Wide Plank Floors: A Historic Option for Today's Homes

by J on August 30, 2010

If you’re in the market for a new floor, you may want to consider an option that has quite a history. It’s a tried and true flooring common in many older homes:  plank flooring. Up into the 20th century, most of the wood floors that were installed in homes were plank floors. And today, plank flooring is getting new life in modern homes. Plank floors are durable, esthetically pleasing and versatile.

Basically, plank floors are made from wide, thick planks of wood. The widths vary is size, but they go up to one foot wide, and they are designed to withstand a lifetime of wear and tear. The massive size of the planks makes a room seem spacious, because the room has a seamless feel.

Plank floors are esthetically pleasing to many,  no matter their decorating preferences. People who favor the traditional look love the wide plank flooring because it imbues the rustic, early-American tradition. The traditional look can easily be achieved by using wide plank flooring made from pine. Keep in mind, however, that pine is considered a soft wood, and you will need to realize that dings in the wood are part and parcel of a pine floor. Many people don’t mind this look and feel like the imperfections in the wood give it character.

Another favorite of the traditionalists is using reclaimed wood for their plank flooring. Reclaimed wood is wood that has been taken from old homes, schools, barns and factories to be remilled and used again. This wood has a rich history and often maintains much of the character of its years of use. Most of the reclaimed wood used for flooring is pine or oak. You can find other species, but they are more rare, and therefore, more expensive.

Lest you think that plank flooring only favors a traditional décor, you have other options as well. Modern plank wood floors make use of other species of wood. Cedar and oak are two favorites in the design field. You can also evoke an elegant or sophisticated look by choosing a lighter-hued wood such as ash or beech. And, check out exotic wood for a plank floor–a gorgeous, but more expensive floor. Consult with a home remodeling expert to help you attain the look you want with your wide plank flooring.

To properly maintain your wide plank floor, you should probably seal the wood. It’s also important to sweep the floor frequently to prevent dirt from being ground into the wood and scratching the floor.  A sealed floor will clean up in a snap with a damp mop.

Another less expensive option if you love the look of wide plank flooring but your wallet does not, is to consider an engineered wood wide plank floor. In engineered wood, the floor’s core is made up of several layers of strong, inexpensive wood, while the  top layer is the beautiful hardwood. The result is a strong floor that can expand and contract and holds up well to traffic and moisture. And it looks like a hardwood floor.

After withstanding the test of time, a wide plank floor is still the right choice for many of the modern homes of today. Consult your kitchen remodeling expert or home remodeling professional for advice on what type of wide plank floor will be the one to grace your home for years to come.

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