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Old 02/14/10, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Texas Panhandle
Posts: 594
Direction For Hard Wood Floors

Hi Folks,

I'm thinking about getting rid of the carpet in my house and replacing it with hardwood floors. My question has to do with the transition from room-to-room. My LR is long and rectangular, so it makes most sense to me to run the direction of the flooring parallel with the longest sides, but the rooms off of the LR are longest going in the opposite direction. Should I just run all the flooring the same direction in the house, or change the direction for each room? Also, if you would change the direction, what would you recommend for the transitioning in the doorway between rooms?

Thanks in advance for the info.
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Old 02/14/10, 01:55 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154
I would run it all crossways of the floor joists. Very likely all the rooms would run the same.
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Old 02/14/10, 02:09 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
Originally Posted by uncle Will in In. View Post
I would run it all crossways of the floor joists.
That is what I would do too, and that is the way the oak flooring is in my current home.
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Old 02/14/10, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Michigan..NWLower
Posts: 940
I don't have the expertise but have a comment. Our century old farmhouse has wood floors with the planking running lengthwise in a long narrow room. The old wood floor is about 1 1/2 inches thick and is attached directly to the floor joists. If a new wood floor were to be installed over the old, we would run it across the room as plywood subflooring would be fastened to the old floor with the new flooring over it. Our long narrow room may appear wider by running flooring crossways. Did that make sense? Whatever works in your home is the best way. Please post pics when you get it done.
~~~~The best time to do something is between yesterday and tomorrow~~~~
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Old 02/14/10, 04:32 PM
Jalopy's Avatar  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 401
My thought is run it the way you like best assuming that you have a good subfloor. As for the transition I have been in some of my friends homes and at transition points they went dramatic and even put different type wood flooring borders around the room. If you put it on a good subfloor the load will be spread over the floor joists evenly no matter whether it is perpendicular or parallel to the joists.
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Old 02/14/10, 04:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ontario
Posts: 13,055
Run your flooring lengthwise to the long side of the room. If that makes a 90 degee angle to the adjecent room so be it. Transitions are just strips of wood between each room sometimes rising or falling sometimes at the same level. Try to keep them from being too abriupt!
Keep an open mind; but, double the guard for who you let in.
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Old 02/14/10, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western NC
Posts: 687
You must run it "across" the floor joist in a typical situation. Now there are ways around that depending on your subfloor. If someone wants me to run it a certain way and its not across the joist, then I always get a waiver signed. Is it done that way? sure. Have I done it? sure. Is it the correct way? nope, not without proper preparation (which will add cost at least by adding 1/2 osb to the subfloor).

This has to do mostly with the way the wood expands most and the house settling.
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Old 02/14/10, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western NC
Posts: 687
You could always go on a 45* with out any extra prep... but that uses up more as waste
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Old 02/14/10, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bartow County, GA
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If you have a good subfloor, I'd run the pieces parallel with the shortest walls. That would make the room appear wider. It's all about looks you know.
Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible
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Old 02/14/10, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: maine
Posts: 1,179
With a good sub floor you can run the hardwood whichever way you want.

We chose to run our 3/4" hardwood flooring with the joists and parallel with the long sides of the 14' X 28' room. This worked out good for us because we had very limited supply of boards to waste on cutting ends.
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Old 02/14/10, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 422
DW and I just completed our retirement home, and faced this exact situation. Now, our home is on a concrete foundation, so our hardwood floors were all engineered floors. (not laminates) We put a somewhat dark hickory floor in the living room and down the hallway, and put bamboo floors in the bedrooms. The hickory ran the long dimension of the living room which was also lengthwise down the hall. We installed the bamboo so as to match the run of the hickory, regardless of the dimension of the adjacent room.

The hickory was a glue down floor, and the bamboo is a floating floor.

It all turned out beautiful.
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Old 02/14/10, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western NC
Posts: 687

This site has the nofma guide. Its one if not the industry standard when it comes to installing.

Depending on which product you use, you should do what the manufacture suggest.
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Old 02/15/10, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 1,352
When I ripped out the carpet in the living and dinning room, I ran it across the joists. At the doorway between the two rooms I just ran it through the doorway. Started in the smaller room (dinning room). When I reached the doorway, extended the pieces through the doorway and left the staggered joints.

Then did the living room. When I reached the doorway I simply tied into the staggered joints. It did take some time to work those two sections together. But the end result is that it's a seamless transition from one room to the other.

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Old 02/15/10, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Alabama
Posts: 7,185
you asked the right woman at the right time

they're doing my floors right now- Bruce gunstock 3/4 " oak nail down, HD and their layers of subcontractors

I read about perpendicular to floor joists- these guys did not insist on that.

We ended up with 3 BR upstairs EW (front to back) house parallel to doorways, wide hall between 2 of them and family room connecting to it NS (side to side house and hallway)- mostly because NS let us keep boards parallel to the stairs in the staircase and to two steps between the family room and hallway (BTW friends I did them as half hexagons and the floorer did a great job covering that). Also boards across hall and family room make it look fat (good in hall and room, bad on my middleaged body)

Downstairs we'll do EW in MBR N house parallels doorway, in kitchen raised up from hall S house, and in entry and hallway/sunroom around sunken LR and below raised galleries, then NS in sunken LR and the two raised galleries ('library' and 'piano room').

Looking at the doorway this BR- transition a raised rounded strip parallel to wall breaks up from EW to NS boards and looks fine. Avoiding transition though- when possible- is nice. Boards run smoothly through doorway between family room and top of stairs (7x7' area with window). Sadly downstairs we'll transition from MBR to hallway even though parallel just because very long stretch.
US Army veteran, military retiree spouse, and military; civilian; British NHS; and VA doctor.
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Old 02/15/10, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 8,298
I think Uncle Will is right. You'd really want to run the wood the same way throughout the house. It'd be quite noticeable and would not look like a professional job.
Moms don't look at things like normal people.

Last edited by Joshie; 02/15/10 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 02/16/10, 06:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,056
I ran all mine same direction (running the length). You can get "transition strips" at floor place (like Lumber Liquidators). It's a kind of a "T" shaped piece (some tops are somewhat rounded) to help with any gaps or places where you change orientation...for example, I used one between my living room and kitchen. Even though the pieces run the same direction, the living room is pine and the kitchen is hickory, so I put a transition strip there.
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow the fields of those who don't."-Thomas Jefferson
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