Hardwood floor direction


I am installing 3 1/4 hardwood strip flooring in my living room/dining room.The room is a rectangle with the long dimension running from the front of the room to the back of the room.My instincts tell me to lay the flooring paralell to the long dimension but the floor joists also run this way. There is 5/8 plywood ontop of the floor joists.Is this enough support to run the hardwood paralell to the floor joists?Also--what esthetic affect does it create to run the flooring paralell to the short dimension? I am having a hard time visualizing what it will look like if I install the floor this way. Thankyou
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While the common wisdom is to place it perpendicular to the joists, there are exceptions. You also want to consider the windows and how light will run across the seams.
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brent wrote:

Everything you need to know from the source...
https://www.nofma.org/Portals/0/Publications/NOFMA%20Installing%20Hardwood%20Floors.pdf
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dpb wrote:

https://www.nofma.org/Portals/0/Publications/NOFMA%20Installing%20Hardwood%20Floors.pdf
I intended to add--
5/8" alone as the subfloor is almost surely not enough stiffness to be satisfactory, however. Generally, one would have at least two 3/4" or the 1+" T&G underlayment.
As for the aesthetics, you can judge that by laying some out loose to see what you think. It certainly is in general true that stip flooring is laid "long ways" in a room. As much as anything, it eases/speeds the installation by minimizing cuts/fitting at ends. The more rectangular the area, the more it makes a difference in that regard, obviously.
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dpb wrote:

You lay the floor once, but look at it for decades. Which direction looks better: floor aligned with the room's long axis or the room's short axis?
I guess if you covered the floor with throw-rugs, it wouldn't make much difference...
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HeyBub wrote:

...
In general, aligned with the long axis is the way flooring is laid and, therefore, it was what has become familiar and, therefore, "better". I've seen rooms that owing to other considerations were laid "short-ways" that looked perfectly natural that way. All I am/was suggesting is OP look at his room and decide--and, if he's uncertain, try laying some out and see. But, the "safe" way is to stay w/ convention, certainly.
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hardwood flooring should be laid perpendicular to joists otherwise when you sand and re-finish it, your floor will be wavy. especially if you decide to re-sand it in the future
diagonal flooring would require joists to be 12" on center.

https://www.nofma.org/Portals/0/Publications/NOFMA%20Installing%20Hardwood%20Floors.pdf
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Tough choice.
I could get used to either direction as the floor is as it is.
So it really makes no never mind.
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brent wrote:

diagonal?
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Depending on the ratio width/length and the size of the room running the "short" way might look ok. It will definitely be stronger crossing the joists. I considered running 45 degrees when I did my floor even though my joists ran the preferred way and my room was narrow.
Wider planks might help but I don't know to what extent and then again depending on room size they might make the room look smaller. For what it's worth I wrote up my floor install notes notes on my personal website (http://www.sawbee.com/rwmProjects/woodFloor1.html ) This was the first time I ever did a floor, so I may have missed some obvious tricks...
Good Luck! randy
CJT wrote:

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Mine runs the short way and I have never thought about it til now.
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