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Old 08-06-2010, 11:54 AM   #1
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Where to placing joints on hard wood flooring


Installing hardwood flooring. Room is 26' 3" long and wood flooring is in 6' lengths. I want to avoid short pieces up against the wall (i.e. a piece 1' long or less next to the wall). Is there a formula or rule of thumb to follow on how to cut boards to staggar joints and keep from having very short boards next to the walls? I know when you cut a board to fit at the end of a run you will use the "scrap" piece to start another run on the opposite wall. Also, should joints be completely random or some repeating pattern every 6 or 7 runs?

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Old 08-06-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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Where to placing joints on hard wood flooring


IMO the shorter boards look better at the wall than in the centre. I generally spill the boards out from the box and randomly select lengths to provide random joints. So long as there are not two similar joints withing 6-8 rows yuo should be fine. Take time to step back every so many courses and get an overall picture.

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Old 08-06-2010, 01:18 PM   #3
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Where to placing joints on hard wood flooring


Yes, I would install the shorter boards next to the walls and not in the center of the room. What I wanted to avoid is having to install a very short board (ie 18" or less) up against the wall. Also, I would like to avoid having a lot of waste of short boards by trying to plan my cuts.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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Where to placing joints on hard wood flooring


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Originally Posted by Eagle eye View Post
What I wanted to avoid is having to install a very short board (ie 18" or less) up against the wall. Also, I would like to avoid having a lot of waste of short boards by trying to plan my cuts.
Short boards are fine so long as you accompany them with longer boards on the adjacent courses. If you wanted to take the time you could rough/dry fit the boards prior to nailing them and see how they look.

As far as waste goes, there is always waste be it hardwood, laminate, tile, even carpet...most contractors expect waste and estimate from 10-15% to cover it, sometimes more if there are lots of irregular corners, etc.

In Canada, even our Govt expects lots of waste...thats why we are taxed up the ying yang
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:43 PM   #5
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Where to placing joints on hard wood flooring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle eye View Post
Room is 26' 3" long and wood flooring is in 6' lengths. I want to avoid short pieces up against the wall (i.e. a piece 1' long or less next to the wall). Is there a formula or rule of thumb to follow on how to cut boards to staggar joints and keep from having very short boards next to the walls? I know when you cut a board to fit at the end of a run you will use the "scrap" piece to start another run on the opposite wall. Also, should joints be completely random or some repeating pattern every 6 or 7 runs?
If all the boards are 6' lengths, I'd start with a full board and end with 27" (roughly). Use the cutoff for your next starter. The best way to do this is to prefit (or rack)as much of the floor as is practical, so you can look at the floor as a whole, or at least 3-4' at a time. Leave yourself room to work with your flooring nailer if you use this method. If your cutoff is too short to start a new row, discard it an start with another full board, or one that lays out nicely with the last few rows.

I prefer a completely random approach, which is hard to achieve because you still have to look at the floor as a whole and make sure your butts don't get too busy in one area, with few in another.

Having all one length isn't bad in a rectangular room because using your cutoffs to start new rows will create its own randomness until you get to the point that you need to start with a full board again. That's when you end up with a repeat pattern. This is where a creative eye is important. Picking a different starting length that looks good with previous rows will eliminate the repeat pattern every so many rows.
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