If you are are planning a hardwood update to your home you may be thinking about some of the details like the orientation of the floor. The direction your hardwood flooring is installed relies on a few factors. While you may see hardwood flooring running in all different directions in a showroom or commercial space there are some factors that have to be taken into consideration within your home.
The factors that affect the installation direction of hardwood flooring include the installation method, visual aesthetics and the structural integrity. A contractor is a great resource for choosing the best direction for installation based on these factors.
The subfloor is something that must be considered for the direction of the flooring as well as the method of installation. Concrete subfloors require different installation methods than a plywood subfloor. Concrete floors have little effect on the direction of installation for your flooring. If the flooring will be installed over plywood there is more to consider. First the flooring will probably be installed with the nail down method. Then the floor joists will be considered the flooring will likely run perpendicular to the floor joist. There are exceptions and was around this but this is the general rule of thumb.
When choosing the direction based on visual aesthetics there are more factors to consider. The general rule is to run the planks into the front entry way to create a sense of openness and flow to the home. Hallways should have the planks running with the hallway. Directional changes with the home should be avoided because they affect the flow of the space. If you want to define a space you can alter the direction of the flooring to create the feeling of a divide, this technique is used in some dining spaces or studies. Depending on the design of a home an angled installation can even be utilized. It is all dependent on the look you want.
While structural integrity should be considered first the orientation of the wood becomes a big design element. Flooring can really change a space and talking with your contractor