Should All Wood Floors Run In The Same Direction? (Solved)

Installing wood floors is not just about finding the right materials but also making sure they are set up in the right direction.

It is common to assume the wood floors should be facing a particular direction when they are installed.

This can leave you wondering, should all wood floors run in the same direction?

Wood floors do not have to run in the same direction. Each room should be separated using a t-molding strip. Once in place, the hardwood planks should be perpendicular to the joists. This means each room’s flooring can be in a different direction if needed.

The t-molding strip is useful in changing a wood floor’s direction without having it look odd. Experts state it’s important to have the strip in place as it makes an aesthetic and structural difference.

A sudden change in direction will look odd without the strip.

This article is going to dissect what works and what does not when it’s time to install wood floors and choose their direction in the room.

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Tips For Installing Wood Floors

1. Install Perpendicular To The Joists

The most important rule of thumb is to install the hardwood planks perpendicular to the joists.

This is done for stability and to make sure the hardwood flooring looks aesthetically pleasing once it’s set up.

Changing directions between wood floors in different rooms is common practice. It is not mandatory, but it often comes down to the layout of the room itself.

If all of the rooms have a similar setup then you can maintain harmony by keeping the planks facing the same direction.

On the other hand, rooms that are in a different direction than the others might need the hardwood flooring installed differently.

Keep this into account and continue to follow this rule of thumb. It will keep you on the right path.

should all wood floors run the same direction

2. Use A T-Molding Strip

When it is time to divide rooms, you will need a strip that will act as an endpoint.

This is where the room ends.

To do this, you will need to use a t-molding strip. This strip will be installed horizontally right where the room ends.

It highlights a breakpoint for the hardwood flooring and allows you to change the direction if necessary.

Since changing the hardwood floor’s direction is often mandatory, you will need to use this breakpoint as a tool to keep things aesthetically pleasing. If not, it will look odd for the planks to run in the wrong direction.

3. Avoid Keeping The Same Direction In All Rooms

You have to avoid keeping the planks in the same direction unless the layout is the same for each room.

Remember, the number one rule is to have the hardwood floors installed perpendicular to the joists. This is far more important than any other element including what you prefer.

You have to make sure the hardwood flooring is going to last and that will only happen when you are installing it in this manner.

When that is considered, you will then start to see a pattern develop as to how the hardwood flooring is laid out.

In most cases, you are not going to have the planks facing in the same direction across the board.

should all wood floors run the same direction

4. Use An Expansion Gap In All Rooms

You will want to take advantage of an expansion gap.

This includes ensuring you are setting up an expansion gap that will allow the hardwood planks to expand when moisture settles in.

This is one of the biggest concerns a person has.

You don’t want a situation where the expansion gap is negligible and that causes the planks to begin cracking up.

It’s best to use an expansion gap that will regulate how the hardwood is settled. Just a few millimeters can get the job done.

Is It OK To Change The Direction Of Wood Flooring Between Rooms?

It is okay to change the direction of wood flooring between rooms. To do this, install a t-molding strip at the breakpoint to help divide the rooms. This makes it easy to restart the direction of the wood flooring based on what you need in that particular room.

Final Thoughts

Should all wood floors run in the same direction?

Wood floods do not need to run in the same direction. The most important rule is to install hardwood flooring perpendicular to the joists. If this means changing the direction in different rooms then so be it.

There is nothing wrong with having all of the wood floors running in the same direction nor is it bad to have them running in different directions as long as you are using a t-molding strip to divide the rooms.

Read More On Living Rooms:

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  3. What’s Required To Change Hardwood Floor’s Color Without Sanding?
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  5. Steps To Manage Steam Cleaning Hardwood Floors