Which direction should hardwood floors be laid in the hallway?

When you walk into a house, do you notice the direction of the hardwood flooring?It can affect how it looks and behaves over time.Rule number one in laying hardwood flooring is that the wood boards should run parallel to the floor.The boards can be much more solid byspaning from one joist to the next.If the boards were parallel to the floor, most of them would sit on the plywood and not on any of the joists.When walked upon, the plywood will give fractionally.This recipe can be used for large gaps and squeaks.

One rule in laying wood flooring is the look of the flooring.Wood flooring looks best when running in the same direction as the longest part of the room.If the room is ten feet by sixteen feet, the wood flooring will look best when running in the sixteen foot direction.The bigger the room, the more important it is.In a hallway that is only four feet wide, the wood flooring needs to run the entire length of the hall.The direction of the wood flooring is not as important in rooms that are square.

You should consider the view of the floor when entering the room.If you want the wood flooring to look good, lay it parallel to your view direction.This will make the cracks look smaller.The seams between the boards will be more obvious if you are looking straight down.You will be able to see the variation if the seams are not straight.

It is not always practical to run the flooring in certain directions.The benefits are real if you can do it.If the floor is running the wrong way for the way you want it to look in the room, you should ask your builder to install wood blocking below the wood flooring to support a floor running parallel to the joists.It will be worth it in narrow spaces.

It’s important to pick the right wood for your floor.Consider the grain and color of the wood and how it will look with other wood items in the room, like kitchen cabinets and wood trim.

Installation of flush thresholds between rooms is one other neat feature.In my book, Designing Your Perfect House, I show photos of this and describe it in detail.

Should the flooring run in the same direction as the ceiling planks??

I think it would be best if the floor ran in the same direction as the ceiling plank.That may not be possible.The framing of the floor must be supported by the flooring.The flooring will end up parallel to the ceiling if the floor joists are running the same way.If the floor joists are accessible, you could run the flooring parallel to them.The support would be provided by the blocking.

There is hardwood on the first floor.The hardwood is running in the same direction as the downstairs.The stairs and upper hall were done and the installer laid the floor longways down the hall instead of going with the flow of the MBR.He claimed that the joists were different upstairs from downstairs, but we can see that they are the same on both levels.What should we do about the hallway?It is completely different from the rest of the house and looks terrible next to the entrance.Is the installation company responsible for the repair??

The installer seems to have taken the easy way out when he installed the flooring.He saved himself a lot of cutting and gave you an improper installation by running it the long way.Yes.He should be responsible for the repair if he can prove that the joists run parallel to the floor.If you have original drawings of the house, you may be able to see the joist direction on them.It sounds like there is a lot of evidence that your flooring is not supported properly.Hopefully the installer will correct this for no additional cost to you.

I am getting ready to have the floors installed and the person who did it said it was best for them to run at the same time as you open the door.Please advise, he said it allowed the best appearance to the opening of your house.?

If the wood flooring runs the long way in the room, it will look good.In hallways, the length is much greater than the width.The structural issue is more important than the visual one.It’s important to have the wood plank properly supported on the floor.The wood flooring should run parallel to the floor framing.If that would make your floor look choppy, the remedy is to install blocking below the subfloor to support the wood plank.This may be impractical in an existing home.The benefit will have to be weighed against the cost.The floor should run in the direction you want it to run.

When discussing laying hardwood flooring, no one mentions the existence of a subfloor.We have a cabin with OS B on top of it.I think we can lay hardwood in any direction.The floor slopes towards one end of the house and possibly off as much as 16 feet from the other end.Is there any width restrictions due to this different, how do we best approach this?

The hardwood should not be laid in any direction.The floor must be supported by the floor joists.All of the discussions assume the same thing.The subfloor isn’t strong enough to support the wood flooring.When stepped upon, any boards that run parallel to the joists but are located above the spaces between them will move fractionally.The flexing will cause the floors to become unbalanced.

You can lay the wood floor on top of the joists and let it slope.The only way to remove the slope is to jack up the framing.That may be more trouble and cost than it is worth.

The subfloor should provide proper support regardless of orientation.Why would it need the floor joists if it can support a carpeted floor?

It should.Even 3/4′′ plywood can flex.Step in the middle if you lay a piece of plywood on two 24’s.You have to jump up and down.Is the plywood flexible?I bet it isn’t as stiff as you think.Many of the floor boards are only supported by the plywood and not the joists.The boards can begin to move in places where you step all the time, like at the bottom of the stairs or near doorways.The boards can be moved.

I am laying flooring in several rooms on the ground level and down a set of stairs into the basement.If direction of lay is consistent in all rooms, will it look good?If yes, the direction of lay will likely be the same as the longest one in the living room, unfortunately this will require that the entrance hallway be laid contrary to your advice.How critical is it that the plank be laid parallel to the hallway in multiple rooms?Lay direction will change to go down stairs at the top of the stairs.I am not seeing any issues with this now.

All of the wood flooring should be laid in the same direction.If circumstances demand it, you can lay wood flooring in different directions.If there are defined openings from room to room, it works best.If you lay the flooring long way in your hall, it will follow the wood in the adjoining rooms.The doorway is in the room side of the wall and not on the hallway side.It’s important that the planks run the long way within the doorway opening.When it is all done, you want it to look logical.

I have a dilemma.My kitchen has a long and narrow kitchen floor.Can I do the blocking in an existing home, or is it impractical to do it under the floor?

The blocking should be installed under the subfloor and between the joists.The room below the kitchen is unfinished.You could easily do it on your own.All you need to do is cut pieces of 24 the proper length and nail them up against the subfloor and between the joists.The job will be easier with a nail gun.Liquid Nails glue can help prevent squeaks.If you can’t get to the underside of the subfloor, you could install a second layer of subflooring over the one you already have.The wood floor boards should not move if the subfloor is strong.It is possible that this option requires a transition threshold where the new floor ends and adjoins another flooring material.You have to decide if that will be acceptable to you.

As you enter the living room from the entry way, the floor would run in the same direction as the longest section of the room.This is contrary to your suggestion as to how it should be laid as you enter the room.Which should it be?

The hardwood flooring can run in either direction in rooms that are not too narrow.If the wood is laid correctly and the joints are straight, you will be able to see it in its entirety.What direction the floor joists run is the most important question in your case.The best place to lay the hardwood flooring is on the side of the house.

I am wondering if it is best to lay my hardwood parallel to the floor.Couldn’t resist!Thanks for your help and patience.

After reading your article, I was thinking the same thing as Lisa, so I had to laugh at her post.

Thank you for the informative article.I am getting a wideplank engineered hardwood installed in my apartment.It will be Glued directly to cured/sealed cement.You mentioned the wood running parallel to the entrance hallway, but given the layout in link below, and an outdoor space which will be accessible via sliding doors, what are your thoughts?Thank you in advance.

In this case, it would be best to allow the flooring to run in the short direction of the entry hall in order to have it run into the main living spaces.That will allow the flooring to run parallel to the sliding doors.There is no rule that can’t be changed.

Hi Bill.I was unable to find an answer to this question on your site.I want to run the flooring parallel with the floor joist in my great room.Is it ok to do this because my subfloor is 1 inch thick?I live in an older home.

You might be able to run the flooring parallel to the joists if you have one inch of OSB.Try to figure out how rigid the subflooring is.The thickness of most subflooring is only 5/8′′.It’s almost like you have a double subfloor with your one inch material.Make sure the subfloor holds a nail well by testing out a few spots.You will be overrun by floor squeaks if nails begin to pull out later.

I have an open floor plan with cement floors.If I lay the floors long wise to the longest side of the front room, it will look better and I will see them more often.The hallway runs parallel to the long side of the front room.Does that make sense?I think the hallway would look better if it were chopped into smaller pieces.Do I go the other way?Is it possible to lay them across the short way in the front room and then down the hall way?Any thoughts?Thanks.

There are no restrictions on flooring direction with a concrete slab.You could do what you suggest and have the flooring run in the long direction in both the hallway and the front room.To make a change in direction, install a flush transition board.I make the transition board out of another species of wood to create a nice contrast when I do this.The transition is a design feature and not something done for shear utility.The key to good design is to make it look like you meant to do it and not make a mistake.

I am laying floorboards over a concrete slab floor and was wondering if it was ok to lay them in a diagonal order or if they were going to be a disaster.I want to get around the problem of having the boards running in different directions in the hallway and living room.You have said that a transition can be made to look nice, but I am just trying to think outside the square.It will be greatly appreciated, thanks for any advice.

The floor boards might look dated over time.In the 70s, placing wood on siding was popular.It is now possible to date a house.If you want to change the direction of the boards as you move from room to room, you can install a flush threshold board at the doorway.Sometimes I use another species of wood to make it an accent feature.

We are going to install wood flooring.The boards would run parallel to the longest side of the living room, which is good.The boards would run parallel to the shorter wall of the dining room if we entered from the living room through french doors.Do you think the dining room is square enough so that it would look okay, rather than change direction and run the boards parallel to the joists?If not, the living room and dining room would have boards parallel to each other.Thank you much.

We are installing flooring in the house.There is 1000sq ft L shaped downstairs.How do we lay the floors?There is a formal living room when you walk into the front door.Our family room is in the corner of the L shape and there is a small wall between it and this room.The kitchen is to the right.Since there is a small wall that separates the living room from the family room, I don’t think it’s the longest part of the space.Is it a good idea to run them long ways as you walk into the house so it flows back to the family room?Or take them from the kitchen to the family room.Is it possible to make you walk in the front door like a ladder?

If possible, run the flooring in the long direction of the room.The rule is not important in rooms that are not too small.It is in narrow hallways.You should try to avoid that ladder effect.

The bedrooms have bamboo wood flooring.Our existing oak flooring runs the length of our hallway, but it is a darker color.Is it a good idea to run the long dimensions of the rooms so they are parallel to the hall flooring?Should all of the bedrooms be the same if one room is installed next to the hallway?

You can change directions at doorways.Determine which direction the floor joists are running.The wood flooring must run parallel to the joists in order to support it.You can increase the flex in the floor if you don’t do this.

I plan on putting in some hard maple in my house, and it looks like a portion of it will have to be run parallel to the floor.My wife wants the flooring to run in the same direction.This is a very open ended question with a lot of variables, but how much extra blocking should I add?It is mostly accessible.Is there any reading that you can point me to?

Colin said that the blocking should be plenty on the center.If you’re doing this in an existing house, you might want to add a bead of construction glue to the top of the blocking to make it stick.Press it tight under the floor.It will help limit squeaking potential.

We are laying hardwood flooring in an oddly shaped hallway from the foyer.There is a straight line from there to the hall, but also a left turn.How do we make it look right while also meeting the perpendicular to moustache requirement?Thanks!

Since the direction of the flooring has already been established, it is probably best to continue in that direction.The flooring direction rules are easy to follow.Consider their suggestions.Sometimes exceptions have to be made.

There is a question about expansion.I am working on a red oak floor in a 1997 home in Port Angeles,WA.We are close to the ocean and the humidity is stable.The wood will be laid over 15# felt for at least two weeks.The problem is that I have a room with a direction of expansion.The floor could expand up to 1.5′′ from what I can gather.If the nails pull out, the first question is if the last boards move.How do I deal with the movement?Is it possible to do a boarder wrap of 12′′ of oak and 3/4′′ of walnut cut at a 45 degree angle in all corners?This will not be a problem if I pin down our actual humidity change.Your Q&A was great.

If it was all glue together, the floor would pull that far from the edge.In a floating floor, each board is nailed to the subfloor on its own.Each shrinks on its own.A board that is 2 1/4′′ wide would shrink about 20% if the wood were to shrink 5%.You would expect to see a gap between the boards.Some boards try to stick together.You can see a few boards with no gaps between them and then a gap of more than an inch.The nails will not pull out at the edges.

I don’t see a problem with the border.The boards will shrink and swell with the season.If your wood has acclimatized before installation and the subfloor is in the optimum range, you will see only small seasonal gaps that will go away during the summer.That is just wood doing its job.

I have a hallway with a foyer attached to it.The current floor has a dark inlay border.We want the border to stop at a doorway at the end of the hall, turning the boards 90 degrees for about 3 foot space, then start again with the inlay and boards that run vertical, again for another 15 feet, just as they do by the door.We are trying to separate the long hall from the newly created room before entering the kitchen.The kitchen floor runs parallel to the hall.

I am not sure I understand your situation, but it sounds like it should work.It will look good if you stop one pattern and start another at a doorway.It’s important to have a reason for the change.If you want to see if this is true, you can put some tape on the floor and look at it from all angles.You should be able to tell if this will work out.

If possible, I would recommend running the wood floor in the long direction of the room if possible.

There is a lounge in the middle of a large room with a dining table in front of it and a kitchen on the right side of the hallway.Bifold glass doors open out onto the patio in the room.I don’t know which way to put the wood in the bigger room.It will be different direction to the hallway if it is along the long part of it.If it is along the length of the room, it will be the same direction as the hallway, but be on the short side.What do you think should be done?

It sounds like you should change the direction of the wood at the door to the larger room and let it run in the long direction in that room.You can make the transition with the doors.

To properly support your hardwood floor, you should run the 24 blocking underneath your subfloor.Thanks for the information and tips.C.M.

The blocking should be on the center of the floor.If most of your floor boards are over two feet in length, you could use blocking that is on the center of the board.

I want to have the wood flooring in our kitchen renovated.I would like to add wood to the stairs leading from the kitchen into the family room.The wood goes toward the family room.Is it necessary for the steps to run in the same direction?I don’t think it looks good having a lot of boards in a row for the steps.

Danielle, the boards that make up the stair treads should always go in the long direction on the treads regardless of the direction the wood is going in.The boards should be side to side as you walk up and down the stairs.

I would like to replace the vinyl floor with hardwood.The vinyl floor is in good shape.The plywood is under the vinyl.Is it a good idea to install over vinyl?Thanks.

If you double check my answer, you should be able to install the wood floor over the vinyl.Red rosin paper or roofing felt can be used to install wood flooring.The practice helps eliminate squeaks.The same thing should happen to you with the vinyl.

The existing hardwood is almost 100 years old and runs parallel to the joists.We are laying a plywood subfloor over the existing hardwood to add support and hopefully eliminate some of the squeaks.Does it matter which direction we lay the plank?The 8mm brand of the laminate is free floating.

Your floor can run in either direction.It will be supported by the old hardwood floor.I don’t think you’ll need to install the plywood subfloor.If you want to fix the old hardwood flooring, I would suggest installing the laminate over it.It is possible that the squeaks are caused by the planks of the hardwood flooring rubbing against each other.You need to stop the movement.

Have you considered refinishing the hardwood floor?We used to own a ninety year old house in Delaware.The stained boards were replaced.The floors were the best part of the house.Bona Traffic is very easy to live with.

I am putting down wood flooring on a concrete slab.The rooms should be laid on a diagonal to give them a larger appearance.The livingroom, dining room, and kitchen are all in the same place.A majority of the house is down stairs.The flooring will be put on the stairs in every room.Is the diagonal instalation going to make the house appear bigger?I have never seen this done before.

The diagonal flooring was a fad in the 70’s, but nowadays you don’t see it.I don’t think it makes the room bigger.You should run the wood flooring in the long direction of the room.This is more important in narrow rooms than in wide rooms.Make sure the floor joist is in the right direction.The floor should run parallel to the floor joists to support it.Solid blocking between the joists is needed if you want to run the wood flooring parallel to them.If you don’t, you will get a dirty floor.

We just purchased a home and are putting down bamboo.The direction is not a problem because it has a 26 sub-floor.When you look into the room, the walls on the left and right are not the same as the middle.Should we lay the wood to reduce the visibility of the hump if we can’t lower the flooring from underneath the house?

The flooring should follow the direction of the hump.The boards would tip and open gaps if you ran the flooring parallel to the hump.

We have a new home and we are installing wood floors on the first level.I would like the floors to run parallel to the front entry door in the hallway.When the hallway goes to the large room of the kitchen and living room, I want to run the floors along the length of that room.I have a transition at the end of the hallway into the kitchen and living room, what should I do?Would you recommend something different?There is a lot of advice on these Q & A’s.

I don’t think you need a change.The difference will be subtle and not noticeable.

I read each and every comment hoping to find a solution to my situation, but not sure yet.My question is not based on any other factors.We have concrete subfloors.When I enter my home from the front door, I want the boards to run parallel to my vision and not down the length of my boards.I want the boards to run long through our great room and I don’t want to switch directions if I can help it.I want the hallway that leads to all 3 bedrooms to run the same directions as the great room, but that would give it the “ladder” effect and I’ve read against doing that…would it look that bad?

The worry about the ladder effect is overstated sometimes.The ladder effect is unlikely if you have a wood species that is fairly uniform.You will diminish it even more if you have a runner in the hall.I have tiete rosewood flooring in my house and my entry flooring runs parallel to the front door.The boards run in the opposite direction of the hall.Five inches is the width of the boards.It does not bother me or anyone else.By having your line of sight from when you enter the hall be in line with the boards, you will diminish the appearance of seasonal gaps.Good luck.

Thank you so much for sharing the information.Our entire floor will be new on March 15.Thanks again.

In our living room, we are laying flooring.The room is not normal.The tile line is 15 feet.In length.If you want to go to the opposite point of the room, lay the planks parallel to this line.The planks should be laid following the horizontal or vertical grout lines of the tile floor.We need your help.

Maria, it’s difficult to answer specifically without seeing the room.It sounds like the best way to go is following the long 15 ft. line of the tile.

There is a large sliding glass door on the long side of the family room.There is a lot of light.I would like to know if it would be better to run the flooring along the long side of the room or the other way around.I wondered if you had any thoughts on this, since it is barely enough information.Thanks!

Oak hardwood is being installed in our home.There is a 3’x4′ area at the top of the steps before the hall runs to the left.We have to stop laying the boards for the step and start the hallway in the opposite direction.

If the house is already built, you need to run the flooring.When you turn the L, don’t try to change direction.Keep it moving in the same direction.

The kitchen, dining and living room are in the large open concept space that we are installing engineered wood floors in.The basic dimensions are 16 by 33.There is a French door to the deck on the right side of the kitchen and an entry door in the left corner.There is a hallway to bedrooms to the left of the rectangle.Do you think the direction would be most pleasing to the eye?Is it better to go in the same direction as the main floor for the hallway?

I think you can run the flooring in either direction in a room of that size.It might be easier to layout nice and straight in the 16′ direction.The hallway would probably follow the same path as the room.

I will be installing a hardwood floor on my second level.There is a balcony railing on each side of the stair case as you go up the stairs.I want to run my flooring parallel to the railings on the balcony.The railing, balusters and landing treads on the left, right and top of the stairs will be replaced.The wood flooring would run from the top of the stair landing tread down to the balcony railing.

What should I be concerned about?I don’t know where to start laying the flooring.

The concern would be the direction of the floor joists.You will want your hardwood boards to run in a straight line to give them proper support.

I will be laying a floating floor and would like to know how to transition between rooms.It would make sense to have the planks run in different directions.How would you handle this kind of transition?I think I have a good idea on how to do it, but I’m a little worried about the transition joint since there will be nothing to lock things together.

Ideally, you would like to have a couple of boards run the long direction within the opening and the width equal to the thickness of the wall to make a flush threshold in the doorway between the rooms.Allowing the wood to stop logically in each room gives a good look.tongues and grooves should be on the ends of your boards, but they may not fit together as you might think.You could end up with some cut edges that don’t have grooves.This is where advanced carpentry comes in.You can either cut in tongues or install biscuits to lock the boards together.An experienced floor installer knows how to do this.

I live in a concrete condo.The long living/dining area is immediately to your left after you enter the foyer.13 is at the widest point.There is a hallway down to the bedrooms halfway into this area.I wanted to run the floor in the main living area north to south, but then I would have theladder effect going down the hall.The wood will go the long way down the hallway if the flooring in the main living/dining area is east to west, as suggested by my contractor.Is my living/dining area large enough for this plan to work?Thank you for your time.

I think your room is large enough to allow you to run the flooring in either direction.You could change the direction of the flooring in the hallway.If you align the transition with the corners of the walls, it will work out well.

I decided to have the boards run in the main living/dining area and then switch direction down the hallway so they are running in a straight line.They are glueing down the wood so it won’t have to be a transition piece when they switch direction.

We are putting hardwoods in the house.The dining and hall are t-shaped.The boards are longer than the liv.The back part of the hall is the top of a t-shape.We have a dispute about whether to continue in the same direction, which will make the planks shorter in length, and require a lot more cutting.Is it the right way to lay the hall boards?

As you get into the “T” portion of the room, you will need to keep the boards running in the same direction.Unless you have a doorway in which to make a logical transition, any change in direction in the middle of a room will look odd.

I found this Q&A and every other site.I need to make a final decision on direction soon as I will be installing a floating floor here very soon.I know it is best to run the flooring with the floor, but it would mean a lot of waste and one hallway with many pieces of flooring.My house has a bit of an open floor plan.I don’t know what direction the flooring should go.Is it aesthetically pleasing or less money?

The floating floor could run in either direction if you have a good subfloor.The boards running the long direction in the room make the floors look better.Everything will look great if you make transitions at doorways.Don’t make a lot of direction changes or everything will look chopped up.You will be fine if you make it all look logical.

I was wondering if you could tell me what to do with the flooring that transitions from one room to another, like a bedroom coming off the living room and the boards being the same direction as the entry.Is it possible that they should be staggered as if the separate rooms weren’t there?The total length of a row would be close to 40 feet.Is it a good idea to add a separation piece at the entry to each room?

Adrian likes adding a separation piece at the door to the room.It helps define the room.


If you can’t see the floor plan, it’s a short but wide house with an entry leading to a great room that runs wide to the right.The bedroom is to the left of the den.

We are doing hardwood on a cement foundation on the entire first floor, but no baths.The model shows it going through the entry.We are thinking of doing it so that it goes down the hall and into the great room.What is your opinion?Thank you for the help.

Hey!It is wonderful that you offer assistance.We have an 80 year old strip oak that is coming to an end.We would like to put new engineered oak over the existing (perpendicular to the joists) and have had one installer tell us it was ok to go right on top and the other told us we had to change the direction of the old floor.Please advise.Thanks in advance!

It is too bad you have to cover the old flooring.One inch strips look great.The labor is higher with wider boards, so no one does it anymore.There are more boards to install.Do you have any options for repairing and refinishing the floors?

The new flooring can be run in any direction you want.If you were to install the new floor over a single layer of subflooring, the strength of the old floor would be in question.

I have a question about the direction of the floor in the living room.I would like to parallel run the floor.The joists run in the same direction as my longest wall.The subfloor is made of 1/3 plywood and a 1/4′′ underlayment.I believe they call it cross hatching or cross braces.Is this the same as blocking?Is it enough to run my floor in either direction?My kitchen is in the living room.I want to change the direction of the floor because the area is 10’x20′.Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

The cross bracing is called Bridging and it makes the floor stronger.It doesn’t help with the support of wood flooring.It does help if you have an additional layer of underlayment.That combined with the wide boards you are using for the flooring means you could probably get away with running the floor parallel to the joists.If you have areas of the floor that will get a lot of foot traffic, and if you can access it from below, you might want to consider installing a solid bridge under those spots.These should be a solid piece of 26 or larger that fits tightly between the joists, and is placed under the subfloor.It’s a good idea to use construction glue when you install it.

There are two long lines due to the upstairs plywood floorboards.I put up wallpaper on a wall of my staircase, but it still shoes through, what should I do to hide it?

I am not sure how the plywood above could cause lines to appear on the walls of the staircase.It sounds like the wallboard had cracks.This can happen if the wood behind the drywall has a high amount of water in it.This should be easy to fix.A good finish should be able to re-tape, spackle, and sand the wall to make it as new as possible.

Hi!I want to know if I should throw out the one level home.Would it make it look bigger?Thanks.

I don’t know if it makes the house look bigger.The same wood floor throughout the house will give you a nice design continuity.

The site is great.We are going to install hardwood.We are going to run the floor in our living and dining room in a straight line.There is a small fireplace next to the dining room.It is separated from the dining room by a wall.The dining room and living room have the same joists.We need to change the direction of the flooring in that room.The flooring is running parallel with the wall of the room.Do you think that the change in flooring direction, the separation elements, and the flooring running with the longer wall is a smart move?We are not all on the same page.One of us wants the direction to change and the other wants all the flooring in the house to run the same way.Thanks for your thoughts!

You can change the flooring direction with the help of the step down and partial wall.It won’t be a big deal.It’s the best way to run the flooring.If you add some blocking under the floor, you can keep the flooring running in the same direction.

You have a great website.Adding new hardwoods to the existing flooring is what we are doing.There are two rooms with existing flooring.There will be a transition between the front and back of the house with the change of direction.There are two attached short hallways to our great room, one with existing wood and the other with new wood to be installed.We probably need to run the wood N-S through the great room and into the hallway.What do you think?You will be able to see the length of the room when you enter the great room.I don’t know which way to go.We are installing on a slab.Thank you for any comments!!

I am not sure if I understand your room and hall arrangement.Since the room is not narrow, you can run the floor in either direction.As a general rule, you should try to run wood flooring in a certain direction.You don’t have to look straight down the seams.

You can change directions of wood flooring at doorways.It works out well.

In my family room, kitchen, formal dining and living rooms, I am installing hardwood floors.The kitchen family area has a long room and the flooring is east to west.The kitchen and formal dining are separated.The shaped room is the formal dining and living room.The long living and square shaped formal dining room are where you will first enter the room.Do you think it would be better to change the direction of formal dining from the rest of the area?

I want to make sure I make the right choice, the floor installers are here working on the installation.

I recommend keeping the flooring in the same direction when the rooms are open.

We are going to install wood floors in the living room, bedrooms and hallway.The hallway runs N-S and my husband wants the floor to run parallel to the hall.The floor should go E-W for aesthetic reasons.Is it wrong to lay flooring in the hallway if you have extra cuts and work to do?Even 3 years later, you still answer questions on your site.

Thank you, Amanda.I am happy that you found my website helpful.Tell your friends to visit.I want to build an audience.

Although in general, you would want the flooring to run the long direction in a hall, this is not a hard and fast rule.If the hall is not too narrow, it can look good going the short way.It’s easy to change the flooring direction at doorways.Make sure you have the right support for the wood floor.It will move when you walk on it if it sits on a single layer of plywood.

You can either run the flooring parallel to the floor joists or not.One way to support the wood floor is to install wood blocking between the joists.It is nearly impossible in existing houses due to pipes, wires, and ductwork.The framing might be difficult to access if the ceiling is finished.Adding an additional layer of plywood or OSB board over top of the subfloor is the second solution.The strength you need for the new wood flooring will be given by this added layer.If you have to adjust the bottom of some doors, it may be worth it.

My questions are about orientation.I’m putting floors in my house.I want them to be the same around the house.I enter the house on the short side of the living/dining area.The long side of the room was where the floors would run away from the front door.The hall is long and narrow, so the flooring will run parallel to the long side of the hall.I am worried that it will look choppy.I want to know if there is a place where I can find photos of an installation similar to mine that would show how my floors would look with two different orientations.I am using engineered floors.Thanks.

I don’t know of a place with that kind of photos.You can find the websites of wood flooring manufacturers at http://www.houzz.com.There are a lot of photos.

I can’t tell you the direction of the joists because they are three times longer than the width.

There is a long hallway from the entryway to the living and dinning rooms on the second floor.The family room is at the end of the ground floor.

A long hallway leads to a stairway with a master bedroom at the end and three bed rooms to the right.

I want to know which direction the hardwood should go.The grand floor entryway to the kitchen is already tiled.

The short dimensions of the plywood would be running parallel to the floor joists below.If you don’t see it, you can assume that the floor joists are in the opposite direction of the house.The leg of the 7 would probably have the floor joists running from one side to the other.

They are gluding down the ground floor because of the concrete and wood floor next to the tiles.

I am installing engineered wood floor in my living room.The new floor should be parallel to the joist.The room is long and wide.There are two layers of subfloor after removing the carpet.The bottom layer is made of plywood.The plywood is nailed to the particle board.The particle board should not be considered structural.I think it adds strength to the floor.Can I run the new floor parallel to the old one?

I agree with you on this.Particle board does not add much strength to the floor.By stiffening the layer of the subfloor, it does.Nominal strength is not what you need.You should be fine running the flooring parallel to the floor joists with this double thickness subfloor.

Extra wide engineered flooring is what we want to fit in our reception room.The french doors leading into the room are in the middle of the shortest wall and at the far end there are 2 fixed sidelights.

The floor joists run parallel with the longest wall, fixed to steel beams, to give increased headroom to the converted basement below.

The problem is that we can’t run the floorboards in the long direction you recommend without providing a substantial ply sub-floor.We were advised that 2 x layers of 3/4′′ timber flooring would affect the wet underfloor heating.Either choice seems problematic.

Jerry, do you think your in-floor heating system adds to the decision?Adding another layer of insulation would make your heating system less effective.We don’t want to do that.The wide plank of flooring will be the saving factor.With the floor boards being 9′′ to 10′′ wide, you would only have one board sitting on the ground.That doesn’t sound bad.The risk of this floor flexing is small.You will be safe running the flooring parallel to the floor joists.

It is important to check the wood flooring and the subfloor before installing the floor with an in-floor heating system.A reading of 6.5% is what you want.If you want to make sure you get an accurate average reading, you need to test the floor and the subfloor.

We are putting floors on the 2nd floor.The HW is parallel to the line of sight as we enter all the bedrooms.The length of the beds creates a bowling alley look.Our home is 25 years old.Is it a good idea to tear up the entire OSB sub floor to make it look better?Thanks a lot for your help.

The direction the floor ends up with is what I would recommend.When the bedrooms are furnished, the direction of the hardwood flooring will be unimportant.It’s more important to keep the floors clean.

Is it better to add 38 ply over the existing sub-floor or not?Thanks.

You can run the hardwood in any direction you want if you add the additional layer of plywood.The effect of the added floor thickness at steps and where the hardwood joins another floor surface should be considered.

We want to know what the best way to lay the engineered wood flooring is in the Dinning and Living room area.The boards should run parallel to the floor.

If you can, you would want to run the floor boards in a straight line to reduce the chance of floor squeaks.

I have hardwood on my hallway and will install it in the rooms.They have entrances that are diagonal to the hallway.If I align the planks parallel to the door entrance, it would be nicer for the room, but the entrance would have diagonal cuts.Thanks!

The wood floor in the rooms should be aligned with the walls of the room.You should install a flush threshold at the doorway to make a good transition from the diagonal boards in the hallway.There are boards across the door opening.The wall thickness should match the width of the board.You can run the floor boards in the room either parallel to the threshold or in a different direction.

The diagonal pattern of the hall can be continued through the rooms.That look may be more modern than you want.

In the upstairs hallway, we are installing engineered wood floors.To get to the first bedroom, you need to turn right at the top of the stairs, then right again to reach the second bedroom.It is an opening from the foyer to the second floor.If you look down from the upstairs level, you can see the living room on one side of the foyer, while the dining room is on the other side.My husband wants to change the direction of the wood floors with the upstairs hallways to run the long way in each section.Would it make sense to run the entire hallway in one direction, regardless of the turns, since we are laying the floors in the rooms you can see below?You will get the ladder to look for some sections.

I believe you could do this either way.Doing what your husband suggests might look interesting, but it would be a challenge for the installers and you would want to make sure you had proper support below the floor.The direction of the flooring on the first floor is not something I would worry about.

Bill, thank you for visiting the website.I have taken my first adventure into the world of Reno.I took the plunge after saving my money.A new high quality laminate floor was included in the basic updating.The materials are beautiful.It looks like it was laid parallel to the floor.The south wall has a fireplace.The floor is horizontal to that.The small house could have been better if the flooring had been laid in the right direction.The hallway has a line of sight.The boards are horizontal in the hallway.The repairs would be made by the contractor.I’m sure he would like to use the same wood.He would have to work with all the little pieces.I want him to make this right and fair.When I meet with him, I want to know what I’m talking about.It was for your advice.

The only suggestion I have for changing the direction of the flooring is to have the end joints staggered so that they don’t align from board to board.The lower grades of flooring do not have a lot of long boards.The casual observer would never notice that I looked okay.If the installer glues the laminate together, it can’t be removed without destroying it.Good luck.

26 T&G is running on the 26 foot length of the room with a 1/2′′ subfloor.We are installing bamboo.Is it possible to run it any way?Thanks.

Gary, that is a long way from floor to floor.You could run the flooring either way in a room of those dimensions.If you run the flooring parallel to the floor joists, you will want to install an additional layer of subflooring.Solid blocking between the floor joists would be a better solution.The area below the floor would have to be accessible to do that.

A wood floor that runs parallel to the joists is being removed and replaced with laminate flooring.As you walk into the living room from the front door, the floorboards are the same color as your view of the dining room and hallway.My husband thinks that the flooring should be staggered across the house.Is it the right way to run it?He thinks it would be stronger if it went across the floor.Can the hallway run in a different direction than the other two rooms?

With an existing hardwood floor below thelaminate, it really does not make a lot of difference which way the laminate runs in terms of strength.If your existing hardwood floor has high and low spots, running the new floor parallel to it might be the better way to go.Why do you want to bury an existing hardwood floor?The most damaged hardwood floors can often be repaired.A hardwood floor is more valuable than a laminate floor.

We plan to install a 3/8′′ engineered wood in our bedroom, but we don’t know if it should be stapled or Glued.There is a cement foundation.What should go under the floor?When we built our home, we put Wilsonart laminate, which has held up amazingly well, however under the flooring is just a thin blue plastic, and when you drop something it is extremely noisy.Maybe this is true, but we just want to make sure our new floor is as quiet as possible so we can redo the laminate with the same engineered wood we are installing in the bedroom.

You should check with the manufacturer if you think gluing is the better option.You don’t want to install it in a way that could cause problems and void the warranty.I think they have a customer service department.Tell them that the hollow sound is a problem.

The house I am putting down was built in the 1920’s.The house’s original subfloor is 3′′ wide and is thick with tongue and grooves.The planks run parallel to the floor.Should the hardwood be run parallel to the joists?Is it parallel to the subfloor?If I run the new wood in the same direction as the old one, I will have issues.If the flooring is run parallel with the joists, it will look better from a visual stand point.I want to know what is best over time.Thanks!

If you use a plank subfloor instead of plywood, you should be able to get the wood floor to lay smoothly.The strength of the wood flooring will be given by the plank subfloor.You will want to put a layer of red rosin paper on the floor.Most squeaks will be eliminated by it.

Let me see if I can make a statement and get some opinions.There are two rooms separated by a stair well.The basement is made of concrete.Here it is.

My two possible starting points would be: 1.The lower right corner is horizontal.The longest continuous wall is along the lower left corner.

Bill, I don’t have any questions.I wanted to say thanks for the answers.I used your responses to make a decision on which direction my floors should go.A website where someone responds to questions with detail and honest feedback is great.Thanks for your help!

You are welcome, Raegen M.Thank you for the nice note.Tell your friends to visit my site.The higher the number of people who visit it, the better.More people will be able to find it.

Does it matter what direction the floor is put down as it is a floating floor?

If the floor is installed over a proper subfloor and underlayment, it can be installed in any direction.The floor is not strong and needs full support.

To maintain structural integrity, hardwood flooring should be installed parallel to the joists.Where the hardwood floor is parallel to the stair case, what do you do when you approach the staircase?It wouldn’t be difficult if the stair case was straight, but this is not the case for me.How do you transition the hardwood running parallel with the step?

The edge of the step is parallel to the hardwood plank at the top of stairs.The floor boards would be moving as you step down the steps.The wood nosing on the edge of the wood floor would be the same as the other steps.It should be easy to do, it is a standard installation.

I want my floors to run from the front door to the back door.Do I need to install a transition or can I run it the full length?What is the best way to go without a transition?

You can run the full length without a transition strip.The joints at the end of the boards should be staggered.The end-to-end joints will not be visible.

I am in awe!You are awesome!Thanks for being so generous with your knowledge and design sense.I don’t have a question at the moment, but will be following your site to learn as much as I can.Thanks!Kim is from Pa.

We are installing plywood in an apartment.I don’t know which way the joists are running because our subfloor is plywood.Is there a pattern on the plywood subfloor?Thanks for your help.

The plywood is usually installed with an 8 foot direction running through it.You can use that as a clue.Hope you have a great new floor!

We are replacing the flooring in the older home with tile and wood.There are two bedrooms on one end of the floor plan.The wood flooring in our living room, hallway, dining room and both bedrooms are all in the same direction.The other end of the house is separated by the kitchen.The kitchen is attached to a short hallway that has an entry into a laundry room, then the hallway goes to the left and leads to 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on the right at the end.What is the best way to make the hallways and bedrooms look the same in the rest of the house?I made the wood run in the same direction but am worried it will look funny when the hall makes a turn.Suggestions are appreciated.Thank you!

Even though the hallway makes a bend, you can keep the flooring going in the same direction.I don’t think it will be noticeable.If you try to change the direction of the boards, you will notice it more.

Thank you for all of the information.I am installing bamboo in my house.I have a drawing of the floor plan.I can send you a PDF of it so you can give your opinion on flooring direction.I understand the length of room concepts, but I have some conflicting issues and don’t know where to go.I would prefer one direction, but may not have the money for more blocking.

I can’t help you with the layout of your wood flooring.I’m sure there are local architects and interior designers who can do that.Good luck with your project.

One of the hallways in the space is about 4’x42′.Would 42′ run be an issue?Someone told me that hardwood should not be run for more than 30 years.

The flooring could not run the entire 42 foot length.It does that on basketball courts and bowling alleys.There are end joints between the boards.There are those on every floor.

Good morning!I have a question that is not the same as the one above.We only have the original floor boards in the narrow galley kitchen.We want to lay wooden flooring in the kitchen and have gone for a grey stained look that is different from the original boards.The kitchen is open to the living area.We would have a lot of short boards running across the kitchen floor if we kept the original boards in the living area.There would be an area where they met the living area boards at a right angle if we ran them lengthways down the kitchen.Is that strange?Thanks a lot for your advice, the website is great!!

To make a border for the new flooring to end against, I would suggest putting one or two boards parallel to the old flooring.The two boards at the edge of the new flooring will be used as a flush threshold to end the old flooring.

I hope that helps.Help us grow our audience by telling your friends to visit our site.

When l have beams in the bathroom, which way should the wood be laid?

There are four rooms of our downstairs with wood flooring running in one direction.I want a new kitchen floor plank vinyl, but I was told the floor is not level and should run in the other direction.It will look odd to me.Should I place tiles or press them?Please help.!

Elaine doesn’t understand why the flooring direction has to change because the floor is not level.Ask if they can level the floor.If you have to change the direction of the flooring, it is a good idea to have them install an edge strip to visually close off the dead ends.Good luck.

I will have a wood to tile transition at the end of a hallway leading to an open kitchen.I don’t know if the boards should be cut an angle to meet tile or parallel to it.

Frank suggests running one board parallel to the tile edge and ending the other boards against it to make the cleanest transition between tile and hardwood.

If you follow the rule of laying the floor as the eye follows, there is a long shot view down to the other end of the house.There is a long dining area to the right of the living space that is free from doorways.It is an open concept.Is it possible to change the direction of the wood flooring?

The old carpenter’s rule was to install wood so that your line of sight was parallel to the joints.If you were looking down the seam, you’d see flaws that wouldn’t stand out.The more important thing is to make sure your floor boards run in a straight line.This makes the floor non-squeaking.If the joists allow it.It sounds like you could change the direction of the flooring.The final result will be better if you lay out a few loose boards in the pattern you are considering.

We have a house that was built in 1926 with a 6 inch subfloor installed parallel to the floor joists, then an original fir floor with nasty tiles on it.We want to put red oak on top of this, but the floor is not straight.The floor will be running short of the room if we follow the rule of laying the new floor parallel to the joists.The livingroom is 1225 and the long direction goes through a tiled kitchen and into the back den which has wood floors already running the same direction.Is installation direction still important with all of those layers?We can’t install blocking because we have a finished basement.If the floor isn’t installed long way, the room will look busy.

You don’t have to worry about laying the new flooring because you have plenty of support for the flooring.Good luck with your project.

It seems clear that the options are lay close to each other.The install area I am looking at is close to both options.

I am curious if blocking is as good as a subpar option.Outside of blocking being slower, is it still the better option?Is it just aesthetic at that point?

The way I want to run the boards is opposite the way the upstairs runs.The downstairs stairs are opposite the upper level stairs and flooring because we have a bent L staircase.What do you think about the same direction in that case?

If we run the correct way, we would have a long living room and a short dining room.Is it okay to run the dining room in a straight line?How should we cover the raise?Is it about 6 inches?

Cheryl, you can run the floors in any direction.They are not nailed to the floor and are more flexible than hardwood.If your subfloor is not completely smooth and level, you should install an additional layer of plywood to cover the joints so your floor will end up as level as possible.

My front door opens into my family room.Both formal living and formal dining can be found on the left and right of my entry way.The family room is on the same wall as the formal living and dining areas.The back wall of the house has a long view from the front door.The family room runs in the opposite direction of the entry.In other words, the floors in the family room would look better if they ran their full length and the best view was from the front door.What is the best solution, just maintain the straight through look and continue with the short run of the family room, or transition at the entry way end to draw out its best views for its long look?

You can run the flooring either way in rooms that are not too skinny or long.Once you have your furniture in place, the visual difference is minimal.I think making the flooring solid without squeaks is the most important factor.Unless it is in a narrow hallway, I would always recommend running the flooring parallel to the framing below.You probably don’t have a choice in existing houses.The framing is in place.

I have an open plan kitchen and a hallway which is 6x 2m and runs in the direction of the long wall.The kitchen floor will be at right angles if I run with the long wall in the hall.Is it ok for the hall to be laid in the direction of the long wall even though the kitchen floor runs in a different direction?

Since it doesn’t depend on the structure below, you can run it in either direction.You can change directions at a doorway.If the change occurs out in the open and not at a doorway, I would suggest keeping it going the same way.

There is a similar issue we have.The main area is visible from the front door.There is a glass wall along the long side of the main area.I think the flooring should run the long (30 ft) direction of the room but that will force the narrow entry way that dumps into the great room to go the wrong way.It will look choppy if we do a transition between the rooms, but I can’t think of a better way to make it look right.

If the change happens at a doorway or other logical location, you can change directions easily.I agree with your installer that running the boards in the hallway will give you aladder effect.The underlying structure is the most important consideration.It’s important that you have proper support for the floor plank.

The wood plank tile is in an open area.There is a 9X7 step down entry of 12” marble tile on the front door.The large open room has a raised tile floor.The living and dining areas are separated by marble.Which way should I run the plank in the large room and the smaller room?The symbols show the relation of the areas.

You have the option of running the wood in either direction in rooms that are not too narrow.It is important to run the wood in a straight line.The risk of having squeaky floors will be greatly reduced.Many boards are only supported by the plywood subfloor when running parallel to the framing below.You will have noisy floors if this is used.

Someone is going to install hardwood floors on the second story of my home.I will be doing all the bedrooms.There are different colors of furniture in each room.Is it better to pick one color wood floor and run it through every room or choose different colors for each room?I plan to stain the wood and install a runner after removing the rug from the staircase.I have concerns about a pine staircase, despite being told that capping the existing stairs with a wood kit is not very attractive.The stairs and banister should be darker than the floor.Suggestions will be appreciated.You really enjoy your work!Thanks.

Annette, it is best to use the same wood flooring throughout the house.The stairs are made of pine.Pine can get damaged more easily than oak.It might not be worth it to replace the stairs.

Do I run all panels the same way?It would make the areas seem larger and less busy.

I am in the process of buying a house.When the home was framed to the third-story, I was able to enter.At the top of the steps, there were two pieces of OSB that were sitting over a bridge.The OSB had a slight hump and was sitting further back.At this point, I think the floor is slightly raised.Due to the steps, this truss only runs halfway across the home.There was a 1/2 at each end of the board that I centered over the peak.The builder was brought to his attention by the call.He said the OSB must have gotten wet.I told him that he wouldn’t be able to lay the hardwood over the peak without something being done.He said he would bring it down.I had another walk-through a month later and brought him to my attention again.He said he would grind it down.I don’t think it’s high enough to grind down.I am very concerned about what will happen at that peak in the floor because there will be 3-inch wide wood glue down over the OSB.The stress of being laid over the peak could cause the wood to come loose from the glue.Is it possible that something can be easily fixed?Is it necessary for the truss to be fixed prior to continuing the building of the home?The builder was not worried about it.I would think a wood installation wouldn’t like this part of the floor.

It is difficult to say without seeing it.The hardwood flooring installation could give you the best opinion.The procedure of grinding down raised edges is standard.There are limits to that.Usually the grinding is for a small rise.Good luck with this.

Bill is laying vinyl plank flooring in the house.It is built on a concrete slab.There are 2 hallways going off at a 45 degree angle from the front entrance.The hallway does not have a door or frame.One hallway is 4 metres long and bends 45 degrees before opening onto the main living areas.I plan to lay the planks in the same direction because the house runs longer than it is wide.The whole house is length ways.Should I do this in the hallways, which would give a somewhat staggered ladder effect, or change the direction of the plank in line with the entrance and hallways?They form an open shape.The entrance is 3.5m W and 1.5m D.

Alex said it was hard to say without seeing the situation.If you have a flooring meeting at an open angle, you might want to place a board or two at the intersection.You could run the boards the length of the hall, but not up to this board.It would make connections easier.

The L-shaped house we have is a ranch style.The kitchen is on the L-shaped part of the first floor.When you enter from the front door, we would run our hardwood the length of the house.The kitchen is on the right side of the house, and we want to make it look like it runs from the front to the back.The hardwood and tile would be up.Is this weird?

The best way to join hardwood with tile is at a 90 degree angle.If you like the way loose tiles and boards are laid down, you might want to install them that way.

Do you think the direction of the boards should be laid on the concrete garage pad?The room is 11 by 22 feet.The door is on the other side.Structural ceiling beams run over the 11 foot span.The walls are not true because it is a sloped garage pad.As a result, it has been suggested.The 45 is more expensive and time consuming.I don’t know if the latter option will look right.I would prefer to lay it along the 22 foot length but have been told that it will only highlight the floor slope and wall inconsistencies.What do you think should be done?

David, why don’t you level the floor before you install the finished floor?If you wanted to make the top level, you could install the sleepers in the sloped direction, install a subfloor, and then put the floor on top of that.It would be worth the extra cost to have the finished room floor level.Things will not slide off the table tops.If you do this, I recommend using construction glue to stick the sleepers down to the floor to reduce the chance of squeaking.To keep the floor warm in winter, you might want to install foam board insulation between the sleepers.

It’s best to run the flooring in the long direction in a room.The direction of the floor will not hide or highlight the slope if you don’t level it.Good luck with your project.

It has been suggested to lay the floors at a 45 degree angle or a shorter distance across the foot span.

The slope of the floor might be affected by the laying of a diagonal floor.I think it would be worth the effort to level the floor before spending money on a new floor.

There are different types of flooring in the kitchen and dining area.The color of the flooring is very different.The new flooring couldn’t be matched to the old one in the other room.The transition strip is high and poor.The floors look nice, but they are next to each other.The back wall of the two areas has a counter hanging above it.The passage way between the rooms is made up of an area about 40 inches wide and 22 inches tall by the end of the counter and the front wall.

Is there a way to make a transition that improves the look?The cost of replacing the floors could be saved.

Leon said it was hard to answer without seeing the situation.Maybe you could install a transition strip of another material.It could be a foot or two wide.The transition could appear to be planned.Picking the right material for the transition strip will be the trick.It would have to be compatible with both sides.

Leon, that sounds difficult.You would need a stable floor underneath the new flooring to make a good installation.A good flooring person might be able to suggest a way to do what you suggest.

We will be installing flooring.I don’t know the direction of the floor joist.There is a right turn to the hallway from the front door.The hallway will be running from side to side instead of down the hallway if I am able to install the flooring at the entrance.Is it okay to install in a hallway?Thanks for the advice.

The installation can make the hallway look like aladder.If you have a runner rug in the hall, you can get away with it.You might not like it if it is just bare wood.It is not the end of the world if you have no other choice.

I did not see a question about the lay of the wood floor in connection with the fireplace.The flooring should be parallel to the fireplace.Maybe it is a matter of choice.The rocks around the subfloor are jagged.We chose engineered wood.If we run the wood parallel to the fireplace, it will have to be scribed.If we ran the ENDS of each piece of wood into the fireplace, it would look better, but we are breaking two rules about the length of the room.What should we do?Is there a solution that doesn’t involve scribing?Do you like a straight line of mortar?Is it a good idea to have the length of the one piece of flooring scribed?Thank you, Jayne.

There is one answer to all of the questions that you have.You should always install a picture frame of wood flooring around a fireplace if it has jagged rocks or smooth edges.The wood flooring can run in either direction.The floor boards that are parallel to the picture frame boards will join side to side if the wood flooring is not mitered at the corners.The age-old carpenter’s rule is that you don’t leave “end grains” uncovered in wood.

It is difficult to get a clean scribing against rocks.I would prefer to install the picture frame with a straight edge and then mortar in the gaps to match the stone mortar.This is similar to how tile joins hardwood flooring.The wood shrinks as the mortar cures.There is a small crack between the mortar and the wood.It will grow and shrink with the seasons.If it’s bothering you a lot, you could use sanded caulk in a color that matches the mortar.

The floor boards should run parallel to the stone edges to create a picture frame.The floor boards can be brought into the picture frame boards by scribing them to the irregular stone.That’s how you get a clean connection.

I need advice on which direction to go to install 10mm vinyl plank flooring.I understand that walking in the front door is better than running back and forth on the floor.My issue is the floor joist run the same way as you walk into the front door, a hallway is to the right and the dining room is straight ahead.The kitchen is left of the dinning room.The front and back of the kitchen are open except into the dinning room.If you walk in front door running left to right, it will run long ways into the living room, kitchen and den, but it won’t look good.The other direction would run parallel to the long walls.Thank you for any suggestions.Lr.

The direction of a vinyl plank floor isn’t as important as the floor joists.It’s best to run it in the direction you want it to go.It’s usually in the long direction of the room.

The dog trot house I have is very old and has been enclosed on each end.It runs from north to south.The back two rooms are east-west by 14′.Two rooms are connected by French doors.Two rooms are older than the other two so the joists run in different directions.The sub floors do the same.The main concern is the visual effect of the sub floor with plywood on top.The look from the front and back doors, the main entrance doors to each room, and the look through the French doors confuses me.The rooms are connected by doors.Which way should the new flooring run if it runs in the same direction as the old?Is it a good idea to change directions and transition that with flushesh holds?Thank you.

As you enter the room, it’s a good idea to run the flooring parallel to the sightline.You will not be looking into the gaps between the boards.You will need to choose the best option for the situation.

Bill, as you enter my front door, the entry and hall are travertine, with a marble inlay.From the front door, you can see a step down to the (squarish) living room and windows beyond.Since the wood floors won’t come directly off the front door, should I still run vertically if we were flooring the hallway too?

Suzanne, first check the way the floor joists run to make sure they don’t cause problems.If you notice any wavering or not quite straight lines, I would suggest running the flooring in a certain direction so you don’t see into the seams between the planks.

I am getting hardwood flooring for my family room.My wife and I like a beautiful Hickory that I found.The room is 20 x 15 and the boards are going to be sunken in the room.The Family Room is a step down from a narrow hallway with oak hardwood that runs parallel to the proposed flooring.There will be a noticeable contrast between the Family room floor and the hallway floor, rather than a similar color wood which might look like a poor match.I have a question about the width of the plank.I think personal preference may play a part.I am leaning towards the plank.I could get the same wood in 7 or 8 inch lengths.The overall size of a room might suggest a width which would look more pleasing to the eye than another width.The species of flooring would be a factor.It was rustic, formal.I think a wide plank would look more rustic and casual than a barn floor would.I think there is a point where too wide of a plank wouldn’t look right in a room.Is there a rule of thumb on plank width?The wood we are considering is a Hand-scraped 5” Hickory with a beautiful, darkish hue, and rustic look.Thank you.

Gregory, it’s true that personal preference has a lot to do with this decision.If you prefer the wider plank, your room is large enough to handle it.Good luck with your project.

There were many comments.If this question is asked again it will be so sorry.I want to install hardwood on the second floor of my house.It should be installed parallel to the floor joists.When I get to the hallway, the floor will be shorter than the wall.Is it okay to change direction in the hallway and run the flooring parallel to the floor joists?

You could change direction in the hall.It would probably be the best way to run the planks.You should make sure that you have enough support between the joists so that the plank that doesn’t sit over the slobber when stepped on.It’s a good idea to find a logical place to change the flooring direction.

I live in a condo with an open floorpan.The engineered wood floor was ruined by a flood from an upstairs apartment.14 X 29 is the largest living space.The room looks like a bowling alley because the flooring is installed vertically.I was wondering if it was better to install diagonal or horizontal in the apartment.I bought enough engineered flooring to install diagonal but am having second thoughts because of the complexity and the fact that all rooms are connected and I am not sure how they would handle hallways, closets, etc.I would appreciate it if you could help me make a decision.Thank you.Bob.

Bob, if you start running the floor in a diagonal way, you should put it in the closets.You can install a flush threshold at the doorways to allow you to move vertically or horizontally in the hallways.If you were to sell the unit, diagonal flooring might not be appealing to the next owner because it looks a bit contemporary.If you plan on staying there a while, this may not be a problem.

I have a question for William.I am installing engineered wood flooring in my condo.The man who was going to install it broke his hand.The original installer said it was best to float the floor.The second installer said that it was better to glue down the floor than to float it.He wants to glue sound proof on the concrete and wood over the soundproofing material.He said he would use special glue to deal with any issues from concrete.Which is better?It would be easier to fix a floating floor if there was another flood in the unit.I could use your advice on which direction to go because the price is the same.Thank you.Bob.

Bob, if your concrete slab is on the ground, there could be a problem.It would not be a problem if it is above the ground.Glued-down installations feel solid to me.I don’t know how they do it with a board under the wood.It should work if you can get a good bond between the layers.

My husband and I are going to lay wood laminate flooring in our living room on our concrete floor.2118.The boards should run parallel from the longest part of the room.One side of the living room has a tile floor that is 21 feet high and my husband is afraid it will rock if he steps on it.Can we lay it the way it should look, or will it be a problem?Sincerely, The Novotny’s.

Sorry to be slow in answering.You could run the boards in either direction in a room that is nearly square.I would suggest that you lay the boards in a way that will allow the board to run along theseam with the tile.If you have tile meeting a long edge of a board, it will be easier to transition to the tile.If you choose to run the wood in the direction that would give you a lot of ends against the tile, the installers should install a long board and bring the rest of the floor boards up to meet the transition board.You will get clean transitions if you do that.

My contractor says I can run the flooring I want even though the floor is in one direction.Is that correct?Is there anything to consider?

Richard is correct.It sounds like you have an older house with a stronger subfloor.Good luck with the floor.

Hi!I want to lay laminate on the main level of my house, so I wanted to get your thoughts on how to do it, and where to start.There is a slab on the main level.I have one area that is completely open to the living room, kitchen, and dining area and then there is a large open entry way that leads to another area.There is a wall to wall brick mantel in the family room that spans the entire width of the room.There is a patio door in the middle of the family room.There is a front door in the corner of Area A.The boards would end up being parallel to the longest wall in the family room if I ran them parallel.The opening into the family room is the longest wall in area A.I have more to think about when I decide how much to cut off the initial boards.The wall opposite the long wall in area A is not straight since the flooring extends into the stairway going upstairs, the basement, and the closet.I went to the fireplace after wrapping the entry way into the family room.I would have to make sure there were no short width boards at the opposite wall in area A and B if the floor was done in parallel to the shortest wall.Where to start the flooring and how to run it?

This is too complicated to answer in the comment section.The general advice I give you is that flooring should be laid in the longer direction of the room.You could choose either direction if the room is not really narrow.It’s a good idea to lay the flooring from the point where you usually enter the room.This way you won’t be looking in the same direction.

It has been very helpful that you have covered this from many angles.I have one more consideration that I wasn’t able to glean from your responses.I am putting travertine into the kitchen and utility room of my 2500 sq ft ranch style home and carpet into each of the 4 bedrooms.Oak flooring will be used in the remaining rooms.The layout is similar.As you walk through the front door, you are immediately in the 20 x 27 ft living room.The sun room is the same width as the living room and is at the far end of the house.The hallway is to the right of the TV room when you step through the front door.I had the floor re-leveled and had 2 layers of plywood installed.I should be free to lay in the floor according to your descriptions based on this last point.I am going to walk in the front door with the flooring in line with my viewpoint.The effect will be seen in the TV room, Sun room and first part of the hallway.The Living Room boards should run parallel to the front wall and fireplace based on the size of the room.My last question.The hallway has a reverse ‘F’ on it.The horizontal bars of ‘F’ are appropriate for the living room, but what should be done with the other two portions of the hallway that change direction?I should change the direction of the boards for the portions of hallway that are not visible from the living room, as well as lay in the same direction as all the other rooms.

I wouldn’t change the direction of the flooring for the two short sections of hallway.Changing directions can call for more attention to be paid to them.

I am putting down engineered board on an L shaped corridor and I need your opinion on the best way to run the board.I’m concerned that if the corridor is laid across, there will be a lot of boards and joints and how will it look?

The “awaiting moderation” note means that comments don’t go live automatically until we approve them.You would be shocked by some of the mail.

You can change directions at the turn in the hallway.Let the first segment of the plank run all the way to the end wall in the hall’s first portion and then start the second segment on the hallway floor.The side-most plank of the main hallway has dead ends on it.

We bought a house at the beach.When you walk in the front door, there is only one long room with windows overlooking a canal.The galley kitchen is to the right.There are hardwood floors that are about 2” wide.It looks like a bowling alley when you walk in.We are installing wide board floors.I want them to be horizontal so the room doesn’t look long and the kitchen is not chopped up.Everyone is trying to talk me out of it.I would appreciate it if you could give me some thoughts.

Ayme, I think you can lay those boards cross-wise.It sounds like the room is wide enough to prevent theladder effect.

I want to install new hardwood floors on top of my existing ones.Is it necessary to install perpandicular to the hardwood?

No matter which direction the floor planks go, I would think that 3/4′′ hardwood flooring has plenty of support for your wood floors.

Thank you for the knowledge, Bill!I read through everything and have a question that I can’t quite answer, as there are many competing factors.

We are working on the details of a new home.The home is not very wide but the lot is deep.The main priority is to lay the floor plank by plank.The hallways would look good if we ran the floor plank lengths of the house, as opposed to short/stubby.

The great room isn’t laid in its ideal direction because the first floor hallway terminates at it.The great room opens up to a wood covered patio that spans the entire width of the home and is therefore much wider than it is long.If the planks in the covered patio matched the ones on the great room, they would be laid across the shorter dimensions of the patio.

If we ran the floor boards parallel to the joists in the great room and covered patio, there were two small steps that could provide a nice opportunity to transition.I think we would need the wood blocking to make that work.

In this case, what would you do?Is it possible for the structural engineer to add wood blocking throughout the great room and outdoor patio to allow the transition to the floor board layout?Adding layers of subfloor raises the height/thickness of the floor itself, so does it make sense to add wood blocking like that?

Do you want to add all of this wood blocking and laying part of the flooring parallel to the floor joists in the great room and patio?Is it possible to add all the wood blocking, avoid the transition at the steps into the great room, and just run everything parallel to the floor joists?

The boards would be consistent with your view direction in the entryway if they were run parallel to the joists.

The great room is square shaped, but the covered patio is much wider than it is.This wouldn’t be a problem at all, as it’s outside, and also would be following the natural transition where doors are.We are considering another option.Thanks!

When the room is more than ten feet wide, I don’t worry about the direction of the wood floor.You won’t be able to see the whole thing at once if you have enough furniture and a rug.The rooms don’t usually suffer from the “ladder” effect.I don’t worry about the direction of the interior floor flooring.It is possible to limit the number of butt-end joints by running the deck in the short direction.If you want to avoid butt-end joints completely, use deck boards that are long enough to go across the entire deck.

The top of the blocking would be near the floor joists.There wouldn’t be any additional thickness of the floor.

My home had hardwood in it, but we took it out along with the tile and laminate that was attached to it.The first floor is shaped like a T, with the garage cutting into the shape of the house.The front room has hardwood that runs parallel to the longest wall.The joists change direction as I move towards the back of the house.

The boards would run parallel with the joists if I ran the hardwood directly into the back room.I want it to look good, but I don’t want to run parallel with the joists.

Changing the direction of the boards in the back room would be better for the structure.I don’t want the house to look chopped up because you can see straight through when you walk in the entrance.

Do I keep my boards running in the same direction or do I need to turn them?

The boards will be parallel in the back room if I keep them in one direction.

If you have a strong subfloor, you could run the flooring parallel to the joists.When the floor boards are only supported by the plywood subflooring, there are problems.The floor boards are flexible.You won’t have to worry about that if you add a layer of subflooring.Adding wood blocks between the joists would give the floor boards something to bear on.blocking under the areas where the most frequent foot traffic is going to be is a possibility if the entire floor is not accessible from below.

Adding a flush, wider plank of another species of wood is an option if you have to change directions.In my house, we added a new room next to an existing room and the underlying framing changed direction.A problem was turned into a feature.

Thank you for the information.I have a T & G yellow pine subfloor that runs parallel to large white oak beams.I would like to run my 5′′ wide T & G quarter and rift sawn 3/4′′ white oak floor in the same direction as the subfloor planks, but I need to have a layer of plywood between them.Will this cause a height problem at the top of my stairs?I don’t know if I should lay the floor in a straight line.That would be disappointing.

If the flooring is tongue and grooves, it will work if it is in the same direction as the subfloor.The flooring should act as a unified layer once locked together with the tongue and grooves.One seam aligning with a seam in the subfloor is quite low since the flooring is two different widths.I think you can remove the plywood layer.It’s a good idea to put a layer of red rosin paper on the floor.The paper can help.

I live in a home that is mostly glass.It has an open floor plan of 700 square feet for the kitchen, living, dining andden.The rest of the space has a tongue and grooves ceiling.Just off the kitchen there is an outdoor ceiling.Should the wood floors follow the same path as the ceilings?I want to know if the floors should run parallel to the large kitchen island that faces the long part of the home.The running bond of exterior stone work runs opposite of the t&g ceiling, so it’s best to match it with the ceiling.

In wide open rooms, you can run the flooring in either direction.You don’t need to match the ceiling board direction or the exterior stone direction.The surfaces are detached from the floor.The direction of the kitchen island is unimportant.

I have a concrete floor which I plan to put hardwood flooring throughout the living and dining rooms, foyer, two adjoining family rooms and kitchen, laundry and bedroom off of the kitchen.It is a large ranch style house.My contractor is trying to decide which way to run the hardwood.The dining room is to the right of the living room in the foyer.There is a doorway into the family room.I have hardwood in the family room that runs from the doorway across the length of the two family rooms to the back wall.As you walk into the family room from the foyer, you have a doorway to the kitchen at the right.I had 25 years of vinyl wood-style plank flooring that ran across the long eat-in kitchen from the doorway.There is a doorway on the family room wall that runs from the front of the house to the back and looks into the middle bedroom.I don’t know if I should run the hardwood straight across from the living room through the foyer and into the dining room, which would make the hallway to bedrooms look like a ladder, or if it should be done the other way around.The wood at the front door gave a line of site all the way across two family rooms to the staircase in the second family room and the windows on the back wall.The second half of the kitchen is an eat-in area because the cabinets and appliances are in a U shaped section across from the dining room.You can see the laundry room door from the family room in the kitchen.There is an extra bedroom at the back of the kitchen.The eat-in kitchen area and laundry room are in the same area as the garage.The rooms are large.The first family room goes from the kitchen to the bedroom hallway.There is an additional family room.Hope this makes sense!

There is not enough maple wood for a diagonal in my hallway, which was laid 9 years ago.At the living room and hall intersection entry the angel left the wood at the hall entry at a diagonal due to the circular shape of the room.There isn’t enough wood to finish the job in my living room.Which direction should the wood go?There are concrete floors with cork and plywood.If you need pictures, have them.

Unless a room is particularly narrow and will not have rugs or furniture, and if the appearance of the floor is the only consideration, you can run the flooring either direction.The biggest issue with wood framed floors is the potential for squeaking if floor boards run parallel to floor joists.There is no issue with a concrete floor.

My question is about installing different widths of HW that will be touching end to end.There is a breezeway that leads to our living room.We couldn’t get the carpet in the same width as the breezeway because they no longer carry such a narrow width.The maple will be 4 1/2 inches.In a small area, the HW will touch each other end to end.I thought we should lay it in the opposite direction so that it looks intentional, but after reading the importance of running the HW with a transition piece in between, I think we can do it the same way as the other HW.The breezeway wood has aged for 15 years, so it looks different than the new wood.Is it better to lay the new HW on top of the old one with different widths next to each other and risk an awkward appearance?Should we go in the opposite direction?Adding to the wood blocking is not an option.

I was going to lay the floors long ways down the large and open living room/dining area, but I am not sure of the direction.What are you thinking?The flooring is going to be in the whole house.

You could lay the flooring in either direction in the large room.The floor boards should be parallel to the floor joists to give it more stability.The best way to avoid theladder effect is to lay the floor boards in the long direction.Adding some blocking between the joists to support the floor boards that are on the subfloor only and not over any joists is something that should be considered.

Hello.The front and back doors of our house are on the long wall.We are going to install flooring in the basement.The front door of the house has sight lines straight to the back of it, so we didn’t get a bowling alley effect when we walked into it.The room in the basement is 30 feet long by 15 feet wide and has doors and windows on the wall.Someone is suggesting that we run the laminate north to south in the opposite direction of the upper floor to make the room look wider.It would seem odd to have the flooring running in different directions.Thanks for your feedback.

I don’t think anyone would compare the direction of the wood floor from one level to the next.You can run the flooring in either direction in those large rooms.The direction of the flooring becomes less important once furniture is in the room.

I am installing engineered bamboo on the whole first floor, except for the raised entry foyer.The foyer is 10’x14′ and steps down just one step into a 22′ long x16′ wide great room ahead of you, and also has a step down on the right leading down a narrow hallway before heading into the kitchen.The end of the home has a great room.The great room is to the right of the dining room.The dining room and kitchen can be found on the east side of the floor layout.The contractor wants me to put the floor in this raised foyer and hallway parallel to the front door on the 1st floor.I was challenged to wrap my head around the suggestion.Would love to hear what you have to say!

Doug thinks what he is suggesting would work well.The hallway is important since you want the boards to run in the long direction so you don’t get a “ladder” effect.It is a general rule that if you enter the room you should run the flooring parallel to the line of sight.The rule would be overruled by the “avoid the ladder” rule in narrow rooms.The view of the entire floor will be interrupted by rugs and furniture in large rooms.