Which direction should you run your hardwood floors?

You’ve decided to install hardwood floors in your Bay Area home. After spending hours debating between natural and engineered hardwood, color, and finish, you have one more decision to make: which way should your floors run. The answer lies within your house and your vision.

which way should hardwood floors run


For strength and durability, installing hardwood flooring perpendicular to the floor joists is recommended. When hardwood floors are installed parallel to the joists, they will sag, squeak and gap. If your sub-floor is a concrete slab, you can run the floors in any direction you prefer.

Sight Lines and Aesthetics  

Laying the hardwood flooring so that it runs from the main entrance of the room to the opposite wall is the best for sight line. It gives the room a clean open feel and is preferable to running the wood the other direction. Some rooms benefit from a diagonal installation, which adds interest and drama. If you are installing hardwoods throughout the entire floor, it is recommended to keep it running in the same direction rather than change it room by room, which can create a choppy feeling to the spaces.

If the best aesthetic option requires the flooring to be run parallel to the joists, you will need to bolster the sub-flooring by adding a 3/8 inch of plywood. In some homes, installing wood blocking will also eliminate the risk of squeaks and gaps.

Elegant Floors offers homeowners an extensive selection of wood types and finishes.

Our skilled technicians will complete your unfinished hardwood floor installation with stain and sealants that meet your needs and will look great in your home for years to come. Call us today at 650-961-1339 or 408-773-8624 or click here for a free quote.

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Which Way Should Your Hardwood Floors Run?