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Engineered Flooring: What Direction to Run?


I'm planning to have engineered wood flooring installed in my living room. My builder says wood flooring generally must run perpendicular to the floor joists. This won't work for us aesthetically, so I've done a bit of checking on the internet about the issue. There seems to be no real consistent advice on this, and I'm hoping someone here has some experience or information for me.

What I've read is that with engineered flooring, since it is plywood on the underside, there is no reason that it can't run parallel with the joists, as long as the subfloor is in good condition (not particle board, I guess).

On the other hand, I also read that engineered flooring must be installed perpendicular to the floor joists.

I have also read that with a floating floor (which ours will be, I think) it is okay to run it parallel with the joists.

If any one has any thoughts on this issue, I would deeply appreciate your response.

Thank you very much.


A. Spruce
Re: Engineered Flooring: What Direction to Run?

What you do has little to do with what type of flooring you're planning to install and more with what the manufacturer recommends and warrants. If you are securing the flooring with nails, then generally perpendicular to the joists is the better choice. A floating floor isn't relying on the joist system, but the entire floor structure as a whole, so generally it is irrelevant which direction the floor is laid.

Research the brand/type of flooring you want installed, then choose a contractor that is going to install it as per the manufacturer's instruction. Ultimately, it is the manufacturer that is going to honor the warranty, not the contractor, and even when installed within the guidelines of the manufacturer you're hard pressed to have a warranty claim when problems occur.

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