install over the underlay or underfloor heating in a room.
Related Article: Wide Plank Flooring – Pros & Cons
Advantages of Long Plank Flooring
Long wide flooring planks have numerous benefits depending on the setting you install them in. Since the flooring isn’t bound by the traditional aesthetic constraints, it works beautifully in modern settings. So you can apply them to both classic home designs and contemporary office/workplace settings. Below is an overview of the benefits of long plank flooring.
The most apparent advantage of long plank flooring is its visual appeal. Several features of the planks come together to create an exquisite look and feel that’ll perfectly complement your interior decor. For example, the planks reflect light better to make an airier and cozier ambience in a room.
In addition, the wider planks display the grains and detail of the wooden material with more clarity. Narrow planks don’t exhibit the natural character of their wood species. The knots, patterns and grooves within the wood materials will also be more visible. So, if you’ll love to better appreciate the swirls on your wooden floor, go for long plank flooring. And, of course, it brings a lot of character into your space.
Long Plank Flooring is Simpler to Install
A single long plank slab can easily cover the space two or more narrow strips will fill. That’s because they’re longer and wider than standard flooring battens. So, fewer planks will provide a more expansive coverage. And as a result, it’ll allow you to complete the installation for this flooring option quickly.
Then again, the beauty of the slabs shows better in simpler patterns thanks to their wider surface area. So, the simpler the pattern, the better. That way, you won’t spend much time finding the right layout pattern or design befitting the space. Instead, a simple horizontal, vertical or diagonal pattern will do the job.
Easy Cleaning and Maintenance
Long plank floors are some of the best options available in terms of ease of maintenance. Not only do they hide dents and scratches well (This also depends on the material you use), but They’re also effortless to clean.
Long plank floors have fewer joints which means fewer crevices and other hiding places for dirt. Also, they do an excellent job of preventing allergens, mud, dust and pet dander from storing up. Plus, they don’t require expensive cleaning products. Sometimes, a simple broom sweep is all you need to keep them in good condition.
They’ll Never Go Out of Style.
Long plank floors have been around for a long time, and they’ll be around for even longer. The seemingly simplistic design adds an exquisite touch to a space that you can’t hate. You can never go wrong with long plank flooring, regardless of where you put it. Then again, long plank floors featuring quality materials are often highly durable once they acclimate to the environment.
Quality material plus exquisite design will always create a lasting impression. All you need is to take excellent care of your floors, and we can assure you that they’ll stay beautiful for years to come. Even if you get bored of seeing the same colour every day, you can simply opt for a refinish. But the design will remain beautiful for a long time.
Improve Property Valuation
Given the popularity and widespread acceptance of long plank floors, people don’t usually mind paying a little more to have them in their apartments. So, if you already have it in your home, you can use it to drive up your apartment’s value. It makes for a good investment, and you can expect an excellent ROI from it.
Disadvantages of Long Plank Flooring
As long plank floors are desirable, they also have a few downsides. So, you may want to consider the following disbenefits before deciding to get long plank flooring in your apartment.
Wide planks, especially solid hardwood, are notably more expensive than most other flooring options. That’s because there are limits to the specie of woods usable for long plank flooring.
Then again, it still depends very much on the condition of the wood you use for your floors. For example, reclaimed wood is a cheaper option than new solid hardwood. Vinyl, laminate and engineered wood options are even more affordable and can do a pretty good job.
Susceptible to Moisture Damage
Long plank floors characteristically feature fewer and narrower seams. As such, they have fewer allowances for expansion. This situation usually causes buckling or wapping when the planks experience drastic environmental changes such as temperature or moisture increases.
Wood planks are particularly more susceptible to moisture damage. Exposure to moisture makes them warp and cup. The problem is acute with the wider planks as they have more surface area affected by the moisture change. Fortunately, you can quickly solve this problem with kiln drying. But that also rakes up the maintenance costs.
They’re Not Readily Available
Given the scarcity of the materials for creating wide flooring planks, manufacturers prefer not to premake them. As a result, you’ll most likely have to place a custom order for long planks when you need them. Of course, this is not always the case; however, the chances of seeing premade long flooring planks are pretty low.
The period for ordering and waiting for the manufacturers to deliver the planks will affect your project timeline. It takes a shorter time to simply pop into the market, get your slabs and start work. But on the plus side, you get to customize the wood floor to your taste.
They’re Not DIY Friendly
DIY artists will find it easier to work with narrower strips than with long wide planks. While they’re generally easy to install, they’re often too cumbersome and make the work strenuous for the installer. Imagine carrying around planks about 2.5m long and 250mm wide – pretty uncomfortable, right? At the very least, you’ll need a bit of help setting the battens right.
Then again, you need some experience to install long plank flooring. It’s essential to leave the right amount of space so that the gaps aren’t too wide and there’s enough space to prevent cupping. You’ll need to nail the planks down if they’re from reclaimed wood. Newly manufactured planks often have tongues and grooves on the side for fastening the boards together.
When and where to Install Long Plank Flooring
Long plank floors complement several interior decor styles. But specific settings bring out the most from this flooring design. I.e. these settings are ideally suited to long plank floors, and they go very well together. Below are some ideal environments and decor options you can use long plank flooring in.
Medium to Large Sized Rooms
A common perk of long wide flooring planks is that they create an ambience that elongates or widens the space. Going with this idea, one might think they’ll be perfect for smaller rooms. However, it’s often the opposite with smaller apartments. Long wide plank floors can make smaller spaces look cramped.
The visual expansion effects work better with larger spaces. The bigger the area, the more remarkable the ambience improvement.
Spaces With Rustic Vibes
Long wide planks and rustic spaces are a match made in heaven. The two design elements perfectly complement each other to create an aesthetically pleasing vibe within an environment.
The design even gets better if the wide planks are from reclaimed wood. It perfectly complements the mysterious ambience of the rustic designs.
However, you need to be careful when combining long wide planks with rustic design elements. The wrong wood shade can create conflicting hues between the flooring and contemporary design items within the space. So, for a rustic design, ensure to go for graded wood with a lighter shade and preferably fewer knots on it.
When You Can Afford It
Long wide planks flooring is exquisite and hence, very desirable. However, its price is on the higher side of the spectrum for flooring costs. So, it’s mostly for people with sizeable interior decor budgets.
As a result, there’s no reason you should break the bank for this design. If you can comfortably afford it, you should do it. However, if getting the flooring design will require you to exceed your budget, you should reconsider your options.
In addition, all your interior design elements should complement each other. For example, it doesn’t make sense for you to have an exquisite floor design, and the rest of the interior decor features are mediocre. So, only go for this type of flooring when you’re sure you have the budget to create an interior style that’ll not look out of place to admirers.
Related Articles: Benefits of Long Plank Flooring
Long wide planks present some of the most elegant flooring designs nowadays. Of course, they also boast more advantages beyond their admirable features. However, they also have a couple of disadvantages you should keep at the back of your mind. Nonetheless, they’re often worth the investment if you put them in the proper settings.
We can help you out if you’ll love to have long plank floors in your house but don’t know where to start. Feel free to check out our online catalogue at Three Trees Flooring for the best long plank designs. We can also suggest the right fit for your apartment if you don’t know which one to choose.
Call (416) 665-2624 to discuss long plank flooring ideas for your home.