what is the proper length of boards for wood floor

lonestarstateJanuary 26, 2011

We're getting random width 3,5,7 inch walnut floors and I'm trying to specify that the boards be long enough to not look choppy.

How have others addressed this in a bid or proposal?

What is a normal average length or range of lengths?

Thanks

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brickeyee

"What is a normal average length or range of lengths? "

It depends on how much you want to pay.

Longer boards are almost always more desirable.
Many vendors will only sell a mix of lengths to avoid being stuck with only short board.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 3:14PM
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pharaoh

When we installed a wood floor, we got 1,2,4,6 foot lengths.
I would have preferred all 6 footers :) But that would be a lot more expensive.
I like longer lengths.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 12:02AM
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idrive65

The wider the boards, the longer you will want them. With a 3-7" package if you can keep them 4' or longer it will look better. Shorts can be buried in a closet or used at the end of a run, but you don't want a lot of 7" wide boards that are only a couple feet long.

The choppy look will be less in a floor of consistent color without bevels. If your boards are a mix of light and dark, with eased/beveled edges, you see each board individually.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:43AM
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brickeyee

"I would have preferred all 6 footers :) But that would be a lot more expensive. "

Often the additional price is about what the cost of the shorter boards they want to include in the order is.

You just do not get them as part of the order but are still paying for them.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:50AM
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lonestarstate

One supplier told me I need to ask for FAS walnut because the board lenghts are up to 12 feet and the average is about 6 feet.

Has anyone used FAS walnut? I'm not familiar with that grading terminology.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:35PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

We just finished a job that involved taking up an old heart pine floor, sistering the floor joists, and reinstalling the floor in the same order that it was removed. They were room-length boards. The room was 22 feet long! Wow, very elegant way to floor. Very unwieldy material.
Casey

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:25PM
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woodfloorpro

I agree the longer boards are more desirable. Nothing beats the elegance of the clean look they produce. As mentioned above they are available for a premium price as a higher grade of wood is required to produce them.

In the real world the longer and wider the more likely flaws in the wood. These flaws are usually cut out leaving you with shorter lengths. The average length for most solid wood flooring is around 3 - 3 1/2 foot. Eight foot is generally as long as mills will produce so the pallets will fit sideways in a truck trailer.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:20PM
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glennsfc

"We just finished a job that involved taking up an old heart pine floor, sistering the floor joists, and reinstalling the floor in the same order that it was removed."

I am impressed! That is definitely high-quality restoration work!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:28PM
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mongoct

"I'm not familiar with that grading terminology."

FAS stands for "Firsts and seconds", it's the good stuff. Google "FAS Walnut" and you should get some hits.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 3:09AM
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woodfloorpro

Never heard of FAS used as a grading term.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:02PM
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clg7067

When I was going to get solid hardwood I was looking at a local mill here in Ohio. Their standard lenghs are 15" to 96". But if you are willing to pay more, they have a special mix of 5 feet to 10 feet. I don't remember the price differential, though.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 5:00PM
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