Running Wooden Floors
When it comes to running wood flooring, some consumers can often be confused by seemingly conflicting advice as to whether wood should be run across the joists for support or whether it can run in any direction, and whether or not this advice, whichever is accurate, may or may not be different for standard hardwood and engineered floors.
The best advice would seem to be that whether the flooring is standard hardwood or engineered hardwood, both of them would be served best by running them crosswise to joists. It is true that there is something of a difference as real wood floors absolutely have to be installed in this way in order to provide the nails with something to dig into, but while engineered flooring can simply be clicked together or even glued into place, it is still better to run them crosswise to joints for cosmetic reasons. Engineered planks that run in the exact same direction as joists give those pieces of plank that have a joist underneath them much stiffer support than those that do not. This can actually have an effect on how light reflects off the planks once it has undergone floor sanding and finishing. Even the smallest amount of flex can cause a visible distortion in the planks, allowing the area where the joists are to be obvious to all.
That being said, if the consumer’s heart is set on having the engineered flooring strips running parallel to the joists, there are some solutions to the problem including the addition of a layer of half-inch plywood prior to the installation of the flooring strips.