Why does everyone advise me against boards over 5″ wide?

Because, most flooring installers – If they’ve been in business long enough – have encountered problems with boards 5″ and wider. Here’s why. If asked to provide wide plank flooring, most installers will turn to the local Distributor from whom they buy their 2 ¼” “strip” flooring. The local Distributor will then turn to the big mill that provides them with truckloads of 2 ¼” “strip” flooring. Those big “strip” mills dry their lumber from air-dried (20% moisture) to kiln-dried (6-9% moisture) in 3 hours using vacuum kilns. This leaves tremendous stress in the planks that isn’t a problem in 2 ¼” widths, but when they are milled as wide as 5″, all sorts of bad things can happen after installation. By contrast, our lumber is dried from 20% to 6-9% over the course of 3 days to a week using dehumidification kilns – a much slower and gentler process – during which time we vary the temperature to not only dry, but condition the boards. The result is stress-free and stable planks of any width – so, don’t limit your design plans due to performance concerns!

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