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: 3.6 stars - 10 reviews

By:
Date: August 15, 2014
Page Rating: (1.0/5)
Comments:
I think that a fair comparison were to have had the rooms,wood colors,and furnishings all be the same, only changing the direction of the wood
By:
Date: August 4, 2014
Page Rating: (1.0/5)
Comments:
How about diagonal?
By:
Date: July 9, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
love it
By:
Date: June 6, 2014
Page Rating: (2.5/5)
Comments:
you never really answer your own question about floor direction for engineered floors. You say there are choices but you never discuss them.
By:
Date: February 3, 2014
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
Comments:
Do you run the wood planks in the direction of the bed or across. I DID NOT GET AN ANSWE
By:
Date: January 11, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
I think it is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By:
Date: December 18, 2013
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Can engineered click lock floors be ran length wise for a 32 length ?
By:
Date: May 12, 2013
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Hi, I have the same question as Shahrooz from previous comment.We do have a narrow hallway and that the perfect look is running the hardwood long length of the hallway.However the floor joist is the other way around and the builder is going to install the harwoods perpendicular to the joist which is the opposite direction than what we want. What will be the best decision and the best look for the house?
By:
Date: March 6, 2013
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Hi, Thank you for the info. however, im running into a situation in which Im not sure how to go about: I do know the direction of the harwood-to-be-installed by the builder (based on the floor joist being perpendicular), however it is not in line with the optimum design. We do have a narrow hallway and that the perfect scenario is (to your point) running the hardwood long length of the hallway. That same direction is also optimum for the rest of the house since our first floor is entirely "engineered harwood" flooring throughout. However the floor joist is the other way around and the builder is going to install the harwoods perpendicular to the joist which is the (wrong) opposite direction than what we want. Ive checked with them and they said that I need to sign a waiver if I want to change the direction of the harwood (parallel to the floor joist!). So my question essentially would be, is there a way to ask to have the floor joist directions changed so that we would have the harwoo
By:
Date: February 3, 2013
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Informative and answered my questions in a concise manner.

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