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Recommendations on orientation of laminate flooring planks?

summersbc's Avatar

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04-19-17, 10:39 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Recommendations on orientation of laminate flooring planks?

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We are installing laminate flooring in our house and are considering how best to orient the flooring planks. The flooring will be installed in the Living Room, Dining Room, hallway and 3 bedrooms. There will be transitions placed at the doorways to each bedroom off the hallway, but the Living Room/Dining Room/Hallway area will be one continuous lay.

In terms of which way to orient the flooring planks, we have seen conflicting recommendations. We've read that, generally speaking, the planks should be aligned along the long axis of the room. We've also seen advice that the planks should be placed parallel to light coming in through windows. Lastly, some say that planking should run down the long axis of the hallway.

Given the floorplan as laid out above, how should we proceed? Should we lay the planks in a north/south direction, as that is the long axis of the Living Room/Dining Room area (and natural light will also enter from the north and south)? If so, as the flooring runs into the east/west hallway, it will run perpendicular to the hallway's long axis, which I fear could make the hallway appear short and stubby and give it a "boardwalk" effect when looking down its length. Should we instead orient that entire area east/west instead?

Also, once we establish a plank orientation for the main Living Room/Dining Room/Hallway area, should the bedrooms conform to that orientation as well, or should each of the bedrooms be decided individually based upon its individual merits?

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the_tow_guy's Avatar
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04-20-17, 05:58 AM   #2 (permalink)  
This is just personal opinion based on the drawing (but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night), but I would run the hallway E-W and all others N-S. That would mean a transition at the hallway/living room point, of course. Will have to wait and see what the pros/experts have to say.

The long axis down the hallway, I think, is a given; I don't think that would look good at all with side-to-side.

As an alternative you could run the hallway, living, and dining rooms E-W and the kitchen N-S with a transition.

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04-20-17, 07:44 AM   #3 (permalink)  
I like tow guy's first recommendation. Just plan on having transitions at all the doorways; it will make your life easier as it is difficult to keep everything lined up and tight across multiple room boundaries, and most laminate makers will specify a maximum distance without transitions anyway.

That said, I have a hallway where the strip flooring was laid side to side instead of lengthwise, in order to line up with the kitchen. It really doesn't look bad, but I think it would look more natural had it been laid lengthwise.


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