How to Select the Best Flooring Pattern for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood is one of the best flooring options to consider when upgrading a space. Before you organize the installation process, you must decide what direction your hardwood planks will be laid. The more you think about this, the more you realize that you will have to live with your decision for a long time. This realization can make the process seem much more difficult than it needs to be. This article outlines the factors should consider when making this important decision.

Common Patterns Used

1. Vertical Pattern

This is the most common direction used to organize flooring panels. To create this simple pattern, the boards are placed side by side in a parallel fashion across the room. This may either be along the length of the room or the width, depending on your preference. The vertical pattern matches both classic and contemporary design styles. The main advantage of this pattern is the ease of installation.

2. Horizontal Pattern

This pattern is ideal for rooms with a greater width than length. Laying the planks across the greater dimension will help to balance out the room. This is similar to the illusion created when a person with a large figure wears clothing with vertical stripes. The stripes will balance out the figure making him or her look much slimmer.

3. Diagonal Pattern

This much less commonly used pattern is certain to add a bit of sophistication to your room. To create this design, lay your panels at a 45-degree angle to your walls and parallel to one another.

4. Herringbone Pattern

This pattern is created by laying the hardwood panels in a zigzag fashion. The process of organizing the planks can be quite time-consuming, but the end result will be beautiful and rewarding.

5. Random Placement

This design borrows from the vertical pattern in that the boards are placed parallel to one another along the length or width of the room. The main difference is that each wooden plank placed has a different width. This creates a unique custom-made design perfect for an otherwise bland room. It is the best flooring option to go with rustic decor.

6. Parquet

This design is generated by laying the panels the same way repeatedly so that particular geometric shapes are created. Oftentimes, the desired result is a complex checkerboard appearance.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Flooring Pattern

1. The Focal Point of the Room

Before choosing what direction your boards should face, you must determine the focal point of your room. The next step is to place the panels so that they lead the eye to that particular point. If, for example, the main attraction in your room is a stylish modern fireplace, ensure that the boards draw the eye to it.

2. The Source of light

The manner of which light falls on your panels can greatly influence the appeal of your hardwood floors. This may work to make your room look wider or narrower, depending on what you are going for. Placing the boards from the main source of light outwards will make the room appear larger in that dimension. To shorten the room, place the boards in the opposite direction.

3. Multiple Rooms

If your new flooring design is intended to span across two or more rooms, much more planning will be required. The chosen pattern needs to flow smoothly from one room to the next. For rooms with irregular shapes, one may need to switch up the patterns. You can separate the designs by laying down a thin wooden plank between the two rooms. To prevent sudden transitions in the direction of your boards, opt for the herringbone pattern for your entire house.

4. Hallways and Long Rooms

Boards placed in a narrow hallway should lead from the doorway in. This will give the floor a smooth continuous flow and draw the eye in the direction of the hallway. Installing the boards in this manner is not only more appealing but also easier and less time-consuming.

5. Uneven Walls

This is an important consideration to make as you plan for new flooring. For such rooms, avoid parquet and go for the more versatile diagonal pattern.

6. Structural Considerations

Flooring panels must be placed at right angles to the floor joists. This will give adequate support and prevent them from sagging or giving way with time.


Choosing new flooring can be a daunting task. But if you do your homework, you can definitely have the best flooring on the block! Just follow these simple steps and keep up with other resources online for even more tips and helpful information. There are tons of blogs online to find all kinds of pertinent info to use when selecting and installing new floors in your home.

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