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Old 04-09-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


I enter my home into a large open room, first foyer, to the left dining room and directly ahead a large great room. Then I'm facing a wall of 18' windows... very bright.

Do I lay the floors with all the short ends across the windows and the long ends on the side? So they will look like they are all pointing towards the windows.

What do I do with a long hall off the right side of this giant room? Just make a turn so the long ends are on the wall instead of it looking like a ladder when walking down the hall.

I've laid many floors but never hardwood.

Novice from New Orleans

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


Generally, hardwood is laid parallel to large windows. Although, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration (room dimensions, shape, etc.).

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


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Generally, hardwood is laid parallel to large windows. Although, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration (room dimensions, shape, etc.).
What? What if there's windows on two walls? Windows have little or nothing to do with how the planks should be installed. The main thing is the direction of the joists and how the areas are orientated.

Hardwood & sunlight = fade. Have you made any accommodations for that?

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Old 04-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


Please re-read my post; I stated in clear english what is the "general" concept (for elongated rooms with primary lighting along (1) longest length wall) - BUT that there are other factors to take into consideration, and I listed "2" of them as an example...
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


I am planning on updating the windows with E-glass that prevents fading. They are already double insulated but I was upgrading them to save money on utilities. It gets hot down here.

I also read an article about running them parallel to large windows. Why is that done. It would be fairly easy to do that since I'm ripping up all floors. That would make the hall blend right in. Only difference would be they will look a little odd at the entrance. At least it would all be going in one direction. I don't know if I've ever seen them run that way at the entrance.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:25 PM   #6
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


I agree with the others. The flooring should be laid perpendicular to the floor joists.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #7
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


How do I know which way the floor joists are going on a post-tension cement slab?
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


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How do I know which way the floor joists are going on a post-tension cement slab?
Well, obviously you now go to the next most important criteria which would be the way it would look best to you, to include how the open space lays out and the large windows may play into your decision. When doing several rooms you'll also need to consider how the overall job will turn out.

I had assumed you had a wooden subfloor since you're installing hardwood. You must be installing engineered hardwood, yes? Or will you building up the floor and go with solid hardwood? Have you decided yet and have you taken moisture reading?

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Old 04-10-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


I'm installing engineered hardwood on a post tension slab now 15 years old. I'm beginning to think, from all of the comments, parallel to the large windows would be best. All wood strips in every room in the home will be going in one direction. To consider the problem at the entrance, the parallel strips will not have the traditional look. I may decide to add a natural slate entrance area to handle that problem.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


I saw a episode on this old house, they put down the floor same direction as the porch in front of the house regardless of the joist direction.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #11
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


That would be in the direction of the wall of windows. Everything is starting to seem like that is the best way to do it.

Thanks everyone, you have all been a big help.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:57 PM   #12
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Direction to lay hardwood flooring in house with large windows


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I saw a episode on this old house, they put down the floor same direction as the porch in front of the house regardless of the joist direction.
Yes, that's because the joists will almost always be running the short way, so the hardwood should go the long way. Not because of any windows, but because you want the hardwood to go perpendicular to the joists. Having said that, if the homeowner needs to run the planks in the same direction as the joists, you should add an underlayment per manufacturer's directions. But we've learned this situation has no joists so it's now academic.

Jaz

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