Which Direction Should you Run Your Flooring?


It’s not often designers will draw your eye towards the ground. Designers will use tricks and vignettes within a scheme to make the eye dance and eventually end up at the mouldings connecting the walls to the ceiling, providing an accepted end to a visual journey.  

But without the ground, or in this case the flooring there would be nothing for the scheme to be placed which means, your flooring should really be considered. 

In recent years there has been a shift towards natural, imperfect materials in design like wood, cane, rattan and marble. These all offer unique details that when layered create something hard to beat, creating just enough of a statement. 

It’s so easy overlook the flooring when designing a room but this vast amount of space is as crucial as the colours of the walls and more so than the furnishing’s as you’re building a foundation for all other objects to sit. 

Wood is one of the most diverse materials and its no surprise its one of the most popular choices when choosing a floor. From narrow oak, wide white washed Scandinavian planks or something warm reclaimed, a wooden floor really opens up a space and helps create scale. 

As you’ve probably guessed, this is no accident and if you’re deciding on a wooden floor for yourself here are some tips that may help some of the big decisions. 

Visual Impact

The finish and colour are two elements to consider but the direction should be the third. The direction in which you lay a wooden floor shouldn’t just be preference but part of the story within a room.

Laying the plank in a specific direction will carry the eye to where you want tit to sit, this maybe a fireplace, a large window or something architectural.

the plank in a specific direction will carry the eye to where you want tit to sit, this maybe a fireplace, a large window or something architectural.

Make the Room Appear Larger

Take a look at the floorpan of your home or simply walk around understand the flow, more often than not the natural path for the direction of the planks will emerge and your eye will natural wonder. 

If the room is narrow directing the planks horizontal ways will help make a space appear wider whilst length ways will make the room feel feel longer.

Direction of Natural Light

It’s often said that the planks should run toward natural light as this will help to increase the size of you room, this isn’t exactly true. Directing the planks to the window will help a room feel larger as your sight is carried outside which gives the illusion of space. 


If you’re working with an open plan property or carrying a wooden floor though out all rooms of your home you should be mindful of the sightline lines, these will compliment the surrounding areas of your home and help carry to the eye to where you want the focus. Not only will this be visually pleasing the floorboards will also blend effortlessly into their surroundings. 

Sub Flooring & Joists

Slightly more technical but if you’re working with the sub-flooring and joists, there are less options to consider. If you’re home is older than 1990’s there is a strong chance there is a poor sub-floor. Be sure to look into the direction of the joist to determine how well the floor is supported, the best option here will be to place the wood flooring perpendicularly across the floor joists. This is necessary to provide support. 

All images via Rose Uniacke

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