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What is the difference between mixed length and fixed length wood flooring?

When selecting the perfect wood flooring option, one consideration can be easily overlooked: the choice between mixed length boards and fixed length boards. So, what’s the difference between mixed length and fixed length wood flooring?

Fitting and Aesthetics

Mixed length wood flooring: fitting

In most cases, whether your floorboards are mixed or fixed length, you will want to lay your planks in a staggered fashion. For authentic traditional character, the joints of the boards should fall at random intervals across the floor.

You will want to start with planks of different lengths on each run and lay them randomly to mix up the joints; mixed length planks allow you to do this very efficiently. The variety of different plank lengths in mixed length wood flooring makes it easy to stagger the boards straight out of the packs. This means you can lay your beautiful wood flooring without the need for too much planning and cutting.

Mixed length wood flooring: aesthetics

Mixed length boards will create beautiful wood flooring with timeless charm. The patterns made by the randomised joints will help to create the interest and character that’s so sought after in wood flooring. If you have an older property, then the striking traditional aesthetic of mixed length planks will be a perfect fit.

Harbour Fog grey engineered oak boards in living room

Fixed length wood flooring: fitting

When ordering fixed length boards, you’ll know the precise length of each board you’ll be receiving. As the name indicates, they will all be exactly the same size. This can be an advantage if you want to avoid having any shorter boards in your packs, or if you want to plan your floor with exacting precision.

Fixed length wood flooring: aesthetics

With fixed length boards, you can utilise the size of the planks to produce a more uniform look. With the joints creating more regular patterns, they have a more structured appearance, similar to brickwork patterns. Most designers consider this to be a more contemporary aesthetic.

It is possible to create a more randomised characterful appearance using fixed length boards, but this requires more careful planning and extra cutting of boards. Mixed length boards might be a better option if you want a more traditional look.

Cost

In terms of cost, mixed length planks are usually slightly more affordable. This is because the variation in length means that there’s a bit more flexibility when processing of the boards. Simply put, it’s easier to make 100 variable-sized boards to the required standard than to make 100 boards all of the same length. As a result, there tends to be more wastage involved in producing fixed length planks; understandably, this pushes up their price a little bit.

Mixed length and Fixed length planks at Chaunceys

At Chaunceys, we offer our mixed length Bristol Tectonic® engineered planks at lengths between 0.6 and 3 metres. This option gives you an average plank length of 2 metres.

We supply our fixed length Original Tectonic® engineered planks, each at 2.47m long as standard.

Linen finish on Chaunceys Engineered oak wood flooring at Wimbledon Conservatory project