Which Direction to Lay Laminate Flooring In Small Bathroom?

which direction to lay laminate flooring in small bathroom

Choosing the right direction for laminate flooring in a small bathroom can significantly affect the overall perception and feel of the space. It is crucial in influencing bathroom design’s visual aesthetics and functional aspects.

The direction of your laminate flooring not only affects the appearance of your bathroom but can also impact the illusion of space within the room, especially pertinent in smaller bathrooms.

In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of selecting the right direction for your laminate flooring, discuss how it plays a part in your small bathroom design, and provide practical considerations to guide your decision.

Considerations for Small Bathroom Flooring

When considering laminate flooring for a small bathroom, there are several key factors to consider. Below, I share my firsthand experiences and insights on these important aspects.

  • Space Limitations and Layout Challenges

When I first moved into my apartment with a small bathroom, the space limitations were particularly challenging.

The narrow layout meant that the direction of the flooring would significantly affect the perception of the space.

Aligning the laminate flooring lengthwise made the room appear longer and more spacious than it actually was.

  • Moisture and Humidity Concerns

One of the perennial issues I faced in my small bathroom was the problem of moisture and humidity.

Selecting a water-resistant laminate flooring was essential in combating this issue.

This flooring can withstand the bathroom’s damp conditions, preventing potential water damage.

  • Aesthetic and Design Factors

Beyond practical considerations, aesthetics and design also play an essential role in flooring decisions.

For instance, I opted for light-colored laminate flooring in my own bathroom. This visually opened up the space, making it appear larger and lighter.

  • Practicality and Functionality

Lastly, let’s talk about practicality and functionality. Remember, the bathroom is a high-traffic area, so the flooring must be durable.

In my case, I chose high-quality laminate flooring, known for its long-lasting and hard-wearing properties. This has saved me from unnecessary repair and replacement costs down the line.

Laminate Flooring Options

After familiarizing myself with the challenges and considerations of small bathrooms, my journey led me to laminate flooring. Here’s what I discovered.

Laminate flooring is a popular option for homeowners like me who are looking for a durable, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing solution.

It is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product that simulates wood with a photographic applique layer under a protective clear coat.

When I was first introduced to laminate flooring, I was surprised by how much it resembled real hardwood!

Advantages of Laminate Flooring for Small Bathrooms

The design versatility of laminate flooring was what initially attracted me. But as I delved deeper, I found that its benefits extended beyond aesthetics.

Laminate flooring is surprisingly resistant to stains and impacts, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas like the bathroom.

Its water-resistant nature also made it a worthy contender in my search for bathroom flooring. Needless to say, I was sold!

Varieties of Laminate Flooring (Styles, Colors, Patterns)

When it came to choosing the perfect laminate flooring for my bathroom, I was spoilt for choice.

Laminate flooring comes in an array of styles, patterns, and colors. I found options ranging from tropical mahogany to natural oak and everything in between.

There were even ones that imitated stone and ceramic. Eventually, I chose a warm, light oak pattern.

It added a touch of coziness to my small bathroom while keeping the space bright and airy.

Directional Options for Laminate Flooring

1. Horizontal Direction

An equally popular direction for laying laminate flooring is the horizontal one. This direction has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.


One of the key advantages of the horizontal direction is that it can make a room appear wider.

When I laid out the laminate horizontally in my small bathroom, it visually expanded the space, making it look less cramped.

The horizontal lines directed the eye from side to side, creating the illusion of width.


However, there are a few drawbacks to consider as well. One drawback I found was that horizontally laid laminate can sometimes highlight imperfect walls.

If the wall is not perfectly straight, the horizontal lines of the flooring can make this more noticeable.

When to Choose This Direction

After weighing the pros and cons, you should consider a horizontal layout if your bathroom is especially narrow.

Additionally, if you focus on creating a unique aesthetic that draws the eye, this method is a good choice.

Just ensure that your walls are well-aligned, or you might end up emphasizing the imperfections instead.

2. Vertical Direction

Just as with the horizontal direction, laying laminate flooring vertically comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s my experience with the vertical approach.


When I first laid my laminate flooring vertically in my narrow hallway, I noticed an immediate difference.

The vertical lines drew the eye from the front of the house to the back, making the hallway seem longer and more spacious.

This technique is especially useful in elongated rooms where the goal is to emphasize the room’s depth.


Despite the benefits, there are some downsides to the vertical layout. For one, vertically laid laminate can accentuate any imperfections in your floor.

When I installed the laminate in my old home, the vertical layout made the unevenness of the original wooden floor much more noticeable.

When to Choose This Direction

Considering the above, it’s clear that the vertical direction is an excellent choice if you want to enhance the perception of depth in a room or if you fancy a unique design aesthetic.

However, thoroughly prepare your foundation, leveling it as much as possible for a pristine finish.

As always, consider the specific characteristics of your space and what you want to achieve with your design before deciding on the direction of your laminate flooring.

3. Diagonal Direction

Switching things up, let’s dive into the realm of diagonal layouts. This method is certainly less common, but it can add a distinctive touch to your home, and here’s what I’ve learned from my experience with it.


I installed laminate flooring in a diagonal direction in my open-plan living and dining area. The result was quite striking.

The diagonal lines create movement and dynamism, making the room more vibrant and energetic.

The unique pattern also added a luxurious touch, making the space appear more sophisticated and personalized.


However, the diagonal layout came with its challenges. It required more planning, precision, and additional material – I needed about 10% more laminate than I would have in a horizontal or vertical layout.

Also, the cutting process was more complex, and the installation took longer, adding to the overall cost.

When to Choose This Direction

In reflection, I’d say that the diagonal direction can be a great choice when you’re looking to create a unique, eye-catching design.

This layout works particularly well in large, open spaces where the diagonal lines can shine. However, be prepared for the additional time, effort, and materials.

As with any design choice, consider your space, budget, and willingness to take on a more complex project before deciding on a diagonal layout for your laminate flooring.

4. Herringbone or Chevron Patterns

The Herringbone or Chevron pattern is undeniably stylish and adds much character to any room.

My experience with this pattern was filled with ups and downs, but ultimately, I was pleased with the results.


When I decided to install Herringbone laminate flooring in my master bedroom, the outcome was spectacular.

The pattern added a touch of elegance and a sense of spaciousness that was second to none.

With its ‘V’ shape, the zigzag pattern provides a pleasing symmetry that catches the eye, adding depth to the room.


However, the complexity of the Herringbone pattern installation cannot be underestimated. It was more time-consuming and required higher precision than other layouts.

I also needed about 15% more material due to the number of cut-offs. The complexity also meant I had to spend extra on professional installation to ensure perfection, adding to the overall cost.

When to Choose This Pattern

In hindsight, if you want to make a bold design statement and aren’t afraid of extra cost and time, the Herringbone or Chevron pattern could be a fantastic choice.

It’s particularly effective in larger rooms where the pattern can truly become a focal point.

However, be prepared for the higher cost and more time-consuming installation process. Consider your budget, space, and level of commitment to a more complicated project before jumping in.

Practical Considerations

Before you jump into installing your laminate flooring, there are some practical considerations you need to take into account.

1. Subfloor Preparation

The importance of subfloor preparation cannot be overstated. I learned this the hard way when I attempted to lay laminate flooring in my home office, only to realize the subfloor was uneven.

After hours of painstaking work, I had to redo the entire process. So take it from me, ensure your subfloor is clean, dry, and level before starting the installation to avoid any unwelcome surprises.

2. Underlayment Installation

Underlayment installation is another crucial step I have learned from experience. When redoing my living room floor, I underestimated the value of proper underlayment.

The result? There was a hollow, echoey sound whenever someone walked across the room. An underlayment provides a cushion for your laminate and helps with sound insulation and moisture protection.

3. Transition Strips

Transition strips are essential for a refined and professional-looking finish.

I remember when I installed flooring across multiple rooms in my home, failing to use transition strips between rooms led to a disjointed look.

I use transition strips where the laminate meets other flooring or doorways.

4. Door Clearance and Thresholds

I didn’t account for door clearance in one of my early flooring projects. The end result? I had to remove all the doors in the area and shave them down so they could open and close smoothly.

It’s vital to ensure your doors will clear the new floor and threshold or transition strips before starting.

5. Maintenance and Cleaning Considerations

Maintaining your laminate floor isn’t as daunting as you might think. In my experience, a quick sweep or vacuum and a damp mop keep the laminate looking pristine.

However, remember that laminate flooring doesn’t react well to standing water, so avoid overly wet mopping and clean up spills promptly.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of favoredstoneguides.com and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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