Which way should I orient my flooring?

CamGSeptember 21, 2013

House is coming along, with cabinets to be put in in the next couple of days. After they are in, I'm going to put down luxury vinyl planks in the entry, hall, bath, mudroom, dining room and kitchen. In other words, everywhere but living room and den.

My question is, which way should I orient the planks--lengthwise down the hallway, or perpendicular to the hallway? I think we will be able to avoid any transitions within the same flooring. I'm leaning towards having the planks go parallel to the hall, meaning running from the front of the house to the back. But then the planks will be perpendicular to the long dimension of the dining room/kitchen area. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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Personally, I would want the flooring to run parallel to the longest dimension of my largest/most used rooms.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 7:17PM
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We just had real hardwood installed. According to our installer, you really don't have a choice. He ALWAYS installs planks perpendicular to floor joists.

I don't know if it makes a difference if the planks are vinyl instead of real wood.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 11:37PM
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How about on a diagonal? We did this in our build and we get nothing but compliments.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 11:48PM
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I would run yours across the foyer/hallway and in the same direction as the kitchen/dining room direction. I like to have the light from windows hit the plank *across* it instead of *along* it.

LVT is different from hardwood in that it is a floating installation (often) and doesn't need to fasten to the joists. So, the joist direction doesn't influence the direction of the planks.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 1:23AM
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Cam- Didn't your kitchen used to be on the same side as the garage? Did you change your plan?

As for vinyl/wood flooring, I've always liked the idea. But, I have that in the bathroom we just remodeled...and it's easy to clean, but doesn't look as much like wood as I thought. It does from a distance, but not up close. For the powder room or mud room I think it would be fine...but make sure you see some installed (if possible) before putting it in the kitchen and dining room. Of course, yours might be a much higher quality than what we used.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 1:47PM
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So it sounds like the general idea is to have it run side-to-side (perpendicular to the hall)? That's interesting, I figured we would do it the other way, and wonder if it would look weird to have planks running the short way down the hall... but honestly, if you all say do it, you haven't steered me wrong yet! :)

ddr000, as neat as that would be, I'm installing it myself and definitely don't have the stomach or patience for a diagonal install.

LL, yes we changed plans. If you'll recall, we had to change builders and were having trouble finding one who would build our previous slaved-over plan (that everyone here so graciously provided much input on). It was an extremely difficult decision after spending a year working on it. I came across the plan on our iPad and got sad thinking about how neat that house would have been. But, a house is not our entire life, and it was time to move on and focus on other things. We're still thrilled with our new house, and I don't know that I've ever been in a house I like better, regardless of cost.

We're using Traffic Master Allure Plus from Home Depot. I have it under my desk at the office right now, and I think it looks and feels great. The other option in our budget was laminate, and I think these planks look and feel better (and are far more water resistant) than laminate. I want a floor I don't have to worry about my kids and dogs destroying!

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:09PM
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I haven't looked at floating floor specs for a long time, so I could be way off - but are you sure you don't need an expansion gap in a 25' run of flooring (entry through dining room)?

I think plank flooring looks best parallel to the longest wall, and the long way in a hallway. In your case, that means changing direction between the hall and the dining room. That's the way I would go.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:44PM
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Cam- I'm sure this house will be lovely, too...it seems very similar to your plan. I thought you just flipped the living room and mudroom/garage areas.

Maybe I'm alone, but I think the wood planks should be the same direction as the hall, too. Have you looked at wood floors to see how they run? Let me see if I can find some pictures... From Kitchen plans From Kitchen plans From Kitchen plans

These are the first three I found...and I believe you could change direction in the kitchen/dining room (if necessary) with a trim piece. Hope this helps :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Here is one they changed directions on.

Craftsman Entry by Redondo Beach General Contractors LuAnn Development, Inc.

But, I have seen foyers running cross-wise so that the main floor area can be the "right direction".

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 6:00PM
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    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 6:01PM
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Kirkhall, great finds! You are truly so helpful. I really like the way that the later looks. While changing directions makes a bit of sense, really, most of the area we will put this flooring is pretty horizontal--the entry, dining/kitchen, and mudroom. It's only not ideal in the hall, but really that hallway is pretty short, and as your pics show, it looks just fine running the short way down a hallway. Thanks again, we were just discussing this before I saw your post and I was wishing I could see how it would look!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Kirkhall- I like that middle picture! The way the edge 'frames' the flooring, against the staircase is really nice. The other two are okay, but it almost looks like the stairs were added after the floor was laid down. Of course, I love trim...and vintage/traditional details, so that might be influencing me a bit :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Yes. If I had real wood floors, I think I might also go for the tone of the middle picture, Lavender. That floor, in particular, is beautiful, and that house is expensive (or at least has expensive details).

You're welcome Cam. I, for one, really like to "see" it before I do it. Houzz has become an invaluable tool for that.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 1:00AM
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