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bebetokids

should all hardwood floors run in same direction?

bebetokids
16 years ago

One of those things I didn't think about and of course has to be decided by Monday-GC asks do we want all the hardwood floors downstairs to run in same direction OR change the direction in the kitchen/butlers pantry to run with the length of the kitchen (parallel to back kitchen wall). How do I know? GC says run all same way and floor guy votes for change up in kitchen but don't know if that is because it might make laying easier for him :) He says it gives some separation and pattern to the downstairs.

Here is a pic of the downstairs-floor would run from front to back (foyer, DR and family rm) and transition in casement between family room/kitchen and dining room/butler's pantry. At dining rm/butler's pantry they would have to do an angle to match up with kitchen-floor would run widthwise there-and carry through mudroom etc. What do you think and what did you do in your house? Any pics?

Comments (14)

  • springbabes
    16 years ago

    our floorplan is similar to yours, and the man doing the hardwoods suggested changing direction at the break between (your) family room and breakfast/kitchen area. Firstly, he said the kitchen will need refinished first and if you don't have a break in the pattern you have to do the entire floor. Also, he thought the change of direction would look good. This hardwood man does have a very good reputation for what it's worth. Our hardwoods are down and it looks good, but they aren't stained yet so it's still hard to notice the change of direction. Good luck,

    Tara

  • sue36
    16 years ago

    Hardwood floors run perpendicular to the floors joists. Ours go left tot right because the floors joists are front to back.

  • fairegold
    16 years ago

    And esthetically, the fewer flooring transitions you have in a house, the better it looks.

  • grinder12000
    16 years ago

    You don't really have a choice - as noted - hardwood floors run perpendicular to the floors joists.

    You will not find a quality installer that will do otherwise.

  • sis3
    16 years ago

    "Hardwood floors run perpendicular to the floors joists."

    Does this rule apply if there is a plywood subfloor? If so, what is the reason? Also in the case of a concrete slab is there any rule of thumb that applies?

  • anthem
    16 years ago

    If the plywood subfloor over joists, then yes, the flooring should run perpendicular to the floor joists. If you are doing ply over sleepers in a basement type of setting, then it should go perpendicular to the sleepers. If you are just going over slab, then there is no direction and aesthetics are what you would use.

  • chisue
    16 years ago

    We wanted no thresholds and to run our flooring right through the house. Looks great, but...yes, when it's time to refinish we will have to "move out" because there's no stopping place; whole house will have to be done at one go. Lesson: use three coats of poly to push the refinishing date far into the future.

  • arielitas_mom
    16 years ago

    All things being equal, I prefer the unified look of a single direction. Have you thought about laying the floors on a diagonal? that might look cool.

  • breezy_2
    16 years ago

    Perpendicular with joists is correct and I have always felt floors look better if they run the length of a room which normally coincides with the way joists run but not always. However, in certain circumstances it doesn't matter. In our case, we used web truss joists 16 inches on center with 7/8 in Plytanium T&G plywood subfloors. Given that the distance b/t joists is only 12 inches and we are using 8 inch wide flooring, architect, floor guy and GC all agreed that it did not matter which way we ran the floors. B/c, as I said, the joists normally run the width of a room, most of our floors run the length and across the floor joists but in certain areas they run parallel with the joists and you cannot tell any difference.

    Then to address the main question, we turned our floors where needed to run the length of the room (master bedroom and dining room)and it looks fine and logical. It also breaks things up a bit and defines the space. The rest of our floor plan is very open so the floors run the length of the house (which is different from master BR and DR). For example, what does not look good IMO, is running a hallway the width and not the length. It makes the flooring look like pier planking, not the end of the world but I have avoided it when possible. In our kitchen, the floors run the width (less than optimal) but to have turned it there would not have flowed with the rest of the house and, b/c the kitchen is so cut up, you would have gotten the pier plank effect either way in parts of the kitchen.

    Hope that helps!

  • springbabes
    16 years ago

    I should have mentioned that also, we have a web truss floor system.

  • dumaspup
    16 years ago

    Flooring just like siding should be nailed at every joist. If you want to change things up put a border around the room or put thresh holds in. The nail is not getting proper hold just in standard sub flooring. As for installing any wood over a slab it is not recommended due the the moisture in the slab.

  • kats
    16 years ago

    We're slab. The decision on which direction to run it was totally esthetic and made based on the hallway...it's loooong...and runs east to west. Like breezy said, I didn't want it to look like pier plank. Even though our pantry floor at 10'L runs north to south I've chosen to continue the same direction as the rest of the floors. I have a feeling that door might be left open at times and wanted continuity. But, like I said, we're on slab.

  • bebetokids
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the responses. One reason why the floor guy wanted to switch direction was because of the floor joists-kitchen runs perpendicular to family room. We made the decision to switch and had the floor guy lay out the transitions for us. Of course, it will be more noticeable when stained, but I like the way it looks from kitchen/family room-just a little more interesting. The main issue was the short hall at butlers pantry but laying floor in either direction looked about the same-just backwards from each other. He did a good job mocking it up and worked until we were happy so I think it will look fine :)
    Thanks again for helping!