In the planning stages of installing some engineered hardwood flooring, floating. This stuff: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Decorators-Collection-Hand-Scraped-Strand-Woven-Wellington-3-8-in-T-x-5-1-8-in-W-x-36-in-L-Engineered-Click-Bamboo-Flooring-YY2009G/300043018

Our floor layout is as follows:

Floor layout

Flooring will be in the living room and hallway.

Couple of questions:

  1. Would you run everything in the same direction, in the living room and hallway, or run the living room the long way, and the hallway the long way?

  2. If everything is going the same direction (I would assume in the direction of the hallway) what would be the best method to insure the boards end up going down the hallway parallel to the hallway wall? I could envision the hallway wall and the living room wall being slightly out of parallel, so that if I started at one end of the living room, by the time I get to the hallway, the boards going down the hallway are slightly skewed. I suppose I could start in the middle of the room, but that would require one row of boards to be nailed/glued down, right?

  • You are the one to look at it every day. I would start loosely laying down boards at the junction of hall and living room. This way you can see what looks best for you and change before starting. The junction will most important place and if direction is changed, tend might need something to cover the change.
    – crip659
    Jun 28, 2021 at 13:18
  • you don't want to glue or nail down any part of the flooring, except stairs. Start in the hallway. If this is your first job, I would run a transition between there and the living room, just to make the job a lot easier to make look great (except for the transition) instead of seamless but crooked and w/ tiny gaps. In terms of going "backwards", if walls are square you can cheat by laying down wall-out until you get to the intersection. You then wedge it away from the wall to meet the middle, then fill in the partial row on the wall with ripped planks.
    – dandavis
    Jun 29, 2021 at 3:01
  • That's not a bad idea. I didn't realize you could move the floor that much in order to square it up.
    – LarryBud
    Jun 30, 2021 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


With the hallway leading into the living room and that being a central pathway for people in to that room it becomes a visual CenterPoint. We had a very similar layout at the Church Office where we recently laid flooring.

I would start by snapping a chalk line down the center of the hallway all the way into the living room and start on that line, work backwards from there to one wall, keeping the center line true. Then you can finish from the center forward to the remaining wall. This keeps the center line true and lets the eye follow that flow all the way down the hall.

  • How does that work with this type of installation, since you can only work in one direction due to the snap-together type of planks? Do I cut the tongue/groove off of the first row and glue that row down?
    – LarryBud
    Jun 28, 2021 at 13:21
  • 1
    It is a bit slower when working from center backwards with tongue and groove but you can snap the boards in the wrong direction. (The board is not backwards you are just installing them reverse of how they are designed to be laid) I wouldn't cut or glue anything. You lay the center row on the chalk line like normal, then slowly work backwards until you hit a wall... then you can come to the middle again and start laying them the intended way to the other wall. Just be careful to keep that center line true as you work.
    – Robert S.
    Jun 29, 2021 at 14:46
  • Didn't know you could snap it in in the opposite direction.
    – LarryBud
    Jun 30, 2021 at 18:24

Where does the light come in?

Usually the longer lines of the floor are parallel to the light.

That's how we had our tiles laid with the light coming in the West window and we had dark tiles to absorb the solar energy in winter, in summer they were shaded.

  • Open floor plan, tons of light. Half the wall at the top of the diagram are windows, plus a skylight. Sun moves from the left to the right in the diagram above.
    – LarryBud
    Jun 28, 2021 at 13:14

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