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I am about to pull up carpet and put down laminate in our home. The previous owners installed laminate in the kitchen and dining room. I am not removing it, they installed it before installing the cabinets! ugh. Question. My wife and I are getting conflicting information about the best way to run laminate. The diagram shows the layout. I want to run it down the hall and into the living room which is 16x18. She wants me to run it the same way as the original laminate. Keep in mind we cannot locate an exact match... Thoughts?

  • This is really an opinion so it doesn’t matter but since there is a difference in look I would run it the opposite of the original so it contrasts but as I said it is an opinion. Length wise vs width wise down the hall can affect how the hall looks as far as the perception of the width. I like breaking the run when entering a new room with laminate but would never do this for real wood T&G ( floating flooring at a doorway can be a buckling point). – Ed Beal Aug 25 at 18:48
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I’d replace the kitchen material or use a different material (like tile). If you must install similar material, I’d Install it in Direction “A”, because:

1) Installing material that is NOT identical in the same direction will look like a “mistake”.

2) Material across a hall will look like scraps were used.

3) Make a bold statement by using a different colored threshold material between the kitchen and living room.

  • Thanks for the response. She keeps mentioning the "bowling alley effect" I, personally, think that is something the the laminate manufactures came up with to make you run the flooring perpendicular and create more waste! lol – Bates Aug 25 at 17:16
  • Get on some building sites, like Pinterest, and you’ll see its customary to run it down the hall. When you do something that is not normal, it will catch people’s attention and look odd. – Lee Sam Aug 25 at 17:26
  • Then wife is arguing that I should run it down the hallway, but then change direction once I get to the living room. I don't think its a good idea to put a transition strip at the end of a hallway unnecessarily. Especially in this case do the the angled entrance. – Bates Aug 25 at 17:32
  • Remember, if it’s not identical, then aligning with existing will look like a mistake. If it’s different, then make everything different. – Lee Sam Aug 25 at 18:48
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OK...Since you both have to live there, I would suggest after you have the laminate delivered, try laying out a number of pieces in both directions and see which layout compliments the room and the lighting. Also consider how you will make the transition to the existing laminate, that can be a determining factor. Good luck.

  • Thanks. I want to used the existing transition strips if possible. – Bates Aug 25 at 17:15
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    Keep an open mind.. lol – JACK Aug 25 at 17:25
  • Unfortunately, the more open my mind becomes; the more open my wallet becomes as well! HA – Bates Aug 25 at 17:27
  • I hate when that happens. – JACK Aug 25 at 17:38

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