History of Wide Plank Flooring

Our high end wood flooring roots go back over 400 years

You can find homes along the Eastern Seaboard with wide plank flooring over 30″ wide.  These floors have lasted for over 200 years.  Today, each Carlisle floor is made with same artisan quality craftsmanship to shape and refine custom flooring that will last for generations. When the first colonists arrived in New England in the 1600s, they found large, virgin forests of huge, mature trees. Naturally, they cut down the biggest trees for timber to build their homes. Of course, home building was a lot different back then. The early settlers built homes to last a lifetime. Generally, their first house was also their last house. And because they didn’t have the time to constantly repair and replace warped, cracked or excessively worn boards, the wood flooring had to be especially tough to stand up to heavy use by the large, busy families of the era.

It didn’t take long for these early New Englanders to realize that the long, wide planks cut from the heart of the big, old-growth trees had a denser grain pattern and less moisture than the outer sapwood. This made heartwood far less likely to splinter or warp. Plus, the strength imparted by the tight grain pattern gave it the durability to last practically forever.

It’s simple math - wider, and longer planks create fewer seams which dramatically simplifies the look and allows the beauty of the wood to stand out.

Sizing up perceptions
Redefining Luxury with Wide Planks

What is a “Wide Plank Floor”?

Compared to the typical strip width of 2-1/4” to 3” offered in most of today’s mass produced wood flooring, a 5” wide board would definitely be considered wide. On the other hand, you can find pine flooring boards as wide as 30” in homes along the Eastern Seaboard that were built 200 years ago.

Sizing up perceptions
The true measure of quality
So what is wide?

Carlisle has been crafting custom flooring since 1966, and our planks go up to 20” wide, our average width is 8–10” wide. That’s nearly double the widest width of mass produced wood floors. Here at Carlisle, we take a completely different approach – and use completely different trees – to craft wood floors in these wider dimensions.

A true wide plank floor cannot be mass produced. From the careful selection of the most mature timber, a year-long drying process to proprietary grading and artisan quality craftsmanship and finishing.  It is a process of patience, dedication and superior quality that we call SlowCraft™. It means every board, in every wide plank floor we sell, is made to order.

The true measure of quality
The Ultimate Dimensions of Style
Why is width so important?

In addition to the rich grain patterns and detailed craftsmanship that comes from our SlowCraft™ process, our wide plank wood floors create a floor with fewer seams, which elevates the luxurious feel of any room. In fact, a Carlisle wide plank floor can reduce the number of seams by 80% compared to a typical wood floor.


For instance, in a room that is 20 feet wide and 20 feet long and using standard 3” wide strips that average 3’ in length, you would have a total of 640 edge and butt seams. The result would be a very busy appearance that actually obscures the look of the wood itself.


However, using Carlisle wide plank flooring that measures 8” wide, with an average length of 7’, the floor would have only 120 seams. This greatly simplifies the look and allows the beauty of the wood to stand out.

The Ultimate Dimensions of Style

Carlisle boards will average 8″ wide and 7′ Long.  Traditional flooring will average 3″ wide and 3′ long.  In a 400 square foot room, this means the difference between 120 seams and 640 seams in a new floor.