Direction to install hardwood floors [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

PDA

View Full Version : Direction to install hardwood floors


dotnetweb
05-18-2005, 12:40 AM
I am ready to install some hardwood floors in my house and am new to this kind of project. As one enters my house there is a long narrow hallway which leads opens up to a kitchen and even bigger living area. See attached picture. I don't know if in the hallway I should lay the planks lengthwise or widthwise across the hallway? What are the rules for this? THANKS

Sponsored Links


NG
05-18-2005, 07:05 AM
i'm no pro, but i think you should run your planks lengthwise down the hall.

jay f
05-18-2005, 07:11 AM
For best results, The hardwood should be laid perpendicular or on a diagonal to the joists. If run in the same direction as the joists, the floor will be much wavyier as well as much weaker.

Mike2
05-18-2005, 07:12 AM
If you are installing a nail-down tongue and groove solid wood floor then the boards should be laid across (perpendicular to) the floor joists or at a 45 deg. angle.

Edit P.S. Oops, I see fast typer Jay beat me to the punch. What Jay says

justin savage
05-18-2005, 07:02 PM
what direction are your joists running?what is the subfloor made of and the thickness?what type of flooring is going to put down? justin savage

michaelhazuka
05-18-2005, 07:16 PM
I agree with what everyone has posted...your joist direction dictates the direction of your hardwood. You must always install perpendicular to the joist direction, or install the hardwood on an angle(with the exception of herringbone or other patterns).

I saw a couple hardwood jobs installed with the joists, and you could see the undulations in the floor between the joists. You will never correct that problem.

Chris McNeal
05-18-2005, 10:24 PM
Your joist direction does dictate your wood direction if you have a single layer sub- floor but if you have a double layer sub floor then the wood can be installed parallel with the joist. more than likely you have two layers of sub floor.AS for the rules you asked for. The most common method is to install the wood so that you will be loooking down the plank when you walk in the front door as opposed to looking across the boards. IF your room is not square then you want to try and run the boards the lenght of the longest room as opposed to across the longest room. If you run across the room it makes the room look smaller and if you run with the room the room looks bigger. In your case you have both situations to deal with so it comes down to preference. In my opinion your longest visual run will be from your front door through the adjoining room so I would run the wood lengthwise with hallway as long as its not a problem with the joist situation. Also another thing to consider is if your installing nail down hardwood then it would be much easier to run the planks across the hallway because of the tight space you will be working in.Not much room for swinging a hammer in a hallway when running lengthwise. If your installing 3/8 or 7/16 glue down wood then it's not to much trouble either way. The floor joist direction will not be an issue if your going with glue down wood but if it's nail down then I would check wiith the wood manufacturer for warranty purposes. They all have different specs but generally you can install either direction with a double layer sub floor. Hope this helps, good luck Chris

dotnetweb
05-19-2005, 12:45 AM
THANX for everyone's response. Here's more details.....
- I don't know if I have a single or double layer sub floor
- I removed particleboard and installed 1/2 plywood over the subfloor
- I'm installing Bamboo and it's nail down, tongue and groove.

I have been asking a lot of people their opinions on this and believe it or not the reponse has been about half and half on whether to run them the length of the hall or across it. I think just in the hall it would defenitely look better if the planks are running lengthwise, but as the hall opens up into the great room I don't think the planks would look as good because they would now being going across the room (since it's much wider than the hallway) instead of the length of the room.

Keep the suggestions coming! I will post pictures later













Your joist direction does dictate your wood direction if you have a single layer sub- floor but if you have a double layer sub floor then the wood can be installed parallel with the joist. more than likely you have two layers of sub floor.AS for the rules you asked for. The most common method is to install the wood so that you will be loooking down the plank when you walk in the front door as opposed to looking across the boards. IF your room is not square then you want to try and run the boards the lenght of the longest room as opposed to across the longest room. If you run across the room it makes the room look smaller and if you run with the room the room looks bigger. In your case you have both situations to deal with so it comes down to preference. In my opinion your longest visual run will be from your front door through the adjoining room so I would run the wood lengthwise with hallway as long as its not a problem with the joist situation. Also another thing to consider is if your installing nail down hardwood then it would be much easier to run the planks across the hallway because of the tight space you will be working in.Not much room for swinging a hammer in a hallway when running lengthwise. If your installing 3/8 or 7/16 glue down wood then it's not to much trouble either way. The floor joist direction will not be an issue if your going with glue down wood but if it's nail down then I would check wiith the wood manufacturer for warranty purposes. They all have different specs but generally you can install either direction with a double layer sub floor. Hope this helps, good luck Chris

dotnetweb
05-19-2005, 01:21 AM
Horizontal or Vertical?

Muny
05-19-2005, 07:34 AM
I remember reading on the hardwood floor forum (http://www.hardwoodinstaller.com/hardwoodinstaller/phpbb2/index.php) that you should run it the long way, or the main direction in which it will be walked on. The reason being wear and tear. IIRC, an experienced flooring guy said that more times than not, the repairs/refinishes he performed were done on floors where the boards were running opposite to the direction they were most likely walked on.
I don't know anything about floor joists, so don't pay a whole lotta attention to me :laugh2:

Robert Wenzl
05-19-2005, 08:58 AM
What about changing directions at the end of the hall or running at a 45?

wwilson1
05-19-2005, 10:20 AM
The more I look at your pictures; I have to say, I cannot decide which would look better. I assume you are only doing F and A.1? I think the rule of thumb (once you get past sub-floor questions, and Muny’s point) is to run the wood parallel to the longest length of the room (F) as for the hall…Chris above is correct, if you run perpendicular to the hall, installation will go very fast compared to running length-wise. You are going to have more work near both walls if running length wise.
I think changing direction could be a bit challenging (cleanly/flush) w/o using a T molding (bump!)

SIDE NOTE:
I just spent about a month researching and watching Ebay for flooring nailers (for my dad.) In the end, I got him a pneumatic porter cable FN200 for $385 delivered (free shipping) from Amazon. I never saw a better deal come up on Ebay. Even most used ones were going for that after shipping. When I did my floor, I rented a pneumatic nailer for $40/day and it was a piece of junk. If I had to do it again, I’d buy one, use it, and either sale it on ebay or keep it for future projects.
I also recommend a pneumatic finish nailer (15 or 16 gauge) for starting/ending near walls you are running parallel to.

I’m a beginner so consider that in my ramblings.
Wayne

Mike2
05-19-2005, 10:35 AM
I'm sticking with the recommendation to lay the flooring across the joists but aside from that, check the manufacturer's Installation Guidelines. And if you end up laying it parallel with the joists, contact the manufacturer to see if there will be any warranty issues.

Oh and one more thing, looking down a long run of flooring (parallel to line-of-site) with some stained wood you can get a "ladder effect" which some people find visually objectionable.

Muny
05-19-2005, 12:02 PM
Found their helpful advice page:link (http://www.hardwoodinstaller.com/hardwoodinstaller/gluedown-layout.htm)
(They have a link to this forum and even recommend John's book)

Chris H
05-19-2005, 12:20 PM
not a pro here but this post is purely aesthetic opinion. the townhouses i live in have the same basic floor plan as yours except the living room is more like a square than a rectangle. that being said, a neighbor of mine just laid down some laminate floring with the planks running perpendicular to the hallway. it doesn't look right when you walk in the front door. if it were me, i'd lay it parallel to the hallway so it "flows" into the living room better.

also, i'm looking at bamboo prices b/c that's what i'd like as well. is your's carbonized or natural? where did you get it from and for how much?

Dave Taylor
05-19-2005, 01:02 PM
This pic and info comes from the Hardwood Installers site you refer to. They also have other direction tips.

donetweb,
If you have not already done so.... ask their pros (Floorguy or Gary).... both are great. However.... they both may also ask which direction your joists run under areas D, E and F... like Justin Savage did earlier. This is something you have not answered and.... when you do.... the question about hardwood direction in these three areas may well answer itself.

Where is "brianosaur" when you need him?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

""Changing Direction Of The Installation""

"In some cases a direction change may be preferred, especially if you have long hallways that spill into other rooms. In our example, the customer preferred the look of the flooring running front to back when in the foyer entry.

However, when turning into the great room, the desire was running the longest dimension as well. The change takes place in the center of the opening dividing the two areas".

Chris McNeal
05-23-2005, 11:24 PM
Make it simple!!! Check with the manufacturer of the product about installing with or across the joist. If there is no problem with warranty either way then it's just personal preferrence.If there is a warranty issue then go with factory recommendations to be safe. If you want to change directions at the end of the hallway it's not a big deal. Just start at the intersecting point of the hall and adjoining room and work away from this point. This way you can turn the wood in opposite directions and still use the tongue and groove for a flush transition without the need for T- mouldings. Personally I dont like the looks of a bi-directional floor but then again thats just personal preference. I always tell my customers, As long as there is not a warranty issue then do it like you like it. It your house and you have to live with it. In your case you have a long hall and a long room in opposite directions and really the floor will look great in either direction. If it were mine I'd run it across the hallway just because of the speed difference in the installation not to mention you will have difficulty pulling the boards tight with a parallel installation because almost all the hallway will have to be nailed by hand using a hammer and nail or a pneumatic finish nailer. Sorry I was so long getting back to your questions. Chris

bml
05-24-2005, 01:02 PM
I'm no pro but our hardwood installer told us that it had to go 90 or 45 degrees to the joists. This site has a lot of good info.

http://www.nofma.org/installation.htm

Good Luck and our floor will be finished in another week, I'll post a pic for you as it runs across the entry instead of lengthwise and we have a long hallway as well.