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which is best?

big or small floorboards

Narrow or wide floorboards? It’s a question home owners have been asking for years when trying to decide what will look best in their property. But despite there years of asking, there is still no simple answer. Ultimately there is no right or wrong and it very much comes down to the property and your personal tastes. Throughout this article there are theories and beliefs that we have heard over the years, many of which completely contradict one another. This could make for a frustrating read or there could be some points that resonate with you more than others, possibly helping you make the choice that’s right for you.


Visual Differences

When comparing wide and narrow boards both can add a very different look and feel to a room. Narrow boards usually come in shorter and more random lengths, this can result in a floor that looks slightly ‘busier’ with more joints and breaks in the grain. Some prefer more joints and consider this more of a traditional look, whereas others prefer to the ‘less joints’ appearance you’d get with a longer boarded floor. It can also be said the decorative grain and natural beauty of the timber is enhanced within long and wide flooring as the boards can better show off the natural characteristics and features.

Size of the Room

The majority of people feel that a large room better suits a longer and wider floorboard. However opinions tend to differ more in smaller rooms. Would a larger board dwarf a smaller room and make it feel smaller? Or would a larger board draw the room out and make it feel bigger and more spacious? Only you can decide. One thing we can add is it’s very common to have smaller rooms coming off larger areas – hallways, toilets and utilities are examples of this. From our experience we have found wide boards look perfectly fine throughout a property, even in the smaller rooms.



If you want a traditional hardwood floor but are on a tighter budget, then going for a narrower board, and particularly random length, can be a great way to save costs. Greater yield is achieved from the timber during manufacture of a random length plank. This means less wastage which results in lower costs. A random length board can be a great way of keeping the quality of board high, whilst keeping costs down.

Fitting Time

It is important to keep in mind that although longer and wider floorboards cost more to purchase, they are quicker to fit. This is simply down to a larger area being covered ever time a plank is installed. This is something which may need to be kept in mind when comparing prices. If you’re paying your fitter by the hour then of course the longer the job takes, the more costly the fitting is to you.



When solid Oak was the popular choice of flooring it was common for people to steer away from wider boards as they could be more susceptible to expansion and contraction. Today, all of our engineered wood flooring is based on high quality multi-layer plywood which gives the board exceptional stability. This makes them all far less prone to movement and means you can make a decision based on tastes, rather than practicality.

At JFJ Wood Flooring we supply a variety products varying in dimensions from our longest and widest boards such as the ‘Supreme’ 220mm x 21mm to the shorter, narrower ‘Country’ 150mm x 14mm. For any more information or advice on whether to go for wide or narrow wood floorboards, or anything else flooring related, please don’t hesitate to email us or give us a call on 01598 740197.

About the author

Tom Fanthorpe. Director, JFJ Wood Flooring Ltd

Tom is one half of the father & son team behind JFJ Wood Flooring. An experienced wood flooring specialist with over a decade in the industry, Tom is following in his father John's footsteps as a true expert in his chosen field. Having absorbed much of John's 35+ years of experience in the joinery and timber trade, Tom now leads the wood flooring department and holds ultimate responsibility for everything from customer service to sales, logistics to quality control.