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FAF Blog

Wood Floor Direction

By Kirsten Kapsin, (278 words) Posted in Hardwood Flooring on February 23, 2009
There are (26) comments permalink

Determining the wood floor direction of new hardwood floors can be rather difficult for a first-time installer. Usually, hardwood floor planks are installed perpendicular to the front doorway. If the front entranceway isn't used very often and there's another main entrance to your home, you can also run hardwood floor planks front to back from this point as well.

Depending on your home's floor joist system, you may not be able to choose your wood floor direction. Nowadays, homes are built with an already established floor joist system and subfloor. These two factors ultimately affect the direction of the wood floor planks. Ideally, you want to install hardwood floors perpendicular to the floor joists for increased stability. If you choose to install parallel to joists, you could end up with dipping and sagging wood floors. If you have concrete subfloors, you should be free to install your hardwood floor planks in any direction you see fit.

If you're unsure as to how your wood floor direction should lay, check with a certified installer. They should be able to assess the installation area and give you sound advice. Most flooring professionals recommend installing wood floors in a diagonal manner to help open up smaller spaces. Note that installing wood floors diagonally takes more time than laying planks straight (perpendicular to the front door). Also, the amount of floor waste is higher for diagonal wood floor installations. It's up to you to decide if increased time and cost is worth the unique look of diagonally installed wood floors.

You can find videos on hardwood floor installation as well as the tricky subject of wood floor direction on FloorTube.com.


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Comments (26)

Rob Patters posted on: May 15, 2009

Never installed hardwood flooring myself. Never knew that there was a right or wrong direction to put them, I guess its preference but still. Good info, thanks from me- going to attempt to install new hardwood flooring in my Entry way, living room, dining room and kitchen... wish me luck!!

Tom Izon posted on: May 30, 2009

I have a project that I am wanting have the wood flooring laid diagonally. It is a special floor plank which takes three weeks to process so I was wondering if there is percentage that I should be following to calculate the amount to order since it would delay the project if we ran out of flooring. The space is sort of L shape and is 389 square feet. The walls are not square and there a curved corner on the inside of the L. Also one corner has an angled section that is about 8' and connects to a 3'diameter column. This is partially why it was determined to install the flooring diagonally. Any suggestions? Don't want to be overly excessive as the flooring is $18 a square foot wholesale. Sort of scary.

Marilyn posted on: November 5, 2011

If my floor is laid perpendicular to the entry of the room, then it will not go in the direction of the longest part of the room. Which is best?

Luna Mystica posted on: December 14, 2011

Thanks for the insights buddy!
Thumbs up for this very informative entry!

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We think it's best to consult a few professionals and get some estimates.
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