Hardwood flooring must be installed perpendicular to the floor joists or on a diagonal for any single layer subfloor. To run parallel to the joists, you'll need to add a 1/2” plywood underlayment or brace every 16” between joists with a nominal 2”x 6” SPF nailed in place.
The best appearance is usually achieved by installing parallel to the length of the room, but always install perpendicular to the floor joists (wood subfloors) unless special subfloor conditions are met.
The most common way to lay hardwood flooring is by aligning the planks parallel to the longest wall. Apart from a few exceptions like sagging joists, this is the preferred direction to lay wood floors because it aesthetically provides the best result.
Flooring experts recommend installing flooring boards perpendicular to the floor joists in a house with a plywood subfloor. Installing them parallel creates the possibility that the floor will sag between the joists and open gaps between the boards or worse.
Joists. The first thing to consider is joists - if your new wooden boards are having to span floor joists, then the boards would have to run in the opposite direction to the joists. This is to make sure that the flooring is adequately supported, and safe for use.
Wood floors should always be laid perpendicular to floor joists—across rather that in between them. This will make the floors structurally sound and will help prevent the planks from separating, sagging or buckling. So, there is no right or wrong way to lay your wood flooring.
An important thing to know about joists is that they usually run in the same direction throughout a house. If the visible joists in a basement or attic run east to west, for example, you can be fairly certain the invisible joists under the bedroom floor also run east to west.
You should not change the direction of hardwood flooring between rooms—the reason why is that it causes visual disharmony. Placing hardwood flooring in the same direction that follows your space is best.
When placing wood floors in multiple rooms and a connecting hallway, the boards should all be directed away from the main entrance to the hall, and adjoining rooms should continue in that same direction.
Simply put, underlayment is a layer of material between your subfloor and your floor. While some flooring comes with the underlayment attached, others will require you to install a separate underlayment. Most of the time, underlayment consists of rubber, cork, foam, or felt.
Engineered wood flooring is a better choice in high-moisture environments than solid hardwood, making it a better option for kitchens, bathrooms and basements. But, for whole-house installations, both flooring options offer a wide range of style choices.
Overlap Wood Floor Planks by at Least 6 Inches
The basic rule to remember for creating a strong stagger is that all planks should overlap by 6 inches or more. This means that the short joint between planks should be at least 6 inches away from the nearest joint in any adjacent row.
In traditional design, flooring is usually installed following the direction of the main light source. If there are big windows or an entryway contributing streams of natural light, install floors in the same direction as their source.
Yes, you can use pine subfloors as primary flooring. In many older houses, the pine subfloor was the only floor and it held up well. Uncovered pine subflooring appeals to recycling enthusiasts as well as fans of distressed wood.
Hardwood flooring will not stabilize the OSB subfloor, so all movement must be remedied prior to hardwood installation. Ensure that no fasteners are exposed or raised and that there is at least an 1/8-inch gap between OSB subfloor panels.
The big question is, should flooring be the same throughout the house? The quick answer is YES! Using the same flooring throughout ties rooms together, improves flow, makes the home seem larger, simplifies cleaning and maintenance, and is often easier on the budget.
Put simply, the answer to the question do wood floors have to match room to room, is entirely one of personal choice. You can choose to have different flooring in each room if that works for you, but synergy and flow from selecting one central flooring material can look wonderful too.
You could install a thin threshold between each room. That would cover the overlap in finish between the rooms. If the planks run parallel to the doors, you could cut out one board between the two rooms. That would give a clean line between finishes (and place the one board back at the end.
Use a Seam Binder or Transition Strip
A transition strip is like using only the top of a piece of T-molding. It's a thin, rounded piece of wood material that you can nail down across a wood flooring seam to “bind” the two areas together. It's one of the simplest options, but it has the potential to look tacked-on.
Because if you're on a second story, typically, that second story floor will have joists that run parallel to the rafters.
Most often, floor joist spacing is 16 inches apart on center, but this can vary depending on building codes and the requirements of the structure in the blueprint. Floor joists help distribute the load of a structure.
Check an unfinished basement or attic to see which way the joists run. If the wall runs parallel to the joists, it's probably not load-bearing. If it's perpendicular, it most likely is a load-bearing wall.
Floorboards are almost always laid at 90 degrees to the joists. The wall below must be running parallel with the joists meaning they cannot be sitting on it.
The goal is to make the boards start about 1/2″ from the exterior wall on both the back side and edge. Since the wall was out of square, this varied as much as 1/2″ along the perimeter. In every hardwood installation, you should leave 1/2″ expansion joints between the flooring surface and the exterior wall.