multi-room and hallway - which direction for wood?

homeboundMay 29, 2008

I've helped with a couple hardwood installs, but have a couple Q's on a job I'm doing myself.

After pulling wall-to-wall carpet, I'm redoing a 2nd floor "top step" landing, hallway and two bedrooms (& closets). From the top landing, one steps left to the hallway which runs back parallel to the stairs. There's one bedroom (11x13) off to the side of the hall and the other "straight back" (12 deep x 17 wide).

I haven't figured out the joist run yet with the carpet in place (this is a crazy 2 story condo with lots of posts & beams in both directions), but in general, does one "almost always" go across the joists or does one factor in aesthetics and transition at the threshold of some rooms, etc? I "think" the joists will run across the hall, so the hallway will be done Long-way" and just continue in both bedrooms. But that would mean the end master bedroom will run from the short wall. (transition at threshold or just do it that way?)

BTW, as for some squeaks (not many) in the first floor oak floor, have you folks had good results with "break-off" type fasteners that screw straight into the floor? What's the name and whre can you buy those (I haven't found them locally in N. VA from general suppliers) and any tips on first locating the joists underneath the floor?

BTW, should stair tread edge pieces get glued or nailed?

Thanks very much.

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I can give you my opinion on a few of these points. I've heard, and it stands to reason, that the planks should be laid perpendicular to the joists, giving them a firmer anchor. However, on a heavily travelled hall floor between our entry, kitchen and LR, we laid the t & g planks in the same direction as the joists for aesthetic reasons. They've held up every bit as well as, and have had no more squeaks than, the other floors. They were installed 12 years ago.

I think the direction of the floors can change at the thresholds with no aesthetic problem. I've seen planks run both directions relative to the room dimensions. I think if a room is very elongated it looks wrong to have the boards run across the short way. With your 11 x 13 room, the dimensions are similar enough that I think it would look absolutely fine. Not sure with your 12 x 17 room. It probably depends on which wall the doorway is on (long wall or short one), and where the door is within that wall.

I've spent way too many hours analyzing this type of thing in the 15 years we've been remodeling our house. The floors are one thing we did right.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 7:55PM
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Thank you for your thoughts.

As for the 12 x 17 master bedroom, the door enters on the long wall and is centered about 5 ft from the left side. That room seems to need the wood to transition sideways - not sure, though.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 10:00PM
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