As soon as you start shopping around for new engineered wood flooring, you’ll realise it comes in a variety of widths. This option can be confusing because buyers aren’t sure why this is and what the different benefits could be. It seems logical to suppose that the larger the width, the better the deal, as fewer pieces will be needed and it takes less labour to install. However, the range of choices has very little to do with convenience and everything to do with style. If you’re considering investing in wood flooring, the best thing to do is to get to grips with the facts before you start catalogue shopping.

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Big room or small room?

When shopping for engineered flooring for a small room, narrower width wood might seem like an obvious choice. Small things belong in small spaces and big things in big spaces. We think along the lines of wall tiles and paper, where the pattern needs to fit the scale of the room, but with wood flooring, the opposite tends to be true.

Small rooms can actually benefit from larger wood widths, making a tight space look less fussy. Our eyes tend to land on the larger pieces and follow them through the room, creating the illusion of space. Likewise, a very large room doesn’t always benefit from larger widths. If you imagine a stately home with parquet flooring, particularly the fiddly herringbone design, you can see how the scale brings balance. If you imagine the same scene with fewer, larger panels, you’ll see how the look can swamp even a large room.

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Formal or informal?

Instead of associating the width of your wood flooring with the size of your room, it’s better to try to compare it to the style. Take a look at some of the samples at https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/engineered-flooring.html, and you will see that large widths are more informal and give a space a country farmhouse feel, whereas smaller pieces come across as far more refined.

Perhaps it’s been culturally instilled in us that bulky things are a better value and finer details are more costly. Either way, if you’re looking for an informal, relaxed and modern effect, wide is the way to go. For those looking for classical charm, keep it narrow and polished.

What wood width should you choose?