Wide Laminate Flooring Better? (Pros vs Cons, Best Width)

Laminate flooring planks that are broader than standard versions where they are at least 5 inches wide and in some cases the planks extend up to 10 inches or more, is considered wide laminate flooring. Many people choose this option as there are a number of benefits overs traditional laminate flooring planks.  

So, is wide laminate flooring better? Wide laminate flooring can be a beneficial choice for certain spaces, as it can provide a spacious and contemporary feel, making rooms appear larger and more open. Also, with fewer seams, the flooring might present a cleaner, more unified look. It’s essential to consider the room’s dimensions and decor style before choosing wide laminate flooring.

Wide laminate flooring can provide an illusion of more space in a room due to the broad planks’ ability to extend the sight lines. This is particularly beneficial in smaller rooms where it is desirable to give an impression of a larger space. The fewer seams or breaks between the planks also result in a smoother, more continuous visual flow, offering an aesthetically pleasing and modern appearance.

However, I would always remind people to bear in mind that wide laminate flooring might not suit all types of rooms or decor styles. For instance, in a room with many small, detailed pieces of furniture, wide planks may seem out of place or overwhelming.

Wide laminate flooring in a small room can create a potential clash in visual elements and the risk of making the room look disproportionally wide. Wide planks are appreciated for their ability to create a sense of spaciousness and continuity, a design feature that might compete with intricate or detailed furniture pieces.

These pieces often command visual attention and can create a sense of “busyness” or complexity in the room’s aesthetic. When combined with wide flooring, this can result in a visually overwhelming space where the eye doesn’t know where to rest, leading to a less cohesive interior design.

Wide planks may exaggerate the width of a small room, making it look disproportionally wide and short. This could potentially detract from the room’s overall balance and harmony. It might make the room feel cramped or claustrophobic, particularly if the furniture pieces are large or numerous.

It’s crucial to take into account the overall design and proportion of the space before deciding on the width of your laminate flooring.

Laminate flooring itself is a synthetic flooring product that consists of multiple layers fused together through a lamination process. The layers typically include a moisture-resistant layer at the bottom, a high-density fiberboard in the middle, a high-resolution photographic image layer to mimic the appearance of natural materials like wood or stone, and a clear protective layer on top for durability.

Wide laminate flooring offers the same benefits as traditional laminate, including durability, ease of maintenance, and versatility in design options. However, it also adds an additional dimension of design appeal by creating a more open and continuous visual flow in a space.

This can make a room appear larger and more unified, especially in contrast to narrower planks that can create a busier look due to more seams or lines. Giving a room an expansive, contemporary feel, especially in open floor plans.

What width plank flooring is best?

The best width for plank flooring largely depends on the specific characteristics of the space where it will be installed and the aesthetic you want to achieve. Generally, plank widths can range from narrow (2-3 inches), standard (3-5 inches), to wide (5-8 inches) or even extra-wide (8 inches and above).

In smaller rooms or spaces with a traditional decor, narrower planks often work best as they can complement the room size and style. Standard width planks are versatile and can fit well in most rooms regardless of size or style.

Wide or extra-wide planks can provide a contemporary, spacious feel and are often used in larger rooms or open floor plans. They can make a space appear larger and more unified due to the fewer seams and clean lines they provide. However, they can also exaggerate the width of narrow spaces and may clash with detailed, intricate decor.

Other factors to consider include the type of wood or material you are using, the color and grain of the material, and your budget. Wider planks often cost more due to increased material and installation costs.

The “best” width is subjective and depends on your personal preference, the specifics of your space, and the overall design aesthetic you aim to achieve. It’s always a good idea to consult with a flooring professional or interior designer to make the best decision for your particular situation.

What are the disadvantages of wide plank flooring?

Whilst there a number of advantages of choosing wide plank flooring like the spacious feel it can give a room and it’s generally more cleaner look, as it has less seams. The disadvantages also need to be considered before deciding on this option.

While wide plank flooring offers several aesthetic benefits, it does come with a few disadvantages. These include a higher cost, potential for increased waste, and greater susceptibility to humidity and temperature changes. Installation can also be more challenging due to the larger size of the planks.

Wide plank flooring often comes at a higher cost than narrower options due to the larger amount of material required. This is particularly true when using premium materials like hardwood. The larger planks also result in more waste, as they may need to be cut to fit around fixtures or at the edges of rooms, leading to increased costs.

Additionally, wide planks are more prone to warping and cupping due to changes in humidity and temperature. As these planks have a larger surface area, they have more room to expand and contract, which can lead to uneven surfaces over time. Thus, they require more attention to climate control and may not be suitable for all environments.

Installation of wide plank flooring is also a bit more complex. The larger planks require more space to maneuver during installation, and any imperfections in the subfloor may be more noticeable under a wide plank. Therefore, professional installation is often recommended, which adds to the overall cost. It’s important to weigh these factors against the aesthetic and spatial benefits when considering wide plank flooring for your space.

Do wide planks make a room look smaller or larger?

Contrary to making a room look smaller, wide plank flooring often has the effect of making a space appear larger. The use of larger, broader planks reduces the number of seams or lines on the floor, creating a cleaner, smoother visual flow. This can result in an illusion of more space, as the eye is drawn along the long, unbroken lines of the planks, extending the perceived size of the room.

Wide planks can help create a sense of openness and spaciousness, especially in open floor plans or larger rooms. They can give a modern, streamlined look that adds to the impression of size. The fewer the seams, the less visual clutter there is, which can make a space feel larger and more open.

The wide planks extend the sight lines of a room, leading the eye further and giving the impression of a larger space. This effect is particularly pronounced in open floor plans or large rooms, where the wide planks can help emphasize the size of the space.

It’s also important to consider the direction in which the planks are laid. Laying planks diagonally or perpendicular to the longest wall can also help to make a room appear larger by drawing the eye along the length of the room.

In very small or narrow rooms, wide plank flooring could potentially accentuate the room’s small size by making it appear wider and shorter due to the width of the planks. Therefore, while wide plank flooring can generally help a room appear larger, the specific room’s dimensions and layout should always be considered when choosing the width of your flooring planks.

Is wide plank flooring more expensive?

Wide plank flooring can be more expensive than its narrower counterparts for several reasons such as wider planks require more raw material to produce, increasing manufacturing costs. As well as due to the large size of the planks, the installation process can be more complex and time-consuming, potentially increasing labor costs.

Wide planks are usually cut from the heartwood of mature trees, which are more expensive due to their age and the quality of wood they produce. This results in a higher cost per square foot for wide plank flooring compared to narrower options.

Installation costs also tend to be higher. The large size of the planks can make them more difficult to handle and install, necessitating more time and possibly specialized expertise. Additionally, because of their size, wide planks may reveal subfloor imperfections more readily, meaning the subfloor may require additional preparation.

Whilst the initial cost may be higher, it’s important to consider the long-term value and aesthetic appeal that wide plank flooring can provide. It can create a unique, luxurious feel in a room, potentially adding to the overall value of a property. Therefore, while it may require a larger upfront investment, wide plank flooring can offer significant returns in terms of aesthetics and property value.

What is the difference between wide and narrow laminate flooring?

The main difference between wide and narrow laminate flooring is the size of the individual planks, which can greatly influence the overall appearance and feel of a room. Here are some specifics:

  1. Size – Wide laminate flooring typically refers to planks that are at least 5 inches wide, with some extending up to 10 inches or more. Narrow laminate flooring usually includes planks less than 5 inches wide, often around 2 to 3 inches.
  2. Aesthetics – Wide laminate planks can create a more open, spacious feel by providing fewer seams, resulting in a cleaner, smoother look. They are often chosen for their ability to make a room seem larger and more contemporary. Narrow planks, on the other hand, create more lines in the flooring, which can add a sense of coziness and traditional charm.
  3. Installation – Wide planks cover a larger area faster, which can sometimes speed up the installation process. However, they can also be more challenging to install due to their size, and any imperfections in the subfloor may be more noticeable.
  4. Costs – Wide laminate flooring can be more expensive than narrow options because they require more material to produce. Additionally, the installation might be more complex and time-consuming, potentially increasing labor costs.
  5. Expansion and contraction – Wide planks have a larger surface area, so they can be more susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity, which might lead to warping or cupping.


In conclusion, while wide laminate flooring can add a contemporary, expansive feel to a room, its use should be carefully considered in small spaces with detailed furniture. A balance between the floor’s design and the rest of the room’s elements is crucial for creating a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Wide and narrow laminate flooring primarily differ in the width of the planks, affecting the room’s aesthetics, installation process, cost, and reaction to environmental changes. Wide planks, typically 5 inches or wider, can make a space appear larger and more open due to fewer seams and extended sight lines. They offer a contemporary feel but may not suit small rooms with detailed furniture due to potential visual overload and distortion of room proportions.

Narrow planks, usually less than 5 inches wide, can add a traditional charm and sense of coziness to a room. However, they create more lines in the flooring, which could make a space feel busier or smaller.

While wide planks can potentially speed up the installation process, they might also reveal subfloor imperfections more readily and can be more challenging to handle due to their size. Wide planks are often more expensive due to increased material and installation costs, and they may be more prone to warping or cupping due to changes in temperature and humidity.

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