Laminate Floor Board Direction: Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

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There are many good reasons for installing laminate floorboards in your home. However, despite the endurance and life of this flooring, there are a number of reasons why you should be careful about how you install laminate in your home. The direction of the flooring is something that is easy to overlook when you are measuring up for an installation, but if you don't get this right the first time, you could find yourself having to rip up your floorboards and replacing them. If you are a beginner in laminate floorboard installation, then you might want to consider learning more about the right direction to install your boards.

Direction is Crucial

The direction of the installation can be vital, particularly if you are fitting boards into an area that will see a lot of traffic and use. One way in which a poor choice of direction can affect the boards is when you lay them lengthways across a hall with stairs at the end. If you have the regular pressure of a foot on one particular board, this can eventually cause it to crack, or move, which at the bottom of some stairs can be dangerous. It is better to lay them so that 2 or more boards cover the stair area, so there is less pressure being bought to bear on the single board. This is also true of areas where people are regularly walking up and down. A single board might eventually fail under the constant pressure from pairs of feet.

Floor Joist Direction

Another consideration is floor joist direction. When you lay a floor in a second story, the boards must not travel in the same direction as the joist. The joist might be forced away by the pressure of the single board, and in addition, the support will not be given to all boards equally. In order to allow the joist to support the floorboard, lay it at right angles to the direction of the joist, if possible. If this is not a feasible action, then you should try for some diagonal placing, at least. The danger of the joist having to support weight in one place is that it may well become damaged or loose.

Changing Direction

If you are laying laminate across a number of rooms, then the chances are that you will eventually wish to have a change of floorboard direction. For example, floorboards laid in a hall might not need to be at the same angle as that of the living room. However, joining these boards together is very difficult. One solution to this problem is to use a transitional strip between the changes in boards. This strip prevents the boards from touching, and in this way prevents them from forming gaps which people can trip over, or cracking, or any of the other problems which can affect boards under pressure.