When having wooden flooring installed, many property owners don’t realize that the length of the floorboards being used will have a significant impact on the completed floor. In fact, many aren’t even aware that wooden floorboards are actually available in different lengths. However, there are many reasons why it is essential to use the longest possible boards when having any type of wood flooring installed.
Using longer floorboards will reduce the amount of butt joints and seams on a floor by as much as 80%. For example, when using boards averaging 1-2 ft. in length, there will be as many as 2,000 joints on a floor that is around 500 sq. ft. in size. However, when installing longer length boards (2-7 ft. long), this can reduce the total amount of joints down to 200 or even less. Reducing the amount of butt joints will make the floor space look less cluttered than if shorter boards have been used.
In many cases, short boards have been manufactured from trees that are younger and therefore less established, which means that their overall quality may not always be as good as that of longer boards. Additionally, shorter boards are obtained because manufacturers have had to cut around defects in the trees. In most cases, longer boards will have been derived from older trees and trees that have little to no visible defects in their trunks, which mean that the wood will be of a higher quality. This provides an end product that will be far more stable and durable over the long term.
The more joints and seams there are in a wooden floor, the more opportunities there are for dust, dirt and grime to become caught in them. Over time, this will cause the joints to appear darker and stand out significantly. However, when longer lengths are used, this will no longer be an issue and depending on the length of a room, it can even be possible to eliminate joints completely. Fewer joins also results in less places for water to collect when floors are being cleaned, which results in less chance of the boards rotting over time.
In most cases, longer length boards are far more attractive and aesthetically pleasing because they provide a flowing appearance to any room that they have been installed in. When floorboards are wider and longer than normal, it will provide a more rustic appearance overall. This is especially important if an existing wooden floor is being replaced in an older property because it will ensure that the original appearance is maintained as far as possible.
With the average lengths of floorboards being 2 to 4 ft. these days, it can be quite challenging to source longer varieties. However, it is recommended that lengths should be at least 2 to 8 ft. long - or longer if possible - as this will provide the best possible end results.