5 Tips for Installing Diagonal Flooring

If your goal is to create a unique look in your room without a drastic change, you may want to think about installing your wood flooring on the diagonal. With a simple change you can completely overhaul the look of the room.

A diagonal pattern will make your floors stand out and make a bold statement. It’s a more modern, upscale look compared to the more traditional layouts, and will add visual interest and sleek look.

You can use diagonal floors in any room and it offers a number of benefits. Keep reading to learn why you may want to consider laying your hardwood flooring diagonally on your next home reno project.

1. Why Install on a Diagonal?

First of all, a diagonal floor will improve stability. If you don’t know which way the joists run, you can install the boards diagonally so they will be sure not to run parallel to the joists.

Second, the direction the floorboards run affect how a person sees the room. A great paint choice and the proper furniture can distract the eye from a disproportioned room by drawing the person’s eye away from the walls and into the corner of the back wall.

2. Installation Procedure

Instead of starting against the wall like you would with a traditional install, you start in the middle of the floor when laying the flooring diagonally. You will need to join the two centre rows using a false tongue so that their actual tongues face out in opposite directions.

Next, install the flooring in two sections, working out towards the opposite corners of your room. At the beginning and end of each of the rows you will need to cut the boards at the same angle as your wall. You can do this with a chop saw. Use the cut-off piece from the first board as a template for all your other cuts to save time.

3. Waste Issues

Yes, when you install the flooring on a diagonal there is bound to be more waste than if you install it parallel to a wall. This is due to the fact that all the cut-off pieces at the ends of each row aren’t going to be usable unless you cut them again with the opposite angle. This means that some of your cut-off pieces will be too small to use.

4. Cons

As mentioned above, starting a diagonal floor is a little more complicated than running it straight, and if your walls aren’t straight you will have to measure the angle for each cut.

Another con is if you hire a contractor to install the flooring, the extra time it takes to make all the cuts will end up with you paying more. However, a contractor will sometimes cost a lot less than trying to do it yourself, because he or she will likely waste less boards than you would.

5. Things to Consider

If the diagonal angle isn’t 45 degrees, the waste you produce as you go will increase. This is because when an angle at one end of the row is steep and you have to cut it with a circular saw rather than a chop saw, you will likely make more mistakes. One way to reduce the waste is by saving the cut-off pieces and use them in the corners.

Overall, while the amount of flooring you use is the same as it would be for a straight install, you will likely end up using between 10 and 20 percent more, which will cost more money.

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