8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Neug
Direction for hardwood

We are preparing to install hardwood in our living room/dining room. The room is 12' x 24' with the floor joist running width ways for 1/2 of the room and them changes direction to length ways for the other half of the room. My question is which direction do we start laying the boards with this change in direction?

:confused:

A. Spruce
Re: Direction for hardwood

Generally you want to be perpendicular to the floor joists, but it sounds as though you don't have much choice. I would lay the flooring out in whichever direction is most aesthetically pleasing for the room and not worry about the joists.

Re: Direction for hardwood

Can you tell more about the hardwood you are putting down, ie width, type wood and

whats the subfloor like?

gotogregg
Re: Direction for hardwood

Hey neug,
I am Gregg from The Home Depot in Chicago. Usually the flooring direction is determined by the shape of the room and where the main natural light source is. You want the flooring to go in the same direction as the light coming in from a window or patio door. If there isn't a large source of light then I would have the floor go along the 24’ wall. This will really show off the size of the room and look great. I hope this helps. -Gregg

Neug
Re: Direction for hardwood
HistoricSigns wrote:

Can you tell more about the hardwood you are putting down, ie width, type wood and

whats the subfloor like?

the subfloor is 3/4" plywood and the hardwood is 3 1/4" wide and 3/4 thick white oak.

thank you for your help with this.

G

Re: Direction for hardwood

I'll offer what I did in a similar situation -- joists running two ways. I crossed the joists with my planks, and I was using wide plank pine, like 8 to 12 wide. So therefore, I had the boards running in two directions in the room, perp. to each other. The meeting point was where the change of direction occured. The room size was similar 11 x 26.

My starting point was in the middle of the room, where the joist direction changed.

With widths like yours 3.5 wide, Id think it even more important to cross the joists, for stability.

Thats what I did. I like the look, and the bed covers most of the seam anyway.

Re: Direction for hardwood

You are not stuck going 2 different directions when the joists in a room switch. If there is no subfloor movement or sag under load, then you can lay the flooring in whichever direction you deem most aesthetically pleasing.

You can accomplish this by making sure your subfloor system is strong. Add cross members between the joists that run the same direction your flooring does. Add an extra layer of subfloor, like ½" or thicker plywood (not OSB or particleboard - plywood). Either of these methods will add strength to the floor.

If you do not assure the floor has the strength and support the hardwood requires, then you will get squeaks, gaps and a floor that you will not be proud of.

R'gards,

Jim
www.aFloorPro.com

Re: Direction for hardwood

He's using 3.5 wide x 3/4 thick oak, so it probably would be fine. PROBABLY. I have one area in the kitchen that I had no choice but to run with the joists for two feet, on a perfectly new subfloor on new joists in an addition, and dont you know, the first step into the room, in the morning when all is quiet, I can hear a little give in that spot.

As anyone suggested diagonal pattern? Not that Id be up for all the angle cuts.... there's football to watch...

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.