Laminate Flooring Direction

Which Direction Should You Install Laminate Flooring?

Deciding which direction to lay your laminate flooring often takes far longer than it really should. This is primarily due to the many articles offering contradictory advice. The truth is that you need to decide the direction for yourself and stick to the plan.

It has been most common through history to lay hardwood flooring the length of the room, and for this reason, it makes sense to do the same with laminate flooring.

It is good practice to run your flooring from the front of the house to the back, which in turn will dictate the direction of all the other rooms.
However, there are some basic principles that are good to know before finalizing your decision, these are what I am going to cover in this article.

Before we look at the fundamentals it is a good idea to take a minute and remember that the majority of people that come into your house and walk on your floors will pay no attention whatsoever to it, nevermind the direction it was installed.

OK, breathe and we will continue.

Consider How Many Connecting Rooms You Are Laminating

If you are planning to install laminate flooring throughout a whole house, laying the laminate the length of every room (while possible) will not provide a constant one-directional flow throughout. Unless of course, your house is mostly open plan, in which case you may have lucked out.

For most of us, however, in this circumstance, we will need to compromise.

Directional Flow

If you want your flooring to all flow in a single direction throughout your space you will need to compromise as to which rooms you are willing to forgo convention.

It is good practice to run your flooring from the front of the house to the back, which in turn will dictate the direction of all the other rooms.

If at all possible you should always think of this method first when planning your laminate floor installation and only deviate from it if you, your partner, or a client has substantial reasons for doing so.

One of the most common reasons for deviating from this conventional norm is when dealing with fireplaces or other room-specific features. This is when great compromise will be needed one way or the other.

Non- Directional Flow

Nobody likes to have a room where the laminate flooring doesn’t run in harmony with the rest of the house, but on certain occasions, it just makes sense to deviate from the standard front of the house to the back of the house convention.

Non Directional FlowUnfortunately in terms of advice, there is little that can be said.

Do you want to flip the whole house’s laminate floor direction? Including the hallway? Or will you just have a single room where the laminate runs in a different direction?

It’s a hard decision to make and one that no written article can help you with, it’s a simple choice that must be made – and once you have made that decision you are ready to get started laying your floor.

Manufacturers guidelines

Now that you have decided on the direction of your flooring, you now have a workable plan. It’s now time to double-check your manufacturer’s guidelines.

As well as information on required expansion gaps and acclimating the laminate – they will also provide guidance on the maximum length and width limits of any product installation.

Read this information over and make sure you are familiar with their advice and your project fits within their guidelines.

Final Thoughts!

If you are still reading I have no doubt whatsoever that you will make the right decisions with regards to which direction your laminate floor should be installed.

The simplest decisions can take up so much thought.

If you are new to installing laminate flooring, make sure you opt for the simplest plan that you can – it will make the whole experience more enjoyable and your final job that much more satisfying.

Scott Patterson