Switching the Direction of the Floor


    Now that you have a better understanding of how to install rows and fix problem boards, we will talk about how to switch the direction that you are laying the floor.  How to change the direction of the floor is one of the most common questions asked by people learning to install hardwood flooring.  As we went along laying our very first hardwood floor as amateurs, we suddenly faced a problem that we hadn’t anticipated.  We had reached the bedrooms which required that we switch the direction that we had been installing the floor.  Up to that point we had been installing the hardwood from west to east, but suddenly needed to do it from east to west to finish the bedrooms.  To learn how to deal with this dilemma, don’t look for the answer in the instructions from hardwood floor companies like we did because they don’t even address this problem (don’t ask me why).  The way to switch so you are laying wood in the opposite direction is to make a spline that acts as the tongue of the board that you are switching directions from.  Although it would be nice if hardwood floor companies included a spline in every box of wood, this isn’t the case and you will have to make one yourself.  The next section will go over how to make a spline.

Note:  If you are only switching the direction of the floor so it runs perpendicular to the initial layout, you may or may not need a spline.  It depends on if you are laying wood from the groove end of the boards or from the tongue end.