nail down hardwood floors - regular bundle or longer boards?

dlr98004January 25, 2010

We are having 700 square feet of 3.25" rift and quartered red oak flooring installed in our kitchen/family room (big open space 18x27) and hallway. Site nail down, site finished, matte finish, no stain. I do not want too many "shorts" visible in my floor. We are installing cabinets after the floors go down and we have 2 closets as well - shorts can be hidden under there. Regular bundles are random lengths 1-7' long. I can order longer boards 2-10' random lengths for about $2 extra per square foot.

What portion of a nested bundle are shorts? Installers say the average length in the nested bundle is about 3' - but averages do not tell the whole story! That could be something like one 7' board and four 1' boards. Is it worth the extra money to order the longer boards?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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I don't like shorts (in fact I'd consider 2-3' to be short!) and I would pay extra for longer boards. However if the floor is consistent in color from board to board and you don't have grooves between them (I assume because you said site-finished) it won't be too noticeable once it is finished, cabinets installed, furniture moved in, etc.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 11:08AM
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Buying all long pieces insures that several will have to be cut shorter. I personally did 1800 square feet of hardwood in my house. The random lengths worked well.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Find out (percentage-wise) how many boards will be short if you don't pay the up-charge, compared with if you do pay more. I have seen some bundles of wood where most of the boards were short. It looked horrible!! Do you know where your wood is coming from? I got mine from Hurst. I did not pay the up-charge for longer boards, but the grade was Select and Better. I was really happy with what they sent.

Here is a link that might be useful: hurst hardwoods

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 8:14AM
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I don't know what the percentage of short boards are in the lot. I found the wood at an architectural salvage, and the condition of the boards is the same as the day they were ripped out of the old house they came from. They've been sitting in the back of the warehouse for the past 2 years. The shop owner gave me a board to take home, I can take a picture and post if need be.

I know very little about hardwood floor, which is why I am asking questions on this forum. As an engineer, I like to think I am fairly quick at picking up on things, so any input you can provide will be helpful.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 9:39PM
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To the original poster, Dianelouise,

In my opinion...a $2.00 per square foot upcharge to change the board length ratio is high. $1.00 would be more a more reasonable figure, but what do I know.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 3:19PM
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