How to choose random length or fixed length wooden floor

September 03 17:32 2021

Once people decided to buy wood flooring, people have a whole host of decisions to make and one of those decisions will be whether to plump for random length or fixed length wood flooring.  Random length wood flooring is flooring that comes in packs made up of boards of varying lengths.  Not surprisingly, fixed length wood flooring constitutes packs made up of boards of exactly the same length.

 Fixed VS Random

Random length boards are the most commonly found option, and boards of average random length are normally less expensive than fixed length boards.  This is because the random nature of the boards allows for a great deal of flexibility when it comes to processing the wood.  Particularly short boards, although generally speaking the least expensive option, tend to also be the least sought after because they can be a real fiddle to fit.

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Although fixed length boards are more expensive than random length boards, if fitted without any attempt to create a random look can end up looking a bit like decking, which is forced to be of fixed length due to the foundation structure on which decking is laid.  The reason that fixed length boards are typically be more expensive than random lengths is due to the amount of wastage involved in making sure that each board is of sufficient quality and at the same time is of the required length.

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When it comes to random length boards, you can expect a whole range of board lengths, with anything from as short as 30cm to well over 150cm in the same pack, which means that you can create a really natural and authentic looking floor.  When it comes to genuinely old flooring, it is more common to find random boards than boards of the same length in a floor that was laid many years ago.  The notion of packing boards of same length in packages is a relatively recent phenomenon.  All of that said, a skillful fitter will be able to make fixed length flooring look random if people want it to, but it takes more work.

When people fitting a random floor, the secret is to start installation with different lengths of boards and continue installation in a completely random fashion.  Thanks to the differing lengths of the boards in each pack, there is no planning required to make floor look natural and authentic.  That said, if you have chosen same length boards and people want to create a random look people will have a bit more planning to do.

If people have bought fixed length boards but want a random look for floor, what you need to do is cut starter boards to random lengths, without any pattern whatsoever and then start fitting those boards at the edge of floor.  Thereafter, when you fit fixed length boards, get a random result.

When wood flooring manufacturers produce and package flooring, it will be noted on the packaging whether you’re being offered fixed or random length flooring.  Each pack will be clearly marked Random length or Fixed length and, in the case of fixed length will state precisely the length of each and every board in the package.  When it comes to random length flooring, the package will indicate the length of the shortest board and the length of the longest board.  Every other board in the package will be either of these approximate lengths or any length in between.  What this means is that people know exactly the longest and shortest board people buying, but not the exact dimensions of the boards in between.

 Oak flooring -white

So, when people is choosing wood flooring for next flooring project, when people come up against random lengths and fixed lengths, know what to expect.  Thereafter, it’s a case of deciding which look you want for floor.  Although the majority of wood flooring sold in the UK is of random length, you will be able to track down fixed length flooring if you look for it.  That said, need to be prepared to pay the premium price that this option commands.

If people is in any doubt, it’s worth bearing in mind that the most common view is that a random length board floor will not only typically cost you less, but will also take on a lovely, natural look as well as being straightforward to fit.  So, although the end look people want is entirely choice, there is a really strong argument for plumping for random length boards.


Categories: Engineered Flooring, Solid Flooring

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