Wood floors changing direction.

pps7March 22, 2010

Hello! I'm looking for pictures of wood floors changing direction. I know it's generally recommended to run floors perpendicular to joists. Our entire home is pretty much all wood floors and I'm fine running them perpendicular to the joists except in the entry foyer. The foyer is 7x 17. I think the floor should run parallel to the long wall. What do you guys think?

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Do you have pictures of where the foyer meets up with the other rooms? You could do something like this in the foyer:

This way the boards run parallel to both the long and the short walls, so some will be parallel and some will be perpendicular to joists. It isn't that hard to do, but you will end up with the very center board faced-nailed. We used prefinished T&G. Are you doing site finished? Is your foyer rectangular or more T shaped like mine?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 8:11AM
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Have you thought of a more practical material, like stone, for the entry? That would solve your problem!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 8:16AM
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I wanted to do the same thing in our book nook, but the guys laying the floor told me it wouldn't work because of...? I can't remember what the reason was. It could have been that they were in a hurry, but at the time it made sense. I still wish we'd done it though but it doesn't really matter now since I have a throw rug in there. lol.

It sure would look pretty if you can do it.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 9:53AM
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the floors between our kitchen and family room run in a different direction. There used to be a half wall between these rooms and we removed it after we had already installed the kitchen floor. I didn't want to deal with having the family room floors woven in, so we just decided to run it the other way. Aside from the fact that it caused me some design issues for our kitchen reno, it doesn't bother me in the least. The LR that is behind the wall with the print also runs the same direction as the FR. BTW...while not too noticeable in this pic, there is a color difference between these 2 rooms because the floor guy who installed the red oak in the FR didn't "realize" that the kitchen was white oak.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 10:02AM
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This was a timely post for me. The hardwood guys are coming any minute to lay the floor in bathroom reno. It adjoins the master bedroom hallway that has the hardwoods running the length of the hall. I want the bath floor perpendicular to the hallway (my eye says that having it that way draws you into the room, and it would lessen the impact of any difference between the floors) and pictured it that way in my mind.
Yesterday the gc said they would be laying them the other way because of the joists. I did some research last night and the consensus seems to be if the underlayment is at least 3/4" plywood the floor can be laid either direction.
The rest of the house has hardwoods, the entry runs the long direction of the hall, then the main part of the house (open floor plan, lr, dr, and kitchen) it changed directions. Runs lengthwise down a hall to two bedrooms on opposite sides of the hall; one has the floors running the same as the hall, the other is perpendicular. I prefer the perpendicular to the hallway, as it does draw your eyes in and kind of flows into the room better. So I am gearing up for a "discussion" about what I want. They already won't guarantee the floor because it is in a bath. Might as well screw up the whole thing, I guess.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 11:37AM
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In the older home we purchased, we were surprised to see the dining room floor running opposite the rest of the oak flooring throughout the downstairs. Since the flooring needed to be re-done, the flooring guy installed an accent strip of darker walnut around the edge of the dining room where it changed direction. (The dining room has large openings into the entry and hall/kitchen.) It actually set the room off nicely and made the change of direction seem intentional. Here's a link to a flooring website that shows some photos of hardwood flooring with accent strips of various complexity and a couple of the photos incorporate a change of direction in the wood also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardwood flooring accent strips

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 12:15PM
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My family room originally had a mitered "frame" of wood around a rectangle of carpet which made it look like there was a rug in the center. I had the carpet taken up, kept the frame, and had wood put down in the center. The vertical boards in the foreground are in the kitchen, then the "frame" around the family room, then the new vertical boards in the center of the room.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 12:26PM
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Thanks everyone. Here's the floor plan of the space I'm referring to. I don't have any good pics- they are doing the electrical, so no drywall, yet.

Obviously, the easiest/cheapest thing to do is run the hardwood perpendicular to the joists for the whole house. That would be left to right. I gues I need to decide:

- Will it look odd in the entry foyer to run the floors left to right? There will be a rug. My gut says the floors wshould run up and dow i nthis space.
-If I run them parallel to the joist, my CG says he needs to reinforce the space. We have a basement so it shouldn't be a big deal.
- there is a doorway to the study and to the alcove leading to the powerroom so the transition in flooring will look fine there.
-But how will I transition at the end of the foyer, since it T's into another hall? Just end the floors right where the wall ends?

I hope I'm making sense. LOL!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 1:23PM
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We encountered this problem when we were building also. We decided that we'd rather have tile to lessen the chance of damage from the kids coming in with snowy boots, etc. Even though we have a mudroom, I'm really glad we did this because it's more convenient to come in this way sometimes, and we do have a pile of wet "stuff" if they've been playing in the snow.

When we were considering hardwood, the builder said that you usually run perpendicular to the joists, but if we wanted to change the direction, they would just install blocking between the joists to support it. And I definitely would have had it installed parallel, because (just personal preference) I don't like the boards run horizontally in a narrower space -- it seems to break the space up too much.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 1:24PM
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Well, the floor guy and his 2 workers agreed that it was preferrable to install perpendicular to the joists, but they install the other way all the time. I have to sign a waiver that it's not their preferred way. I'm already signing a waiver that they won't be responsible for moister damage, so figure it doesn't matter. One of them said since the subfloor is 3/4" plywood, it should be fine..it would take a big earthquake to unscrew them. Since I live in earthquake country and the house has survived a couple big ones, including the hardwoods already laid perpendicular to the joists. I'm not going to worry about it.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 1:50PM
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I would run the wood the same as the rest of the rooms. I have a foyer that is 11x17 and the HW running into the DR and hall continues in the same direction into the foyer. The direction in the foyer is 'right to left'. :^)
IMO it gives a better flow to the rooms and makes the entry feel larger.

I'll try to find you a pic........

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 2:11PM
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I was going to recommend laying diagonally, but with it's rectangular shape don't think it would look as well as a foyer which is more square. How about doing a border lying several perimeter boards(one foot)lengthwise, with the center being widthwise? ;o)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 2:30PM
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I would run them opposite if you separated with a threshold, kwim?

I always feel like the floor should run the direction that you walk into the room.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 7:32PM
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