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New Hardwoods in an Old House

Hello everyone. I am new to the forum and have been browsing through some of the current posts and would like some advice on a project that I am about to undertake. I have never laid hardwoods so I am trying to do as much research as I can and would appreciate any advice I can get.

My wife and I purcahsed a beautiful house that was built in 1892 last fall. We purchased the hardwood flooring about three weeks ago (3/4" by 5" solid Brazillian Cherry) and it has been sitting in the living room in the boxes while we have been finishing up painting. We plan on laying it in the living room, entry way, and dining room.

Currently, there is old 5/16" hardwoods laid perpedicular to from what I can tell is 1" by 3 1/4" floor boards. I plan on ripping out the old 5/16" to see what I have to work with and do any leveling or securing of the old floor boards. Here are some of my questions:

1). The current 5/16" floors are laid perpendicular to the floor boards. The floor boards are laid perpedicular to the joists. The joists are 16" on center. From all that I have read, the new flooring should be laid perpendicular to the joists. Is it okay to lay the new flooring in the same direction as the floor boards - which would be perpedicular to the joists?

2). I am attaching a floor plan of the living room, entry way, and dining room. I would like advice on how to design the floor layout (starting position, fireplace options, etc...). I am leaning towards picture framing the fireplace since I think it would look the best, but I am confused on how to tie all of that together and make it look seamless from the living room into the entry and on into the dining room.

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