When selecting hardwood flooring there are a number of choices to make that will influence the overall look of your space — for example, the wood type, the stain, and the finish. However, one important point that tends to get overlooked is the plank width. Believe or not, plank size plays a huge rule in deciding the overall sense of visual space in a room. Keep reading to learn more from the experts at Floor Coverings International Southwest Metro Minneapolis!

There are three size categories of plank size: strip, standard, and wide. Strip wood flooring ranges between 2-3 inches wide, standard planks are generally between 3-8 inches wide, and wide plank flooring is anything more than 8 inches wide.

As a rule of thumb, the wider the plank you choose, the more spacious the room will feel since there will be fewer seams to distract the eye. This makes for smoother visual flow as you gaze across a space. Narrower plank sizes create more lines, generally causing a space to feel more busy and confined.

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One benefit of strip flooring is that the narrow pieces allow you to create a number of interesting floor patterns, such as parquet flooring. This style has seen a renaissance for its unique look and has been embraced by owners wanting to combine modern and vintage aesthetic elements.


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Standard planks are popular because they offer the widest range of wood species to choose from and are generally less expensive than specialty strip or wide plank sizes. Standard planks, particularly those in the 5-8 inch realm, also hit the sweet spot of being wide enough to create a bit of visual space without being overwhelming.


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It requires some expertise to install wide plank flooring in a way that will visually blend the individual planks together. However, the result is a striking floor that maximizes a feeling of spaciousness and airiness in a room – even if the actual room dimensions aren’t that big!

Curious how different plank sizes might change the look of your own space? Contact the flooring experts at Floor Coverings International Southwest Metro Minneapolis today and schedule a free, on location, design consultation. We proudly serve the Minnetonka, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park area and will come with samples to help you find the perfect match for your next project!

Photo Credits: Marko Poplasen, Alexxxy, alexander zveiger