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Should I get 3¼” or 3⅛” Douglas Fir Flooring?

February 2, 2011 by | nell | There have been 0 comments

We get these two questions a lot:

  1. What’s the difference between ” & 3⅛” Douglas fir flooring?
  2. Why does ¼” make such a difference in price?

These are great questions. The simple answer is this: 3¼” is an old standard width, and 3⅛” is a current standard width. Fifty or more years ago, the rough boards milled into flooring boards were a true 1”x4”. These days, the size of what is called a 1x4 is actually ¾”x3½”. While that does seem strange, it’s an industry standard.

What that change means for flooring is that milling a 3¼” tongue and groove flooring board is no longer practical. Milling 3¼” flooring from a current 1x4 rough board would mean the loss of the tongue or the groove -- not a good thing. Therefore, 3⅛” has become a standard flooring width.
3¼” boards are still made in lesser quantity, however, to meet the needs of homeowners across the country seeking a few replacement boards for their historic 3¼” Douglas fir floors. We feature 3¼” flooring with exactly those customers in mind.

3 ¼” or 3⅛” flooring? Would it bother you if these 2 different widths were in adjoining rooms?

So, which width might be right for you? It likely depends on the look you want. Clearly, if your project calls for replacing a small patch of your historic 3¼” flooring, we recommend using boards with the same size! We would never suggest patching 3¼” with 3⅛”. That would be foolish.
But, if you’re wondering about the difference in quality between the 2 widths, there is none. We sell both widths in a clear vertical grain (CVG), C & Better grade, which means boards have an average of 10-25 rings per inch.

Unless you seek a look that is authentic down to the width of the flooring, we recommend 3⅛”on new flooring to keep your costs down. You might even consider buying 3⅛” for a room adjoining one with original 3¼” flooring. The difference in width is slight, and once installed it would be hard to tell the difference. Ultimately, that judgment is up to the consumer, of course. We wouldn't want the flooring in your home to drive you crazy.

Below are some of the products we reference in this blog post:

This post was posted in All Entries, Douglas Fir Flooring, Care & Maintenance and was tagged with Douglas fir flooring, douglas fir floors, 31/8", 31/4"

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