If the room is narrow, such as a hallway, a corridor or a long kitchen, planks should run the length of the room. In the same vein, it's typically recommended that planks are installed parallel to the longest wall of the room.
Laminate flooring manufacturers often require their floors to be staggered anywhere between 6 to 12 inches, some manufacturers even want more.
Vertically will elongate a room and works great if pointing towards a window, as it will follow the natural light. Laying laminate flooring horizontally will can make a small room appear larger. Most people prefer to lay their boards parallel with the room's longest wall.
If you're using vinyl plank flooring on steps, you'll need to run the planks horizontally. You'll want to run the planks in the same direction along the floor next to them to create a seamless look.
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.
Laminate flooring should be laid in a “random” stagger pattern. The remaining piece of one row should start the next row. Each piece must be 6 inches or greater. If the remaining piece is less than 6 inches, start the row with a full piece.
Begin the first row of flooring by placing the planks with the tongue side facing the wall. Install the second plank next to the first by aligning the tongue into the groove and press the plank down to snap it in place. When you come to the end of the first row, cut the length of plank needed to complete the row.
Strip flooring can be installed in any direction in any room, however the convention is to run parallel with the longest wall in most situations. Rarely is this type of flooring run perpendicular to walls in a hallway.
Start in the upper left corner of the longest wall and install the planks in the same direction as that in which the main light falls. Planks are always installed from left to right.
Place the first plank with the tongue side towards the wall, being sure to allow 1/8" for expansion. We recommend cutting off the tongue on this first row to avoid any problem with the expansion gap. Insert the second plank into the first at an angle pressing the short ends together; then press it down.
The tongue on laminate flooring is the small flat edge on one side of the board, this is the top edge that is going to angle and lock into the bottom side of another board.
Measure the length of the wall, and divide by two to establish the center. Make a mark on the floor corresponding to the center point. For example, if the wall is 20 feet long, the center point is 10 feet from either end -- 20 / 2 = 10.
If you don't stagger the flooring by more than 6 inches on every row, it will be unstable and may lead to damage later on. But on the other hand, a lot of flooring installers get a little too strict when they stagger their flooring.
When laying laminate flooring it is essential that you leave at least a 10-12mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the floor.
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.
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.
The tongue is the side that you will want to place against the wall as you start your laminate-flooring installation.
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.
Underlayment for laminate flooring is a must. Since laminate is a floating floor, it must be evenly distributed across your subfloor. Underlayment is what allows the floor to float, gives it stability, support, noise reduction, and supports the locking systems in between planks to assure the sturdiest flooring project.