Asked on Apr 15, 2012

Should my bamboo floor run parallel to my wood ceiling or across it

Retha S
by Retha S
I have a wood ceiling that runs east and west and it is pine ( clear Coated ) I am putting in a bamboo floor, don't know what would look best- to run it along with the ceiling or opposite. Opinions please.
wood ceiling, with out trim
  24 answers
  • Bonnie B Bonnie B on Apr 15, 2012
    Retha: This might sound crazy and probably is ~~ but how about laying the floor at a diagonal pattern?
  • Rachel S Rachel S on Apr 15, 2012
    yeah make a contrast.
  • Anita D Anita D on Apr 15, 2012
    do a dry run lay out your floor and see what works for you
  • Retha S Retha S on Apr 15, 2012
    Thanks, Have received the flooring for a dry run yet, but I am liking the contrast. I also have a set of stairs coming down in the bamboo
  • William P William P on Apr 15, 2012
    just an FYI: Any hardwood flooring installed has to run perpendicular to your floor joists and not based on your ceiling..
  • Lisa Alsip B Lisa Alsip B on Apr 15, 2012
    Try laying it out first and see which one you like the best.
  • Susan F Susan F on Apr 15, 2012
    Hardwood flooring should run along, and in the same direction as, the longest wall in the room for the best effect. However that works in comparison to your ceiling, so be it. Good luck!
  • Karen W Karen W on Apr 15, 2012
    I agree with the dry run suggestion and the contrast, but if your room is small, running it the same direction as the ceiling will help create the illusion of a larger room. If it's large room, however, that might make it seem cavernous. Try every way conceivable first and see what you like best. Don't forget the after pictures for us!
  • Linda V Linda V on Apr 15, 2012
    Isn't hardwood supposed to run perp to the joists?
  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Apr 15, 2012
    flooring should in most cases be perpendicular to the floor joists, which are often going the same way as the ceiling joists in most homes. Also bear in mind the 'look' from entering the room from the most used entrance as well as what light angle from windows. With proper subfloor it is not imperative to run across the joists but in almost all cases it makes the room look best and fewer chances of squeaks and possible dips.
  • "Any hardwood flooring installed has to run perpendicular to your floor joists and not based on your ceiling.. " This is totally false. It was only necessary in certain kinds of const when there was no subfloor, yet the myth persists. There are many protocols for flooring direction, none of them absolutes
  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Apr 15, 2012
    You tell em! LOL
  • LOL, howdy Duane!
  • Debi M Debi M on Apr 15, 2012
    The room will lok larger if you run the floor in the same direction as the ceiling. If the room is small, definitely run it the same way
  • William P William P on Apr 15, 2012
    Actually, both the APA and the SBA state that hardwood floors should be installed perpendicular to the joists where possible for maximum stiffness. And the NWFA says you should install perpendicular to joists....
  • Retha S Retha S on Apr 15, 2012
    Thanks for all the help, I was thinking the same way as the ceiling. The rooms are not small. and that would put it perpendicular to the floor joists. I have a two layer sub- floor for maximum strength. So I had not considered the floor joists. And it will be a good month( just ordered it) and I will post a pic. Thanks again
  • Rocco A Rocco A on Apr 15, 2012
    if it is on a subfloor I would recommend running the floor opposite of the floor joists. If it is on a slab install them however you see fit.
  • You'll find lots of opinions....and even the codes are sometimes wrong. The first question should be over what type of subflooring? Do you have solid wood subfloors (plywood) or OSP or chip board....makes a huge difference. I'm guessing this is at least a 3/8" thick bamboo to be installed with nails or staples? If that's the only want to install that over solid plywood subfloor (in my opinion)...anything else and you risk it pulling out and failing to hold. Alot of homes built in our Atlanta market in the 70s & 80s boom has OSB or similar (it's more of a compressed sawdust product and the name escapes me) subfloors. We've seen plenty of installed jobs where the floors have pulled out bc these types of subfloors have no holding power. If you want to install correctly and you have these types of subflooring budget to replace them first and get several opinions from pro's on what you should do in your local market. Most of us will tell you to install perpendicular to the joists so that your nails or staples are at least tying into wood and the joists are providing additional flex support to the floor. Just remember to check what those two layers are made of first. Depending on what it is, you may need to remove a layer....if not, make certain to use a large enough staple or nail to hit the joists in places where you can. LUCK with it!
  • "where possible for maximum stiffness. " I agree entirely with that, but that statement is a far cry from the first claim that this is how it should always be done. It is only necessary to run hardwood flooring perp when there is substandard or no subfloor. Sphereamid explained it well. Perp can be better for some reasons. HandyAndy brings up a good point too. Bamboo is a grass, not a wood, and might even be an engineered flooring product rather than anything similar to the typical solid hardwood
  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Apr 17, 2012
    Now lets not confuse underlayment ( which can be a ply wood OR particle board) vs. the SUB floor. The sub floor is what is attached to the joists, the under lay is what ( sometimes) is used under carpet and vinyl. Could be from 3/4" particle board to 1/4" plywood in range. A good flooring guy can I.D. and suggest a tear up (if too thick or PB) or lay finish floor as is on top. It depends somewhat on adjoining room transitions too. Some cases an underlay isn't needed at all, some ya do.
  • Im amazed at some of these responses.... where is the dislike button???
  • Richard Richard on Jul 12, 2015
    I would consider laying the floor on the diagonal. It will cross any support joists and be totally different than the ceiling. It's no harder to do it this way either.
  • Paul Paul on Jul 31, 2016
    I am having a similar problem. Room is 9'× 24' and the floor joists dictate hardwood to run length wise. The cedar plank ceiling can go either way if I strap the joists. Would it look working if I didn't and run the ceiling perpendicular to the floor. Don't want the room to look like a bowling alley.
    • Retha S Retha S on Jul 31, 2016
      In 3 bedrooms and my hall upstairs, I ran my bamboo flooring the same direction as my pine ceiling . I am pleased with the out come
  • It depends on your floor and where the joists are. The flooring should run perpendicular to the joists.