I'm scratching my head over how to layout some new flooring in relationship to our walls vs. hearth.
This is an engineered floor with somewhat wide boards (about 4.5")
As it happens, I could lay them out and not need to rip any of the boards as they'd fit wall-to-wall (see bottom image). However, if I do that, I'd need to notch-out a few to go around the tile hearth (top image).
Is this just an aesthetic decision I need to make or is there a general rule of thumb? My initial thought was that having a nice line across the front of the hearth would be better, as that seems like a dominant element in the room. But that would leave two uneven slivers of full boards on either side of the room and maybe that would look even more odd?
I should also note that around the hearth, there will be a beveled wood trim piece as the flooring is about a half inch lower than the hearth. I don't know if that would change things or not (would that hide the notch or accentuate it?)
Top image: floor laid out with seam lining up with front of hearth. This leaves two different sized partial strips on either end of the room.
Bottom image: floors laid out evenly wall-to-wall. Needs to be notched to fit around hearth.