Hardwood flooring installation in an American home

Hardwood Floor Direction Guide: How to Lay Wood Flooring

Installing hardwood floors in your home can increase the value of your home by 3-5%. Because it can be expensive and is seen as an investment, many homeowners prefer to install hardwood flooring themselves.

Are you interested in learning more about how to lay hardwood, how to determine hardwood floor direction and more? Keep reading our guide to learn everything you need to know about hardwood floors!

What Is Hardwood Floor Direction?

If you are not familiar with home improvement and how to lay hardwood flooring, you may not know that there are many directions to lay hardwood floors!

These directions depend on personal preference, the aesthetics of your home, and more. Not everyone agrees on what direction is best for hardwood flooring, so it is important to consider each of the options available!

Types of Wood Direction and Patterns For Wood Flooring

There are many directions to lay wood flooring. You can even choose to lay it in a pattern, like a herringbone-patterned wood floor! Here is more information about each type of pattern and when you should use them in your home.

Vertical or Straight

Vertical hardwood floors, also known as straight hardwood floors, are laid parallel to each other across the length of the room. This is the most common way to lay hardwood flooring, and it can even make your room appear bigger!

Most people who use this type of wood direction will run it all the way from the entrance of their home to the end of the room.

Horizontal Direction

If you have a room that is long and narrow, using a horizontal wood direction is a great option for you! This will make your room feel wider and less cramped.

As the name says, this common floor pattern is laid horizontally rather than vertically. This will make your eye move from side to side, giving your room a wider perception.


A herringbone pattern uses rectangles that are arranged in a diagonal and staggered zigzag pattern. Not only does this pattern add more dimension to your home, but it also makes your floor stand out! It is a unique pattern that will make you fall in love with your flooring.

Because this is not a typical pattern for wood direction, you may want the help of professional flooring installers. This will help ensure that your flooring looks perfect, your pieces are cut precisely, and that you won't waste as much material in the process. They can also help you determine which way your herringbone pattern should face.


Diagonal wood floors aren't as common as horizontal or vertical wood direction. In this type of flooring, the wood flooring is installed at a 45-degree angle to your walls.

While it is a unique wood direction, it has a few drawbacks. Because it is done less often, most companies require higher installation fees. This wood direction will also waste more material than other, more traditional, patterns.

Other Considerations

While the direction you lay your hardwood flooring is mostly up to your personal preference, there are some other things you should consider. These include light sources in your home, your walls, and whether or not you are putting wood flooring in multiple rooms.


One thing to consider when determining your wood direction when installing hardwood floors is the walls in your home. First, many people don't realize that not all walls are straight. Having uneven walls may lead to issues when you lay your flooring along the wall.

Another thing to consider is that most people align the planks of wood flooring to line up with the longest wall in your home. By determining how your walls will affect your flooring, you can pick the right direction to lay your floors.

Light Source

Many people will choose to run their wood floors in the direction of the light sources in their home. This is especially true when it is a natural light source! One reason for this is to improve the look of your floor and to make sure you don't see small variations in your flooring.

If you lay your flooring in the opposite direction, you may see shadows that come from different board heights.

Multiple Rooms

It is much more difficult to plan the direction of your wood flooring and to have cohesive flooring when you are using wood flooring in multiple rooms of your home. Rooms that are more open can have the flooring flow easily from room to room.

However, hallways and closed-off rooms may cause issues in your planning. One way to solve these issues is to create a threshold between rooms. You can do this with a small wood strip to clearly mark the beginning of a new room.

If you aren't sure where to start when you need to lay flooring in multiple rooms, a professional flooring installation company can help!

Learn More About The Benefits Of Wood Floors!

Adding wood flooring to your home is a great investment and can add value to your home. However, it can be difficult to determine what wood direction or pattern to use in your wood floors.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of wood flooring, the types of flooring available, and more? National Floors Direct can help you!

Check out our website today to see our amazing reviews, to learn more about our financing options, and to get a free in-home estimate for each of our flooring services!