The first wood flooring used in Britain during the Tudor and Jacobean periods (1485-1625) was oak and elm floorboards, measuring up to 24 inches wide. When you get to the Early Georgian period (1714-1765), wood floors were usually more than 12 inches wide, but toward the end of that period, 8- and 10-inch wide boards were being used. By the early 19th century, 7 to 9 inch boards were common. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, planks 2 to 3 inches wide became the standard. For the last 80 years, wood flooring mills in the US focused primarily on making so-called strip flooring in 1, 2, and 3-inch widths. By doing this, they were able to achieve a good yield from the raw material and offer three different floors. 2-inch became the default width, and it remains the nearest thing to a commodity in the wood flooring industry.
Manufacturers recently began offering flooring in 3, 4 and 5 inch widths, and the trend has continually moved to wider and wider products through the years. Although a large portion of the wood flooring is still made into widths smaller than 3 inches wide, there is a continual movement toward wider floors. In the past 10 years, wood flooring manufacturers across the country have been making wider products to fill the ever growing demand for plank floors in all market segments.