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Homeowners need to know which direction to lay their laminate flooring

Laying Laminate Flooring Guide
April 2, 2022

This is a question that you as a homeowner get asked daily. When it comes to determining which direction to lay laminate flooring, there are a lot of myths. And we at All In One Renovation decided it was time to apply it to bed once and for all. We've heard a lot of recommendations over the years, and some of them are valid, but in the vast majority of installations, it won't make a difference. In truth, your preference is the essential factor.

There are some situations where it will make a difference, and we'll go over those below, but at first, let's try to clear up some of the common misconceptions. If you're going to start a new project, don't forget to read our helpful guide on laying laminate flooring. We've produced a comprehensive installation guide for every other type of wood flooring.

Direction Of Sunlight

The way you lay a laminate floor should have no bearing on the source of your natural light, such as windows and doors. This one, unfortunately, has about as much merit as carrots helping your vision. This story has so little credibility despite extensive inquiry that we could not determine where it originated.

It goes without saying that when laying your wood floor, you should disregard natural light. It may influence your colour selection, but it should never affect how you apply a laminate floor.

Creating The Illusion Of A Larger Area

This is a brilliant concept. Running the boards across the room's shortest width will help any space appear larger. The only problem is that it isn't going to work!

While vertical stripes on a person's clothing can make them appear taller, doing the same on your floor will not help your room appear larger. Unfortunately, this one is just another "old wives tale."

Laying Planks Across A Room's Length

The longest walls' orientation in a space is often followed by the laminate or wood flooring boards. Consider hallway flooring as an example. More often than not, the length of the flooring board will correspond to the size of the room.

And in other circumstances, there is a compelling rationale for this. Solid wood flooring expands mainly in the direction of the grain. As a result, stretching the width of a plank across the narrowest point of any room reduces the amount of expansion necessary. Up until the 1970s, solid wood flooring was the only form of wood flooring available, so practically every wood floor plank installed ran the length of the room.

Today, we have options like laminate flooring and engineered wood floors that don't extend primarily in one direction, so there's no need to stick with just one. However, due to the history and natural properties, the most natural-looking direction to lay a wood floor is always along the length of a room.

So, Which Way Should Laminate Flooring Be Installed?

Finally, determining which direction to put laminate flooring is pretty straightforward. Pick the one that demands you the most. Ignore other people's opinions since the one that matters the most to you is usually the better option. However, make sure that you do the following:

  • Do not exceed the maximum length/width of installation specified by the manufacturer.
  • At the perimeter, use expansion gaps.
  • Remember to leave expansion spaces in all doorways.
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