Often an area of confusion when purchasing a wood floor for the first time, the difference between Fixed and Random Length floors can trip some people up; in fact, just to confuse the matter even further, there are actually three main options! But not to worry, this short guide should clear everything up…
Fixed Lenth Flooring
As the same would suggest, fixed length flooring contains only planks of identical lengths e.g. six planks all 1800mm long. Typically, this will cost a lot more than an equivalent Random Length product as not being able to use any shorter lengths essentially creates extra wastage bumping the manufacturing cost up.
Fixed Length planks can give a very distinctive look, so we would highly recommend seeing a full space fitted this way before purchasing for your own project just to be sure.
Random Length Flooring
Random Length is again a fairly self-explanatory name, with each pack of flooring containing completely random length planks. It’s important to understand that while most manufacturers will give a range e.g. 400mm – 1800mm, the lengths you receive are truly random and can be anywhere in that range.
In our experience, Random Length packs usually have around 60-70% shorter planks e.g. in a 400mm – 1800mm range the majority will be 400mm – 1100mm. However, the manufacturer nor the retailer have any bearing over the lengths and because of this, Random Length flooring is considerably cheaper than fixed length as any and all lengths can be used drastically reducing wastage and in turn, manufacturing cost.
Mixed Length Flooring
The last and most popular option is a combination of the two, combining the long lengths of a Fixed product, with the more natural appearance of Random Length. Typically a mixed pack will contain mostly fixed length planks e.g. five 1800mm lengths and one random cut plank. The addition of a random length plank ensures a completely random pattern. Without it, you can end up with an unnatural brickwork like pattern. This option is the most popular as you have a large amount of long lengths, but also a natural stagger pattern.