How do you determine which direction to lay hardwood floors?


In about a month, we will have a contractor lay hardwood floors in our living room, dining room and kitchen which are all upstairs as with many homes in Hawaii. This is all one large area with a staircase slightly separating the l/r from the rest. The dining area has a cathedral ceiling. I would like the wood to run length-wise in all rooms especially to go with the flow of that ceiling. The contractor agrees but some others have said to lay it in the opposite direction because of the stairway. What is your opinion?

  5 answers
  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Jan 27, 2019

    I usually see it parallel to the wall containing the front door. However, there are no rules to follow. It may be easier to go perpendicular to the front wall. It's your house, so do it the way you prefer. If you are installing the wood across the stairs, then I would run the flooring parallel to the stairs.

  • Midge Midge on Jan 27, 2019

    Thanks for answering. Our front door is on the first floor and all of this work is being done on the second floor. But your answer makes a lot of sense and I will "go with the flow". Thanks again.

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Jan 27, 2019

    Positioning your wood pieces with the long part parallel to the long side of the room looks great and it helps reduce the amount of cutting

    • Midge Midge on Jan 28, 2019

      Most people seem to be in favor of your method and I think that is the way we will go. Thanks for responding.

  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Jan 28, 2019

    A TRIAL can be done using poster board. BROWN poster board with Sharpie marker lines drawn on it. Tape a couple together for easier positioning. Lay multiple ones down on the floor in one direction & then the other & see which one you're pleased with the most.

  • MEG MEG on Jan 28, 2019

    You have three options in which to position the flooring. Either horizontal, vertical or diagonal. On the diagonal is gorgeous and makes the area look big and spacious but there is a lot of waste in cutting it and that would become expensive since you are doing a large area of rooms. When the contractor comes lay several planks of wood both horizontally and lay some vertical and decide for yourself which way you prefer better. Gotta see it down both ways so you can make a decision. its just a matter of preference and there is no wrong way to do it.