Choosing The Direction Of Your Hardwood

Designer’s Corner Questions

Question:

How do I choose which direction my hardwood should run?

Answer:

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.

Examples:

Here are two rooms – one with the wood running horizontal to the sofa and the other running vertically to the sofa. The first picture appears to have the wood running from the longest end of the room to the other lengthening the appearance of the room.

This is an example of wood being run across the room across the shorter sides. This does not lengthen the room as well as the images above.

When in doubt, don’t feel alone! You can always consult with your flooring salesperson or with your hardwood installer.

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Web Page: How to Choose The Direction Of Your Hardwood Floor
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Overall Rating: 4.3 stars - 28 reviews

By:
Date: November 27, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Perfect. Pictures were a great addition. Now to find out about our floor joists...
By:
Date: November 2, 2016
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I caught guy laying floor the wrong way. Then the mgr guy made me sign a paper stating I told them to go the other way. Made me think I was doing the wrong thing. I read this page, and nope. They were wrong, I was right. I think the way they wanted to go was easier to install. The other guy had already told me that. Im paying them. Its going the way I say. ;)
By:
Date: September 2, 2016
Page Rating: (2.0/5)
Comments:
I couldnt understand this article at all. For example, you say "The room will appear longer if the wood is run from one end of the room to the other." Uh, is that side-to-side or long ways? both have "ends"
By:
Date: July 22, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Was indecisive about what direction. This article helped a lot!
By:
Date: June 14, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
How do you decide the direction if the rooms are separated by walls? I have a family room to my left and a formal living in the front and a hallway to the bedrooms to the right as soon as I enter my home. I laid out the wood in the formal living running away from the front entrance and followed the same in the hallway. i.e - The flooring in the hallway is perpendicular to the one in the living room. Now I have to change flooring in the family room. Should I still maintain the same pattern and run the floor away from the front entrance, perpendicular to the flooring in the living room?
By:
Date: March 13, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
pictures are always helpful to create an image for compareing possiblies. thanks
By:
Date: March 4, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
I like the pictures & info, but how do I know which way my floor joists go?? Heck I dont even know what they are! (middle age female)
By:
Date: March 4, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
very helpful
By:
Date: October 24, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
certainly answers my question thank you for your service.
By:
Date: September 2, 2015
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Thank you so much. Your instructions were precise and put in laymans terms. I am more encouraged than ever to start my flooring project. Cheers!

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