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Which Direction to Lay Laminate Flooring?

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Laying flooring may not sound like a huge deal, but the way you lay laminate flooring can make a huge difference. Whether you’re building a house or redoing a room or two, you should consider how to place your flooring, so you can bring out the most in your room.

The best direction to lay laminate flooring is the direction that will make the room look the biggest. Another option is laying the flooring based on the most common entrance. If there are multiple doors, laying the flooring the easiest way to install is another great option.

If you’re redoing your floors, you want to make sure the new ones look the best. Sometimes, that means laying the laminate flooring to make the room look bigger; other times, you may want to keep the installation easy.

In this article, we’re going to give you details on the most popular orientations and the difference between each option. We’ll also let you know what you should be considering before making a final decision.

Which Direction to Lay Laminate Flooring

Directions to lay Laminate Flooring

If you want to install laminate flooring in your home, you have a few things to consider. On the contrary, when laying down a different floor type like carpet, the orientation won’t have much effect on the look of the room. Unless there’s a significant pattern to the carpet, it will look the same no matter what.

On the other hand, when you lay laminate flooring, the lines can affect how the room looks. If you want to make a room look larger, there are a few things you need to consider. The same is true if you’re going to make a larger space look more intimate.

Here are the most popular orientations for laminate flooring:


If you want to make a room look longer, you should lay the laminate flooring from front to back. You could say this is vertical, but the flooring will still lay horizontally.

This orientation can be especially useful if you want to put flooring in a hallway; it also works well if a room is wider than it is long. You can use a vertical laminate pattern to make the room’s width and length look more even.

A vertical pattern can work well in almost any room, even ones that aren’t as wide. You can run the laminate flooring from the main entrance, and you can fill the space with more flooring; then, you can enjoy the clean lines you get from the arrangement.


If you have a longer room that isn’t as wide, you can use a horizontal pattern for your laminate flooring to make the room look wider. You can lay the flooring so that it extends side to side, and it can create the illusion of a wider room. Like the vertical pattern, you can use a horizontal pattern in almost any room; tt doesn’t have to be a long room to work well.

If you want to emphasize how wide your kitchen or living room is, a horizontal pattern can work well. It may seem counterintuitive, but horizontal laminate flooring can make a room look even larger than it already is. Consider how you want to change the look of your room to decide if this orientation is for you.


If you can’t decide between a horizontal or vertical pattern, consider going diagonal. You can lay the laminate flooring so that it goes from one corner to the opposite corner. You can then lay the rest of the flooring to the side, going out to each of the other corners.

It can be hard to run laminate flooring diagonally if you don’t have a rectangular room, but it can work well in rooms with uneven dimensions; you won’t have to choose between two directions to emphasize.

This orientation can make the entire room look bigger. So, whether you can’t decide or can’t agree with your partner, diagonal might be the way to go. It can also provide a more unique look since it’s not the most common choice for flooring.

Other factors to consider

Along the Longest Wall

If you aren’t sure what will look the best, you can run your laminate flooring against the longest wall. With this option, your floors will take on the long appearance of the wall. In some cases, this will look like a vertical or a horizontal pattern.

Most importantly, if you aren’t an expert in interior design, using the walls as a reference can help. You can choose a wall to focus on, and you can use that to lay your laminate flooring. And if the room doesn’t have four equal walls, it can help make the room look sleek.

Running the width of the flooring along the narrower walls can also be a practical choice. As the flooring expands or contracts with the seasons, it won’t cause as much of a gap, so you won’t have to worry about the flooring looking much different throughout the year.

Based on the Entrance

You can also run your laminate flooring in the same line as the entrance. This is a great option if the room has one primary entrance you use to get in and out of the room, but it’s not as visually effective if you have multiple doors leading to the room.

Because of this, you can reserve this method for bathrooms and smaller bedrooms, but you may not want to use it for larger rooms, like living areas. Either way, this method can work if the two entrances are on opposite walls. This will help with ensuring that the floors run in line with both doors.

Based on Lighting

You can also consider how natural light flows into the room, but light sources won’t make much of a difference in how you lay your laminate flooring. You can lay the flooring so that it’s parallel to the light, but it can also run perpendicularly.

If you aren’t sure how to lay your laminate flooring, you can use light sources for inspiration, but if you have an idea of how you want the flooring to look, you can ignore natural light. You don’t have to worry about it conflicting with light sources or making the room look smaller or larger.

Things to Consider by Room

Which Way to Lay Laminate Flooring in the Living Room

If you want to put laminate flooring in your living room, you have a few options. You should consider how many entrances your living room has; if you have one, or the entrances are on the same or opposite walls, you can use the entrance to determine the orientation.

In other instances, you may want to make a relatively narrow room look wider. In that case, you’ll want to focus on a horizontal pattern. You can ignore the entrances and light sources and focus on your main goal for your living room to decide which way to lay the laminate flooring.

Which Direction to Lay Laminate Flooring in a Bedroom

In your bedroom, you can consider the same things as your living room; however, you may have different goals. If you want to make your bedroom more intimate, you may want to make the room look smaller.

In that case, you can follow a vertical pattern when the room is narrow, or you can use a horizontal pattern if the room isn’t very deep. You can also use the entrance to decide how to orient the flooring since most rooms are likely going to have only one entrance.

Which Direction to Lay Laminate Flooring in the Bathroom

In most cases, you’ll probably want to make your bathroom look bigger. One option for this is laying the flooring based on the longest wall. You can also lay the flooring diagonally, though that might be difficult in such a small space.

Check my best 3 laminate flooring underlayments I recommend below: