Why are there short boards in my timber flooring pack?

1 Feb 2023

Opened your timber flooring pack and discovered a number of short boards in the mix? Don’t fret! There’s a good reason behind why we include short boards along with our general longboard length.

Read on to find out why you can expect short boards in your engineered flooring pack, and how we suggest integrating them with your full length boards for a stronger, more stable floor, and to reduce wastage.

What are short boards?

When purchasing engineered flooring, you’ll notice a small collection of short boards (also known as “shorts'' or “nested boards”) included in your delivery. At Havwoods Australia, we also include these short boards in our packs of timber flooring. 

Most engineered board manufacturers include shorts in their packs. These are generally shorter than the advertised board length, which can be confusing when you open a pack and see something you weren’t expecting! We generally include approximately 25% of short boards in our products, however some alternative suppliers might sell packs where up to 40-50% is made up of short boards.

Shorter board lengths are important to provide stability and flexibility when laying a floor, and it’s best practice to see these nested boards gently interspersed with longer planks, creating a much needed variation in the joins between the planks, and delivering a beautifully aesthetic floor.

Always check the percentage of nested or short boards before committing to buying so you can plan your floor accordingly.

Why should I include short boards as part of my new flooring?

Short boards are incredibly important for a number of reasons:

To stagger the joints, which helps with the strength and stability of the floor

To stagger the lengths, you need a combination of shorter and longer boards. By including short boards, and using these to achieve the staggering required, we reduce the time required to cut down a full size board, which results in less wastage onsite.

To fit in tight spaces or corners of your room

Shorts are useful when starting and finishing rows, and are often required around corners, at ends of rooms, and in some spaces such as in kitchens, under cabinetry, or in wardrobes. Having pre-cut short boards in your package reduces wastage and saves time, as you don’t need to cut down a full length board to fit your space.

To help reduce wastage

Engineered boards use more of the tree, which means less waste. Shorter boards are, in part, a byproduct of this, which also helps reduce the amount of wood used per pack. Choose engineered boards as an eco-friendly option vs solid timber. You can also read more about timber and sustainability at Havwoods here.

To balance the proportion of boards on your floor

The most authentic timber floors are often made from a majority of long length boards with a handful of short boards thrown in. This ensures that the joins between planks are sporadic and give enough variation to ensure an interesting, and aesthetically pleasing pattern to the final install of the full floor.

As a natural feature of any timber floor

When selecting timber flooring, board lengths can naturally vary due the unique nature of the timber, often selected from pre-cut pieces of wood. Differing board lengths are common occurrences when it comes to timber floors.

To keep your costs slightly lower

When providing timber flooring packs that come with a mix of short or nested boards and full length boards, suppliers are able to set a good price due to less wastage being created. However, if shorter boards may pose a problem for your situation, Havwoods offers package options without shorter boards. However, these packages are naturally charged at additional fee due to the custom nature of the order.

Get in touch with the Havwoods Experts

Remember, when your builders or floor installing team plan the layout of your floor, we recommend incorporating your shorter boards naturally into the design before starting to avoid any unusual patterns created across the floor (depending on the different lengths used, and the unique nature of your floor space).

As always, if you have any questions before or after purchasing your timber floors from Havwoods, you can always contact us directly, or give us a call on 1300 428 966. One of our friendly experts will be more than happy to answer your questions, or assist you in the process of your flooring project.