What’s the big deal about 2″ Wide, 1/2″ thick White Oak flooring you ask? It turns out that if you go to most mainstream flooring outlets, including places like Home Depot and Lumber Liquidators, the narrowest width hardwood flooring you’re likely to find is 2- 1/4″, and it won’t be 1/2″ thick. If you’re a regular reader of HomeFixated, you won’t be surprised that the notion of putting hardwood flooring a full 1/4″ wider and 1/8″ thicker than the original vintage flooring in our house was a distressing idea to contemplate. Oh, and be sure to read the Editor’s Update at the end of the article for more recent info.
In my mind, that 1/4″ expanded to several feet, and I imagined the new floor taunting me with its cruel obesity. However, after a couple months of unsuccessful tries to find flooring to match, and some obsessive soul searching, I decided to proceed with the 2-1/4″ by 3/4″ white oak. It pained me, but I made my peace with that spare 1/4″. . . . until one fateful day. That day, I had just finished a week of meticulously nailing the hardwood floor into place. I found a local flooring supplier where I went to pick up some applicator pads for the finish. As I was checking out, I glanced up on the wall by the register, and to my horror saw what appeared to be a match for our vintage flooring. When I fearfully asked the guy behind the counter what it was, he replied, “oh, you mean the 2″ by 1/2″ white oak?” I looked back at the sample piece, and I swear it was mocking me. Seriously, you could see a snickering grin in the wood grain. That, and a middle finger.
I of course played it off like I was just curious about the sample, and then proceeded to lay down in the parking lot and throw a concrete kicking tantrum that would have impressed my two year old. Actually I just cried and moved on. OK, honestly, I just let loose a series of rapid-fire profanities. I then decided I needed to share my painful 1/4″ tragedy, in the hopes I might spare one of you from being subjected to a similar bitter ending. So, if you have a historic home with 2″ wide, 1/2″ thick white oak flooring, please know matching hardwood flooring does exist and is available, however, expect to hunt for it. GoldenStateFlooring.com offers this size for a little over $3 a square foot. Tom Duffy Co also sells it, but only to the trade. If you’re having trouble finding it, try to find a similar hardwood floor distributor in your area and they can probably track it down for you. Keep the faith and stay authentic!
After this early experience, I was determined to get it right on my next project. With a little help from a licensed contractor friend, I was able to procure the elusive two inch wide hardwood flooring on a kitchen flooring job (photos above) I recently undertook when testing a new Senco pneumatic flooring nailer. It turns out that Lebanon Oak Flooring Co is the manufacturer, and if you’re having trouble finding narrow strip flooring in your area, you can contact them via the link below. They also offer other widths, including the possibly more elusive 1 1/2″ wide strip flooring.