Direction of Flooring and where to start in house

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Old 06-15-15, 04:32 PM
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Direction of Flooring and where to start in house

I have recently purchased a new house and the previous owners installed laminate flooring thoughout the house. It was installed very poorly and they did not undercut any of the doors so large gaps are showing and it looks very unprofessional. I will be removing all the existing flooring and installing new engineered floating flooring thoughout the house. I have 2 questions regarding installing the new flooring, where do I start and which direction should I lay it. I have attached a diagram of my house and I want to install the new floors in every room except both bathrooms, laundry and also the kitchen which has tile. I have read that I should run the flooring in the direction from the front door back towards the fireplace which would look good and that is how the existing floors run but the the main issue would be trying to installing and cutting in the flooring under all the doors in the house without using transition strips which I want to try and avoid. If I run the flooring horizontal from the front door all the cutting in under doors would make it easier but then the hallway will have small pieces running down to the guest room. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks
 
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Old 06-15-15, 04:56 PM
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IIWM, I'd run it from front to back (parallel to the long hallway). I think you are going to end up with transitions at least at the door between family room and bedrooms and front room and the MBR. For one thing, I think you will find most or all engineered flooring has a maximum run without transitions that you should not exceed to avoid issues with buckling. Or if they don't have a maximum, they will make you widen the gap at the walls and it gets hard to cover up. And unless you are really lucky, you will find out you will have some very narrow strips if you try to do it all without transitions.

To tell you the truth, I prefer using different species in different areas because I like the look better than one huge area of identical flooring....but that's a matter of taste so do it however you want.

I do have one hallway that is laid side to side because of the way it joins the kitchen, and it really doesn't look bad.

I don't think you'll find that fitting around the doorways will be much harder either way, assuming you are going to undercut the door frames and trim. It doesn't have to fit perfectly because you have to leave a gap anyway that gets covered by the trim.
 
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Old 06-15-15, 04:56 PM
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Generally flooring is laid across the grain of the floor joists. ie. Floor joists EW, flooring NS. Invest in a Harbor Freight (among others) multimaster tool. It makes easy work of undercutting the door jambs, which you have to do, no matter which way you lay the flooring for a professional look. Take a scrap piece of your underlayment and a scrap piece of flooring, stack them and cut the jamb with the blade perfectly flat on the flooring scrap. Cut not only the trim molding, but the case molding as well. Your flooring will slip right under it almost seamlessly.

You will possibly have transitions. Check the manufacturer's suggestion regarding that. Some laminates can only be run for a total of 40' without transition. Engineered flooring is different, so make sure so you can plan on your transitions.
 
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Old 06-15-15, 05:15 PM
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One of the trade offs of having a floating floor is the need to have space available for expansion and contraction. The longer the run, the more prominent the effects of that expansion and contraction will be. That is why you need transitions at the openings to rooms. Make sure you remove the baseboard molding completely and as others have said, undercut the casing and the jambs of all doorways. The floor itself will have requirements regardless of what you optimally desire. Transition strips will be needed in some locations.
 
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Old 06-17-15, 03:14 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replys. I live in Floirda and will be installing over existing tile/concrete slab. Where would everyone suggest to start laying my first run if I run the flooring north/south (front door towards fireplace)? Does it make sense to start on the longest wall or should I start along the hallway since i have 5 doors along one wall?
 
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Old 06-17-15, 03:26 PM
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Lay it in three sections, all running North-South. Start in the front room and begin on the wall that butts up to the master bedroom and work toward the right. You will have one transition at the master bedroom door. Second section will be at the master bedroom with the starter strip on the same wall as the front room except start right and lay the floor out to the left. Last section will start at the guest hallway and work into the bedrooms to the right. Your call if you can negotiate the doorway at the guest bedroom or if a transition is needed. Most likely you will need them for the other 2 bedroom doorways.

Hope your tile is VERY flat without a lot of lippage to lay engineered over it.
 
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Old 06-17-15, 03:39 PM
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A few random thoughts:

If you haven't done this before and are learning on the job (as most of us have!) start in one of the smaller, inconspicuous rooms. Even if you have done this before, but not for a while, start in a small room to work of the rust.

Walls are never quite straight, corners are never square, stuff that should like up won't. So in each room or area start by measuring and checking for square. You don't want to start against a wall, get to the other side and find out you've need a long piece that tapers from 4" to 1" over the length. (extreme example, but you can count on things not being square.

Make sure the areas you will see most look the best. I'd be tempted to run a chalk line from the family room wall that abuts the kitchen out toward the front door. Then measure from that to the side walls and see how the pieces will come out. You are going to see that area every time you walk in the front door, and it's a long straight shot, so it would look best if everything was nice and parallel to that family room wall.

Ideally, in each room, you want even pieces at each wall, not a full piece at one wall and a narrow piece at the other. But a lot of that depends on the material you are using and the pattern.

I tend to use a lot of chalk lines while I am figuring out how the runs are going to fall out.

One good thing about floating floors....if you have to, you can pick it up and start again.

Good luck! I love the way flooring can quickly transform a space.
 
 

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