I bought a home with hardwood floors in the half of the home. The flooring
was laid with the boards (2.25" x 3/4" T&G oak) running parallel to the
floor joists. I want to install hardwood throughout the rest of house, but I
am concerned about the flooring orientation. Aesthetically, it won't look
pleasing if I switch the board direction.
Is this something I should be concerned with, or should I just continue with
the flooring "as is".
PS- The current flooring is showing no signs of buckling or any signs of
movement. They are three years old.
In general the floor will be stiffer over-all if the flooring is
applied perpendicular to the joists. In practice, if the joists
and subfloor are stiff enough by themselves then you should be
free to let the aesthetics dictate the orientation.
Consider that some floors will have carpet, vinyl, or parquet
laid directly on the subfloor none of which contribute any
significant stiffness, and some hardwood floors are installed
on the diagonal or herringbone.
This assumes the subfloor _is_ adequate.
Remember, some subfloors are made of T&G boards, which are run
perpendicular or diagonal to the joists. This means the finish floor is
often parallel with the joists, and still correct.
I didn't see a mention of the subfloor material in the original message.
I installed about 300 sq.ft. of that same flooring in my upstairs
office running parallel to the joists because that was the way it
looked the best. installed over a plywood subfloor. About twelve
years ago with a lot of traffic and still in perfect condition with no
One thing I wished I had done. the subfloor was nailed to the floor
joists without construction adhesive. over time the nails will loosen
as the two woods dry. the new t & g oak got a lot of but not all of
the squeeks out.
When I did the rest of the upstairs with carpet and ceramic tile in
the bathroom, I put a wood screw next to every nail, whether loose or
waiting to be loose. with the help of my two boys, only took a couple
of hours. took out all of the squeeks and movement of the floor. made
it feel much more solid.
Not quite clear here- are you worried about the fact that the
exisiting flooring is parallel to the joists and don't want to do any
more like that, or is it just that you'd prefer a different
If the former, that's going to depend largely on what the sub-floor is
made of, if the latter, you could consider installing a transition
area that includes both orientations (think nested picture frames) to
break up the pattern, and make the switch look more intentional.
If it was put in right, it shouldn't- the wood floors in my house are
50 years old, parallel to the joists, and are just fine.
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