After searching diligently for the right style of wood floor planks for your home, you are understandably eager to schedule the installation and to see the lovely results that you have been hoping for. However, one important matter still requires your attention before the installation work begins. The direction of the wood planks can dramatically impact the finished result, so this matter should be carefully researched. What should you know about before you select the wood floor direction for your project?
Why the Wood Floor Direction Matters
Wood floor planks create long lines throughout the room with some installation methods. The flow of these lines can stretch the eye and create the illusion of space in one direction. These lines can also draw attention to specific design elements in the room, such as the fireplace or an amazing view through floor-to-ceiling windows. On the other hand, they can draw attention to uneven walls and other structural concerns that you may prefer to conceal as much as possible. These are the more common impacts that wood floor direction can have on your space, but each home is different and requires you to take into account different factors. As you explore the options, consider the visual impact that each one would have on your space. Factors related to installation time, skill and cost also must be considered.
The Beautiful Possibilities
The most traditional installation method for wood planks is vertically or horizontally with the planks staggered, but this is only one of many options available. Keep in mind that the dimensions of your room, the size of your planks and the desired effect all must be taken into account in order to enjoy the best results.
Straight or Vertical Flow
Straight or vertical flow produces a classic effect, but it can also look beautiful in a contemporary space. It is achieved by installing the planks straight down the longest width or length of the space. When you are installing wood in multiple contiguous rooms, the dimensions of the entire open area should be considered. Generally, this installation method requires less time and materials than other methods where more cuts are involved. Because of this, the straight or vertical flow style may be more affordable overall.
The horizontal pattern is the opposite of the vertical pattern. The planks run the direction of the shortest length of the room. If your room is very long and narrow, the illusion created by the horizontal lines can work in your favor. While this method will require the use of more wood and more cuts than the vertical installation method, it may still be more affordable to install than some of the other layouts and patterns available.
If you want to incorporate a touch of individuality into your space through your floors, installing the planks diagonally is a beautiful option. With this method, the wood planks will run parallel to each other. However, they will be set at an angle to the primary walls in the room. While a 45-degree angle is most common, other options are available.
The herringbone pattern is a variation of the diagonal layout. With this method, one row of planks is angled at a 45-degree angle. The next row of planks is angled in the opposite direction. The result is a V-style pattern that undulates through the space. This layout requires precise, angled cuts, and it may require the use of more wood.
The parquet-style installation creates a series of geometric shapes in a beautiful pattern across the floor. The most basic style is a checkerboard pattern. Others include a basket weave and a double basket weave. As is the case with the herringbone layout, parquet-style installation requires more materials, time and skill.
For a rustic look, a random layout is a lovely option. To complete this look, you will need several different lengths and widths of boards. The planks will be installed either horizontally or vertically and will run parallel to each other. However, the offset lengths and widths will create a fascinating effect.
Choosing the Wood Floor Direction for Your Home
While these are the more common layout styles for hardwood floors, others are available for you to consider as well. For example, chevron, Versailles, Chantilly, square basket and others are available. Before defining your preference, consider what style or look you want to achieve in your space. Then, identify any factors that need to be concealed or minimized. Does the room have a focal point that you want to draw attention to?
Are you installing the planks in multiple adjoining rooms? If so, what are the factors from those rooms that must be taken into consideration? In many homes, adjoining rooms may have an odd shape or may be angled off-center from the primary room. The installation method that is well-suited for one space may not look great in the other space. Creative installation techniques may be required to achieve lovely results in both spaces.
Another factor to focus on is lighting. When lighting in the room falls in the direction of boards, it can magnify the lengthening effect. On the other hand, the opposite is true when the light falls perpendicularly to the boards. This may be ideal if you are trying to create a cozy ambiance in a larger room.
Consider Professional Wood Floor Installation
While some homeowners will install wood flooring on their own, the complexity of the project should be considered. More complex patterns require numerous cuts, and the angles of the cuts must be perfect in order to achieve beautiful results. If you are not confident in your abilities to install the layout that you prefer, scheduling a professional installation is a smart option.