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What Direction Should I Lay My Wood Floors?

What Direction Should I Lay My Wood Floors?

Posted in Wood Flooring Installation And Maintenance by Source on April 7th 2014
When laying wood floors, there are many considerations to make, but one that many people leave till the very last minute is the direction of their floor boards. This will often come down to your own personal preference, but sometimes there are structural or visual reasons which dictate the direction that your wood floors should be laid.

The Correct Direction For Laying Wood Floors

The choice of direction is obvious in some rooms like hallways, but can be more complicated in other rooms. The way that your home is constructed can also influence your decisions; here are the factors which matter when deciding the right direction.
  • Room Sightlines – This essentially means the lines that run through your sight when you walk into a room. This will depend on what looks natural to you, but usually if you are just installing into one specific room then you are most likely to run the planks along the side with the longer dimension. However when adding flooring to a hallway with a connecting room, this cannot be done as easily as the boards will run across other doorway entrances. There is nothing stopping you changing the direction to prevent this, but you must also take joist direction into account.
  • Floor Structure – This is one of the most important considerations as getting it wrong will result in physical issues rather than just visual. It is recommended that wood floors are installed perpendicular to the floor joists in any room with a plywood subfloor. If they are laid parallel there is a chance the planks can sag between the joists and create unwanted gaps between them. If you want the boards to run parallel to the joists, then you will need to shore up the subfloor by adding a layer of 3/8-inch plywood. If the subfloor is concrete, these structural considerations don't apply.
  • Diagonal Installation – This can work in the same way as flooring which runs perpendicular to the joists, and also creates a nice visual effect which makes a change from standard straight wood flooring. Diagonal installations require more work and a larger amount of wood because more unusable off cuts are created when you are cutting each plank to fit.
  • Further Considerations – Firstly you should check whether the walls are straight, as you will be laying your wood along these lines. If you use a doorway or single wall as your sole reference, you may find yourself compensating for a large angle at the end of the installation. You can counter this by laying the wood at a slight right angle from a doorway. This should be measured out carefully to ensure you do not get the end of the floor and find you have gaps.

High Quality Wood Flooring From Source Wood

At Source Wood we supply a vast range of engineered and hard wood floors, which are available in all kinds of colours and finishes. We also have any accessories you might need for the installation of your floor including adhesives and varnishes. If you would like advice about any of our wood flooring options please contact one of our friendly team who will be happy to explain everything to you. Email enquiries@sourcewoodfloors.co.uk or call 08456 021 781.


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