Chris Davis, president and chief executive of the World Floor Covering Association, a trade group, says the installers should probably use a “floating floor” method, which calls for spreading a thin underlayment over the floor and then attaching the new vinyl only on the perimeter. If there are seams, they can be glued together, but not to the floor. If the front entrance is rarely used and the main focal point becomes another point of entry it may be better to go perpendicular from there. Secondly, I asked about putting vinyl sheet flooring on top of vinyl tiles installed in 1977 in the basement when the house was built. In my own personal opinion, diagonal installations at a 45º angle will make your home stand out in the neighborhood. What can I do?" Once the preferred angle is achieved simply create the template board to be used throughout the installation. So, you may choose to lay flooring towards the window area or entryway of your space. Direction can also play a role by opening up areas that looked smaller. If engineered planks run in the same direction as joists, pieces with a joist underneath will be much stiffer than those that don’t have solid support, and that could affect the way light is reflected off the finish. ©2002-2020 All Rights Reserved. As far as tools used to cut, any table saw will be the most efficient, but not the safest. Applications ordinarily call for gluing with a construction adhesive, while screwing or using ring shank nails secured into the floor joists through the existing subfloor. Consult with experienced professionals to evaluate these systems and what may or may not be needed in your case. For those interested, the easiest way to make these cuts is establishing a template with a two foot long scrap piece. A.Regarding the wood flooring, there’s a little truth in what both people told you, though the second person was more correct. Opinions on how to install a diagonal hardwood floor may vary depending on who you talk to. Don't store flooring in basements or garages; it might absorb moisture. Depending on the situation, such an angle may help tie the two rooms together. She suggested carpeting. Staying constant through out home will help with flow. In cases of whole-level flooring jobs, it's customary to run the flooring away from the main entryway -- in the direction of travel -- then spill into each adjoining room and corridor accordingly. Principally what I wanted to achieve was a good solid starting point. Choosing which direction to install wood floors is often a confusing choice for many. •"Try to run the flooring … Diagonal installations have a tendency to bend at the perimeter because there is not enough backing to keep it aligned with the firmer larger areas. The direction of your flooring boards has a huge impact on a room’s overall appearance and can be a tough nut to crack. With 5/8″ plywood or thicker, the plywood itself will grip the fasteners well enough to avoid the floor from pulling up, so hitting joists periodically throughout the installation is less of an issue. If you can make a change in these three areas, your feet will start to strike just beneath your hips. Sure in some cases it may work, but others not. I’ve found the best area to start is in a corner. A few variations can really set off the appearance of your home. Many suggest 3/8" plywood to be used if you prefer running with the joists. A much safer tool to use is a jig saw but takes longer. Diagonal floor installations can be installed on both plywood (minimum sub floor requirements) and concrete subfloors. How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring as a Beginner!See my flooring install playlist: to for sponsoring this video! If it’s 5/8″ plywood or better, we’d be less concerned which direction the wood was running but would still be inclined to run the wood across the joists. The image below best illustrates this. There just isn’t enough space.” Also, a hall is narrow enough that you wouldn’t notice differences in reflected light anyway. Drywall keyhole Saw 6. These type of subfloors have been constructed off site. However, the existing flooring has been in place for decades. “Even a slight flex could cause a distortion, so you’d see where the joists are,” says Frank Kroupa, training director for the flooring association. For the most part, diagonal installations show the floor layout on a 45 degree angle, but that does not mean you’re held to those dimensions only. If y… of walls and rim joists. Sometimes your room is square; and, in that case, I would run the tiles parallel to the entrance of the room, so that when you walk in you walk across the pattern laid out horizontally. Proceed with the utmost caution as blade binding with severe angles is commonplace. Applying new flooring on top of the old is probably preferable anyway, because vinyl flooring and flooring adhesive made before 1981 often contain asbestos, an ingredient that becomes a problem only if you rip it out or if it’s breaking down. Expect higher installation rates and material waste when installing on a diagonal. First off, what is a diagonal? Shorten the first piece of laminate flooring so the joints in this row will be offset (staggered) in relationship to the first row. Solutions include adding a layer of half-inch plywood before the flooring strips are installed or adding cross-bracing underneath the floor. Another option could be identifying the main source of light in your space, and run the flooring perpendicular to the light. Hold the block securely with your left hand and hit … Keep in mind our example is a glue down installation and the procedure may vary. The examples shown on this page are part of a directional change done for a showroom. String and fishing weight Any new hardwood installation does not require additional sub flooring unless the preferred direction is the same as the old plank subfloor. Standard chop saws cannot cut past 45 to 48 degrees without using a jig. Instead of a standard 45 degree layout, or the bowling alley look, this homeowner sought a ten degree layout. The other said I must run it across the joists for support. Always wear knee protection. The hardwood in my living room and dining room does run across the joists, as the second person suggested. The direction of your flooring boards has a huge impact on a room’s overall appearance and can be a tough nut to crack. The National Wood Flooring Association’s technical guidelines call for installing both hardwood flooring and engineered flooring crosswise to joists. Avoid having full-size tiles on one side and half-size tiles on the other size. The first person said that would be fine. Send questions to For instance, if the space is 5-feet-by-8-feet, the boards should run along the 8-foot wall. Fish Tape or Wire Coat Hanger 7. The easiest way to install a ten degree angle (80 degrees at the other end) is to begin the flooring along the walls that represent the 80 degree angle. Patience is critical with this type of installation especially in keeping the proper amount of expansion space around the perimeter. One person told me that I could run engineered wood in any direction. However, very fine grout lines (1/16th of an inch or less) will require unsanded grout. Mix the grout the same way that you mixed the mortar in Step 4. The vinyl plank flooring boards should lay parallel to the longest run of the room. As a general rule, make sure to lay your floor in the same direction as the main light source in a room and in the same line as the most frequently used entrance.If there are several doors and windows, then opt for the direction that’s the easiest to install. By doing this you are ensuring that there will be no gaps. Put “How To” in the subject line, tell us where you live and try to include a photo . The second said absolutely not. Drill and bits 2. No movement of the starter line area will occur, but keeping a watchful eye on the area is advised during the course of the first several rows. •Let flooring acclimate in open boxes for 3-4 days in the room where it will be laid.Wait at least a week before opening boxes in areas with new drywall or plaster. None of these are suitable for a problem free floor installation running parallel to the joists. Generally the biggest problem is keeping the same angled cut around the wall lines with so many individual pieces being used. As a general rule, make sure to lay your floor in the same direction as the main light source in a room and in the same line as the most frequently used entrance.If there are several doors and windows, then opt for the direction that’s the easiest to install. Vertical flooring is the most common orientation for wood floors. If you have a width wise open concept, run the flooring parallel to the longest walls. The example shown is our Country Style random width Walnut. The job below was used with our 3/4" unfinished engineered floors. Use a wooden block to tap the next row of boards into the first. Experienced installers have a better grasp on which direction the floor should run. More on control lines can be seen with our naildown pages as a reference. Either method, they are held firm to the subfloor with concrete screws. This is where wedges come into play. Image Source: Bill Price (10 degree layout). Flashlight 5. More modern homes have a floor joist system and a subfloor. Fixing the underlying problem is as simple as adding another layer of plywood to the existing subfloor, providing your floor joist spacing is in a normal range. This tends to capture the eye and pull the attention immediately out into the open space of the home, making the area look much larger and more open. This isn't a dictum, though. Drill 1-1/2-in. A little off subject, but if you have a lightweight concrete subfloor often called gypcrete, some hardwood floors can only be installed by the floating method. Real wood needs to be installed that way to give the nails something to bite into. Stud Finder 3. Slide the tongue of the first plank on the second row into the groove of the first row at a low angle and lay it on the floor. She said moisture would build up between the vinyl tiles and the vinyl on top of it because it was below grade and the base floor was concrete. Hardwood on concrete does not follow any of the above. As for the vinyl, ensuring that moisture isn’t coming up through the concrete is usually a big issue in basements. Use a grout float to spread the grout evenly into the seams. The same example applies to a bathroom floor. This technique is most commonly used for oddly-shaped rooms. This will make the floors structurally sound and will help prevent the planks from separating, sagging or buckling. “Use common sense,” Kroupa says. Measuring Tape 4. Start at the door way or the wall with the most doorways, as this is the hardest spot to install flooring of any kind. Bending can be slight, but over many rows can throw off the alignment into inches if you don't keep an eye on it. Start on the left side of the room and work right. When installing, run the new subfloor material perpendicular to the existing while overlapping older subfloor sheets(seams). Electrical Tape 8. So you should do what makes sense visually, and you probably don’t need to worry about stiffening the floor first. In a nutshell, the preference calls for running the flooring front to back as you enter the home. Have a problem in your home? By way of explanation, as you walk into the foyer, the floor will be installed perpendicular to the front door threshold. Wood floors should always be laid perpendicular to floor joists—across rather that in between them. holes anywhere in the web area of engineered I-joists, except within 6 in. Install the second and subsequent planks in each row by locking the ends together, and then you work your way down the plank, pushing the tongue into the groove as you go. After every row or two is completed, insert the wedges against the wall or base. You want those boards to look like they are laid they way they are in a bowling alley, all the way into the home through to the back. Using light to decide direction can be limiting, though, if … Older homes with thicker solid plank flooring were installed on a diagonal. Does it make a difference if it is engineered vs. real hardwood? Step 3: Cover Your Floor With Underlay. If one wall has three-quarter-size tiles, the opposite wall should have tiles of the same size. Our hardwoods are manufactured, finished and shipped from SE Ohio. It's not uncommon to have directional changes that offset the appearance, providing you have the proper sub floor. Make sure that the first strip you lay is pushed up against the wall and run up the wall by about 4 inches. For years most construction has been using common 5/8 or 3/4" sub flooring over joist systems. In a hallway, it would look silly to install the wood crosswise, regardless of which direction the joists run. Other situations where attention should be taken into account would be if thinner sub flooring was used, or settling of the home had taken place with visible peaks and valleys across the subfloor. Other applications can include using a full length piece as a backer board for the start of the installation. The preference has always been installing perpendicular to the joists, as it provides stronger support for the floor going over it. Assuming it isn’t crumbling or coming loose, you can probably safely conclude that moisture isn’t an issue. While not common due to the higher cost, you can lay your floor at a slight angle to improve the transition from one room to another. This way your final cut along the opposite wall will be easier to measure and cut.

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