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Settling on the Style of Wood Floors

Martha Stewart Living, September 2006

The size and shape of the floorboard affects the final look. There are three main options:

Strips are the most common; they typically measure 1 1/2 to 3 1/4 inches wide and run anywhere from 1 to 7 feet long. Strips offer the greatest versatility, suiting classic and contemporary room settings.

Planks are anything wider than 3 1/4 inches. They are usually less than 5 inches wide but can be as wide as the tree they come from. Planks have more of a rustic look, especially if they are face-nailed (as opposed to having tongue-and-groove nailing, in which the fasteners are obscured).

Parquets are patterned-wood tiles. They are typically reserved for formal settings, such as a living room or dining room, and they're often paired with decorative borders that are inlaid into the floor at additional cost.

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