Which Direction to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring: Proper Guidelines

When you walk into a room, one of the very first things you notice is the flooring. You will agree that the flooring type lays the basis for the room, painting, and even decor. Among the many things that come to mind when planning for flooring, such as space, design, pattern, and cost, the right direction of layout is not left out. 

Which Direction To Install Vinyl Plank Flooring

As a DIYer, you may ask, which direction is to install vinyl plank flooring? While some go with a light source as a guide, others may choose to go with the room’s length and width. Whatever the case, many tips can help you decide the direction of this write-up. I have also hinted at other matters as regards vinyl planks flooring Installation. Do read on to see more.

What Can Determine The Direction To Install Your Vinyl Plank Flooring?

There is no hard or fast rule on the direction to take when installing your vinyl plank flooring. Much depends on your personal choice and decision. However, I have outlined some tips that can guide you when deciding:

Room Shape

This is one factor that can strongly determine the direction of the layout. A diagonal pattern may stand out in rooms with angled walls rather than the regular vertical or horizontal. For narrow rooms, I recommend installing planks along room length, and in small spaces like in the bathroom area, planks should run parallel to the longest wall so that it appears bigger.

Room Features

1 or 2 of the room features can determine installation. Take the stairway, for example; planks are installed horizontally on stairs. There will be uniformity if you do the same on the living room floors.

The Direction of Light Source

Wooden Flooring Direction with Light

The direction of the primary light source in the space is a valuable guide when deciding direction, as the light will naturally draw attention to the flooring. So, you may choose to lay flooring towards the window area or entryway of your space. However, using light to decide the direction can be limiting if the room is small. But the crucial thing is that pay attention when cutting flooring because it should be in a straight line. Otherwise, your direction will be angled.

Consider Using the Direction of the Most Used Entrance

If your room is small, you can consider installing the flooring in the most used door. It can make the room seem more significant or more prolonged.


Vinyl planks do not exceed 40ft in length and 20ft in width. Installing in rooms wider than this requires that you split up tiles. It would help if you also noted this as you determined direction and arrangement.

You may choose to Create Focus on a Particular Area in the Room

You can lay flooring towards the TV set, fireplace, or dressing table if you want them to be the room’s focus.

Woodgrain Pattern and Design

This can also determine which direction to install vinyl plank flooring. Some patterns are unique when installed diagonally, while in some cases, leaving it plain vertically best brings out the beauty.

Woodgrain Pattern for flooring

The Direction Easier to Install

If this is a DIY project, it may be wise to go in the direction you feel is more comfortable installing, especially if you don’t feel confident and skilled enough. It will be better than choosing complicated patterns and designs and ending up doing a scrap job.

Personal Preference

Despite all the tips given above, what you want is what matters at the end of the day. Generally, all the points I have listed above will play a role in the overall finishing of your flooring and impact the size, tone, and design. But above them all, the primary consideration should be your personal choice and taste. Do not go for what you are not comfortable with. Choose what is best for you or a qualified installer.

How Does the Direction of Flooring Affect a Room?

While deciding to lay your flooring, you should know that the different approaches you use for installation will create an illusion or general effect on the space. Let’s see what effect different directions of layout can give a room:

  • Horizontal (width-wise): flooring laid horizontally makes rooms appear more expansive.
  • Vertical (length-wise): with vertical flooring, rooms appear narrow and have depth.
  • Diagonal: creates a connection in multiple spaces.

Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring in a Multiple Space

When rooms connect like your bedroom and closet or living room and dining area, you will need a great deal of planning to determine the direction for the layout so that you can get a unifying arrangement. As a DIYer, who is not a professional installer, this may seem like a herculean task, but I have got you covered. These few tips can get you started.

Choosing Direction

Take time to consider the best possible direction installation should go. Remember, you link multiple rooms as you layout so, plan the planks properly at hand, dimensions, skill level, and time you have available. In this case, planning is a more significant asset than speed. Take as much time as possible to ensure you get the best results (uniformity after installation). I have outlined some great tips above that can help you choose directions.

Plan and Use Transitions

Vinyle Plank Flooring Transition Plan

Proper planning and layout will help you avoid transitions as much as possible. However, it’s impossible to prevent Installation transitions, especially in multiple rooms, most times. It would be best to determine where planks should go and where strip transitions best fit your planning stage. I advise that you make a blueprint of the directions you wish to lay planks after planning.


If you have done your homework right, you will have a smooth installation with little or no hitches. Remember, you don’t have to hurry. Take time to calculate and arrange a sharp flooring saw to get a smooth cut. As I said, speed is not your asset here; proper planning and arrangement are. But the important thing is don’t forget to place the proper underlayment under the plank.


I hope this article is apt enough to guide you and help you make the right decisions as you Install Your Vinyl flooring.

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