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What needs to be taken into account for the direction in which laminate is laid?

The direction in which laminate is laid refers to the orientation of the individual panels in relation to the walls.

  • Longitudinal direction means alignment parallel to the long side of the room.
  • Transverse direction is parallel to the short side of the room.
  • Diagonal describes alignments that are not at right angles to a wall.

Since there is a lot of work involved in laying laminate and you want to enjoy your floor for a long time, you should consider in advance how you want to lay the floor. 

What is the right direction to lay laminate?

Since rooms are not always the same and tastes also differ, there can be no general answer to the question of the “right installation direction”. The most frequently cited rule for laminate laying direction is:

Laminate panels should be aligned parallel to the window or the primary light source.

This direction of laying laminate makes rooms appear larger and longer. In addition, the parallel incidence of light brings out the grain of the laminate flooring particularly well. The joints of the boards are concealed better and the floor appears like a closed area.

With laminate that runs at right angles to the primary light source, the incidence of light emphasises the structure of the floor. Especially when the sun is low in the sky, the joints between the laminate boards stand out more due to cast shadows. On the one hand, this gives the room more depth, on the other hand, it can make the floor appear to ripple due to the grain of the laminate decor.

So when planning the installation of the laminate flooring, pay attention to the course of the sunlight that falls into the room through windows. 

Visual options when laying laminate flooring

The visual effects of the floor can vary depending on the direction in which it is laid. For example, you can make long, narrow rooms look more compressed or make small rooms look more elongated. The size of the room in which you want to lay the laminate flooring should therefore be taken into account in the planning. You can deliberately use the “stretching effect” for long rooms such as a hallway by setting a clear visual alignment, thus emphasising the shape of the room.

On the other hand, you can also deliberately compress a long narrow room in this way: since corridors usually do not have windows, but only ceiling lights as light sources, the light irradiation does not play a major role. You therefore have the option of visually widening the room by laying the laminate panels in a transverse direction.

Rooms with a less than ideal layout can be visually spiced up by matching floor coverings. For example, a room that is rather long and narrow or very angled can be made more exciting by laying laminate diagonally. When laying laminate diagonally, however, it is important to note that you should plan for a higher wastage when buying the laminate.

As you can see: there is rarely a “right” or “wrong” way to lay laminate. You can follow guidelines, but generally there are no limits to your imagination and taste.

Special cases regarding the direction in which laminate is laid

In some cases, however, there are good reasons to follow a recommended direction for laying laminate:

  • If the subfloor consists of an old floorboards, the laminate panels should be laid across the longitudinal direction of the floorboards.

Use the practical LOGOCLIC® laying instructions to install your laminate flooring!