Nailing Down the Facts: Straight Answers To Wide Plank Floor Concerns

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Let’s get right to the heart of the matter. There are no inherent problems specifically related to the width of a flooring plank. The fact is that all wood flooring problems can usually be traced back to one or more of these factors:
  1. Poor wood quality
  2. Insufficiently cured wood
  3. Improper installation
  4. Improper acclimation to regular climate conditions

A team of horses dragging a log through the snow1. Quality

Better Wood Makes Better Floors.

There are no compromises when it comes to selecting the trees and the cuts of wood to make a Carlisle Wide Plank Floor. We carefully select only old growth trees in the prime growing region for each species and take the planks cut from the center. This way we get planks with the maximum amount of vertical grain density for superior strength and stability at every width and length. This minimizes the chances for shrinkage and expansion.

2. Curing

Do It Right Or Don’t Bother

Natural wood is organic…it breathes. As it does so, it can absorb or give off water as it tries to reach equilibrium with it’s environment. Green or insufficiently cured wood can contain excessive moisture and/or be damaged by internal stresses associated with improper drying processes. This can lead to excess shrinkage, warping, splitting, cracking and other ugly problems. That’s why Carlisle takes a long time for the curing process.

Air drying Pine FlooringWe utilize a nearly two-stage air and kiln drying process for our wood. This process slowly reduces the moisture in the wood, minimizing the potential for unwanted stress buildups, and ensures that the woods cellular structure remains undamaged and healthy.

In conjunction with the Carlisle SlowCraft® process, it also creates a wide plank board that is easier to install, requires minimal sanding and if you ordered your wood flooring unfinished, you should find that it does not require a the application of a wood conditioner, prior to finishing (depending on installation variables). This air drying method is time-tested, our wide plank floors have been installed over every type of radiant heat system and concrete surface for more than forty years.

3. Installation

Pay Attention To Every Detail

Wide Plank Floors & Installation TipsThe process of installing a wide plank floor is relatively easy, especially with the custom milling and wide, long boards of a Carlisle floor — after all there are few boards to install. However, one must pay attention to certain details during installation to ensure the best possible outcome and long term stability and performance of the wide plank floor. From acclimating the wood, to subfloor preparation, laying the boards and using the proper adhesive methods, every step needs to be followed correctly (and documented). Trying to take shortcuts will create problems.

Also keep in mind that installation methods will vary based on the floor you have chosen, where you are located, and how the floor needs to be installed. Your local flooring professional can create an installation plan for you. Despite the fact that Carlisle has been making wide plank floors for 50 years, there are some installers who may not feel comfortable with wide plank flooring or may not be familiar with the best installation methods; don’t be discouraged, there are a number of great resources including the National Wood Flooring Association and your Carlisle Wide Plank Specialist is always just a phone call or an email away.

Carlisle hardwood flooring4. Acclimation

Wood Works in All Stable Environments if Acclimated Properly

Acclimation: To gradually become more comfortable in a new place, especially where physical conditions are very different.

-MacMillan Dictionary

Acclimation is a valuable step in the process of installing a new wide plank floor. Like installation, the exact acclimation process will vary depending on your location, environmental factors, subfloor, and the type of flooring being installed. The period of time required for installation can vary depending on these factors as well. The best way to understand the proper acclimation process for your floor is to connect your Carlisle Wide Plank Specialist with your local installer and/or builder.

Wrap Up

Carlisle provides the highest quality wide plank flooring for project of all sizes, and in all locations. Whether it is an ocean front home, urban loft, mountain cabin, upscale retail store or boutique hotel, one fact remains, with proper acclimation and installation you can install wide plank floors almost anywhere there is a stable environment.

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Request a free catalog to see the millions of square feet of wide plank flooring Carlisle had made for clients all over the world!
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