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Thread: Which direction to lay hardwood floors?

  1. #1
    Super Member CindyA's Avatar
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    Which direction to lay hardwood floors?

    My sister is coming to help me install a new floor in a bedroom, either a Pergo type floor, or possibly hardwood. If we're successful I want to do the entire house. I've always had wall to wall carpet. Which directions should the planks go, Plan A or Plan B? I think it should be Plan A, but won't that make the hall look like a bowling alley?
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  2. #2
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    I think it works best on high traffic areas to be on the length of the board. If you put them crosswise everyone one of the cracks is going to pick up dirt as well as shift the boards from walking.

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Traditionally, all rooms are laid the same direction ... and Plan A would be traditional.

    Like quilting, why feel you have to keep with tradition!

    I too was worried about a bowling alley effect when I was restoring a 150 yo home with a long upper hallway. To solve that problem, we laid the strips on the bias ... plus it added interest to the other rooms.

    I loved the look .... and we had many compliments when others saw the results.
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  4. #4
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    From everything I've read on Pergo, laminate, hardwood, etc., the boards should go whichever is the longest length of the room, not sure I explained it well though, so if the longest length of the room goes east and west, then that's what direction the new flooring should go, and it should also say that in the directions for installing the flooring.

  5. #5
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pocoellie View Post
    From everything I've read on Pergo, laminate, hardwood, etc., the boards should go whichever is the longest length of the room, not sure I explained it well though, so if the longest length of the room goes east and west, then that's what direction the new flooring should go, and it should also say that in the directions for installing the flooring.
    I agree with this also. Another thing is if you lay the boards like they are going in example A it gives the appearance that the room is bigger.
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    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    From EHOW.COM - my underlines and bold type
    Instructions



      • 1Lay the planks at right angles to the floor joists or at a 45 degree angle to the joists, unless the subfloor has been reinforced. Flooring parallel to the joists on a non-reinforced floor will dip down over time


      • 2Run your hardwood planks in the same direction that traffic moves. If you install flooring perpendicular to traffic flow, it causes a sense of blockage. Flooring generally runs the long way in a hallway, for instance.


    In our house the boards are perpendicular to the floor joists and run the long way in the hallway.
    Similar to your Plan A. #2 above talks about running the planks in the hallway in the direction that traffic moves.


    Nan

    Edited to add - you may just want to read the whole page! Haha!
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5802277_deci...ood-floor.html


    Last edited by quiltinghere; 04-28-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i read some time ago that the boards should be laid in the direction of the windows... sometimes that means that the hallway will be in a bowling alley direction If the windows are in different directions, then choose the direction of the living room windows.
    Nancy in western NY
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  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I agree with quiltinghere. Our hall boards run the long way. They all run that way, joists run side to side, hardwood runs lengthwise. What I have read and always heard. I would look at the joists.
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  9. #9
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Ask at the place where you are buying the boards - they can help you.
    Nikki in MO

  10. #10
    Senior Member leakus's Avatar
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    We had just installed laminate in the entire house and the installer said he had to start from an exterir wall. Seems like these are better squared. He chosse to start on the Master Bedroom - ours is a split plan- and kept going.
    I love it .
    :-( I wish I was a full time quilter!
    Andrea (Margate, FL)

  11. #11
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    I've lived in more houses with real hard wood floors then carpet and even the house I live in now is over 100 yrs old and the planks run from the front of the house to the back. So if that inset in your drawing -area without lines- is the houses front door then drawing B would be the correct plan

  12. #12
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    When we had our Bambo flooring done we used your plan A. That's the way they put it in. If it is done right you will not have any dirt in between the cracks. they are all sealed.

  13. #13
    Super Member kydeb's Avatar
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    We've built 2 houses with hardwood floors. The boards should run opposite of the floor joists for structural reasons. It may not be the way you think looks best - but it will be the best in the long run!
    Debbie in Kentucky
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  14. #14
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    Placing the boards in a linear fashion give the rooms length. The rest of the rooms should be the same. It's ok for the hall to look like a bowling alley. Most halls are long and that is usually how most people want. Just make sure the rest of the rooms follow suit.

  15. #15
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CindyA View Post
    My sister is coming to help me install a new floor in a bedroom, either a Pergo type floor, or possibly hardwood. If we're successful I want to do the entire house. I've always had wall to wall carpet. Which directions should the planks go, Plan A or Plan B? I think it should be Plan A, but won't that make the hall look like a bowling alley?
    It depends on which way the light from the windows hits the floors. I prefer that the boards don't run the same way as the light source. For some reason this shows ALL the imperfections - and there will be one or two.

  16. #16
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    You want to lay your floor in such a way as to have the fewest cuts. If that is the case, you must take into consideration the size of the rooms and the length of the boards.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  17. #17
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    We did ours like Plan A -- wide beveled plank laminate and it still looks great -- and has not come apart -- after 4 years. We, too, have a long hallway and I worried, like you, about the planks going lengthwise. But it looks right and -- by the way -- is much faster and cheaper (no waste).

    So: Plan A, imho.

  18. #18
    Senior Member roguequilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    I agree with this also. Another thing is if you lay the boards like they are going in example A it gives the appearance that the room is bigger.
    that is what i thought too. had a professional do my living room floor. he said by laying the boards cross way of the length of room, 12' x 17', it gives illusion of being larger. he convinced me, i let him do it his way --- he was right. my little living room seems larger as i walk in and the boards are in direction away from me -- crossways of the 12' foot width. i love it.
    the rogue quilter - in from wandering in the sun and snow with camera in hand.

  19. #19
    Super Member Slow2Sew's Avatar
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    Not sure where you enter the house. We laid our planks vertical to the front door to give a more expansive look when you are entering the house. That meant the planks in the hallway had to be horizontal, but after seeing the layout from the front door, that's still what I preferred.

  20. #20
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    Hardwood flooring has to be laid ACROSS the floor joints so you can nail into them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pieces2 View Post
    Hardwood flooring has to be laid ACROSS the floor joints so you can nail into them.
    We just had our carpet replaced with hard wood and this is what we were told as well. The joists support the flooring.

  22. #22
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    A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. #23
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Our scenario is different - we are on a slab so floor joists don't apply to our situation. We have engineered wood floors. They run like Plan A
    Alyce

  24. #24
    Member Gloryb's Avatar
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    The first answer is, if you have solid hardwood, the wood has to be run in a particular direction. The hardwood should run perpendicular across the floor joists for more strength of the floor going over it. Not doing this can cause sagging of the hardwood and board separation.

    If you are using engineered hardwood, you have the following choices below.

    The second answer is personal preference; however below are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind. Often, it depends on what look you are trying to achieve.

    The easiest way to make a decision is to look at the areas receiving hardwood and if there is a narrow hallway involved, then run the hardwood the long length of the hallway.

    If you have hardwood in one large size room only, the direction is truly personal preference. The room will appear longer if the wood is run from one end of the room to the other.

    If hardwood is in more than one room, but the rooms are open to each other, running the hardwood from the long end to the other end rather than from the front of the room to the back of the room will make the 2 areas seem larger.

    Otherwise, the hallway will look chopped up.

    Hardwood can also be installed diagonally or with a pattern such as a herringbone.

  25. #25
    Senior Member collady's Avatar
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    We were told that the length of the flooring should cross the floor joists. I didn't do that because one room was so long and narrow. I haven't had problems with my flooring. We have been in the house for over 30 years.

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