Which wall to start with when laying planks with complicated floorplan?

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Dylan Flaherty, Dec 29, 2017.

    • Material: Hallmark LVP, Polaris Erickson Maple, 5.5mm
    • Subfloor: 3/4" OSB
    • Underlayment: 1mm Eternity high density rubber sheets
    • Tools: Bullet Shear Laminate cutter, tablesaw, pullbar, t-floor spacers, tapping hammer.

    I am about to start this job and I haven't done a floating floor before. I've attached images showing my floorplan, as you can see, it is quite complicated.

    The joists run North to South, so I need to lay my planks East to West (one END of a plank to the east and the other end to the West). I plan to do the stairs and hallway eventually but first task is this one giant room.

    1. Which wall would you start laying planks against: North or South?
    2. Would you consider laying planks down the middle first? My rationale is that this way the central pathway will be perfectly aligned and the worst aligned spots will be along walls where the trim might cover... but I suspect this is a bad idea.
    3. Any other advice?

    PANO.jpg Floorplan.jpg
  1. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    That isn't complicated, it's messy :)

    Start on that south wall. Chalk out some projection lines and check it for square against your other walls. Best part of floating floors is that you can move them. You can run everything from that south wall to where your little hall is and if it isn't to your liking you can move it. Sounds crazy sure, if you follow a good line it won't be necessary but in the end you can do it.

    Cheers for asking but dont sweat the small stuff!

    Also with a floating LVT you don't need to run perpendicular to the joists.... at least not in anything I have seen. Full disclosure: I havent seen everything.
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  2. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    That's a very simple layout in fact. It does give you no sure, single choice as to whether to go North-South or East-West or even diagonal with the plank direction. I would say that's strictly up to your discretion. You just want to imagine which would look best in your home-----furniture layout, traffic, sunlight/lighting factors............NOT A BIG DEAL EITHER WAY. Sometimes it's obvious in a rectangular room you run planks the long ways. In irregular, multiple-room or squared areas it's not a constraint to choose a right or wrong direction.

    When I see a layout as drawn without the photo I would be inclined to start on the longest wall (East) I can find and run the plank direction parallel to that wall. Layouts for tiles or planks of any sort call for checking the SIZE of the cuts you will make depending on the exact location of your starting line.

    You will in any case snap lines and measure off those to determine how the planks "fall" into the walls and other obstructions to be cut into. You surely dont want a lot of very slim "rip" cuts------cutting the planks the long way. The cross cutting doesn't matter so much as you will probably want a random stagger effect and when I do that I don't even consider the size (crosscuts) into the wall. I prefer to focus on the proper random effect when staggering the planks.
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  3. Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll go ahead and start on the South wall as that's the direction I'd prefer for the planks to run anyway.

    In light of the island and four different wall "depths" along the North side... is there much point snapping lines and trying to calculate rip cuts? With those 5 different distances to land on it's pretty much certain that I'll need several rips I think...

    Where would you snap the lines and what are the most important things to measure?
  4. Floored by Newman

    Floored by Newman Floored by Newman

    On this layout my focus would be hall, island & south wall in that sequence . Hall and island being most crucial. Many ways to go about this. Halls are rarely true so extra attention needed there. Exterior walls usually good reference points. Hopefully enough said without confusion.
  5. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    You will normally be ripping MOST cuts that are parallel to the starting chalk line. The point of projecting layout lines prior to beginning the install is to avoid sliver cuts that are especially awkward to cut and secure in place. For example I'd certainly shift my starting line over to avoid anything (rips......not crosscuts) under an inch regardless of the width of the planks. Sometimes regardless where you move the lines there's gonna be a lousy cut though. Don't lose sleep over it.

    Secondly, that South wall may not be the truest measure to square off of. I would absolutely confirm that it's reasonably square with the rest of the house to avoid angled rips in visible locations. Projecting lines throughout might inform you to square off a different wall------you can still start where you want. Sometimes in cockeyed rooms you need to "split the difference". That's not so simple to explain but you could probably figure it out.
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