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Whats a good average length for wide planks?

Posted by adh673 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 31, 10 at 14:12

I'm just about to pull the trigger on my hardwoods - a little behind schedule- and I thought to ask the average length. The guy said 5-6 foot average with up to 12 feet.

Is this ok? Or too short?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

Normally, 1 to 7' with an average 3 to 3.5'.
So 5 to 6' average is quite long.


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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

You can never go wrong with room-length boards.
This floor was hand-scraped and finished in Waterlox
Casey


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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

adh, how wide are your boards? 5-6 feet average with up to 12' sounds fine. I have a couple rooms that, like sombreuil, we did "room length" which looks great!

uniquewood, 1' to 7' with an average 3 to 3.5' for wide plank floors is too many short boards IMO. The wider the boards, the longer they need to be or it looks choppy.


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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

Those room length are gorgeous but I'm assuming pretty expensive- I'm using black walnut. My board are a mix of 3-5-7 inches. I will try to use the longer boards in the rooms without rugs or interruptions I guess. Thx for the feedback!


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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

Normally only pines are available in full room lengths. Custom mills will make longer flooring for you as long as they have the appropriate material. Logs are usually harvested in ~8' total lengths so most can not offer the lengths you are writing about.


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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

sombreuil_mongrel, what width are those boards please? I'm collecting photos of "wide plank" so DH can see what 5 inch and 6 inch boards look like in 18x20 sized rooms and adjoining 14x16' rooms.


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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

Hi,
They are 1845, from 13" to 15" wide. (there's one 8" wide board near the middle/left) The room is roughly 16' wide.
Casey


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RE: Whats a good average length for wide planks?

"Logs are usually harvested in ~8' total lengths so most can not offer the lengths you are writing about."

I work as a consulting forester selling hardwood timber for private landowners in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. Hardwood trees are generally bucked into 1' or 2' increments from 8' to 16' long. Mills cut for orders, but generally try to cut the longest length/highest grade combinations possible. Of course, getting FAS or clear grade lumber in 16' lengths and very wide boards does require better/larger than average trees, but it can be done with the log inventory held by most hardwood mills. I know this because I sell such higher quality trees, along with smaller/lower quality trees, to quite a few hardwood sawmills in the area. This product(wide, long, clear) does command a higher than average price, but not necessarily the premium prices some specialty flooring sellers ask. Getting #1 common or #2 common in wide boards and long lengths is no problem at all for most hardwood species. Softwoods are even easier to achieve desired premium grades.

Black Walnut commands a high price due to limited availability (generally less than 5% of volume for average hardwood stands) and strong worldwide demand for quality logs.

I recommend going with a flooring seller who has high milling and moisture control standards for the product they offer and back it up in writing. 5'-6' average length is great, if that is what you need. I would not recommend 1' lengths in 3"-5"-7" widths. I installed these, and although I love the floor, I agree 1' lengths look too short with wide boards.

I've included a link to one commercial site that actually lists prices for clear, long, and wide material. White Oak, a very desirable flooring species, is only $5.28-$7.28 per sf (plus delivery) for 4"-7" wide, 5'-12' long, S&B grade. As another example, I paid around $3.30/sf delivered for 3"-7" wide, 1'-8' long, #1 common R&Q red oak in 2005 from another regional seller.

Here is a link that might be useful: Country Plank Prices


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