Which Direction to Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring in Small Bathroom?

Which Direction to Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring in Small Bathroom?

When revamping your small bathroom, choosing flooring can make a difference. One popular option is vinyl plank flooring, renowned for its durability, water resistance, and aesthetic appeal.

However, a critical aspect often overlooked is the direction in which the planks are laid. The direction of your vinyl plank flooring can significantly impact the perception of space in your bathroom, creating an illusion of a roomier area or enhancing the room’s aesthetic flow.

This blog post will guide you through the essential considerations for choosing the right direction for your vinyl plank flooring, ensuring your small bathroom appears more significant and inviting.

Consider Your Bathroom Layout

Assess the overall layout and shape of the bathroom

First and foremost, take a good look at your bathroom’s overall layout and shape.

In my case, I found it helpful to draw a rough sketch of the room, noting down any irregularities or unique features.

This will help you plan the flooring direction and give you an idea of how the final look will be.

  • Note any irregularities or unique features.

Now, let’s talk about those irregularities and unique features.

My bathroom, for instance, has an unusual corner that juts out, which I had to consider when planning the flooring.

These unique features could influence the direction of your planks, so it’s essential to note them.

Determine the location of fixtures and bathroom entry points

The next step is to determine the location of your fixtures and bathroom entry points.

This is crucial because you don’t want to disrupt the flooring flow with the placement of your fixtures or the doorway.

  • Sub-point about the importance of starting from the longest wall

You might ask, “Where should I start laying my planks?” Well, I learned from experience that it’s generally best to start from the longest wall. It gives a sense of continuity and can make your small bathroom appear more prominent.

  • Sub-point regarding placing planks parallel to the longest wall for visual impact

Finally, let’s talk about the visual impact. Laying the planks parallel to the longest wall can dramatically influence your bathroom’s visual perception.

This method helped elongate my space, giving my small bathroom a more spacious feel. Trust me, this small trick can make a big difference!

Visual Effects and Perceived Space

  • Impact of Flooring Direction on Perception of Space

Just as an artist uses lines to guide the viewer’s eye, you, too can manipulate your bathroom’s visual perception using the direction of your flooring.

When I started my renovation, I was amazed to discover the impact of the flooring direction on the perceived space.

  • Horizontal Planks – Creating an Illusion of Width

When I installed horizontal planks in my narrow bathroom, I was astounded by the result.

The horizontal lines visually stretched the room, tricking the eye into perceiving a broader space.

It was almost as if I had extended the walls on either side! If your bathroom is long but narrow, I highly recommend this approach.

  • Vertical Planks – Elongating the Room

On the other hand, if you have a square bathroom or one that is wider than it is long, consider vertical planks.

When I used this method in my guest bathroom, the room seemed to stretch out before me, appearing longer and more spacious than it was.

Vertical planks create an illusion of length and can make your bathroom feel like it extends further than it does.

The Unique Appeal of Diagonal Patterns

For those craving a unique, dynamic look, diagonal patterns are a fascinating choice. While they require more planning and cutting (I learned the hard way), the final effect is unlike anything else.

  • Diagonal Patterns – A Touch of Dynamism

When I experimented with diagonal flooring in my master bathroom, I was floored (pun intended) by the result.

The room expanded in all directions, creating a vibrant and dynamic effect that made the space feel more extensive and more enjoyable.

Do note, however, that this method requires more material and careful planning, so it may not be the best choice for everyone.

Light and Natural Light Considerations

How Natural Light Interacts with the Flooring Direction

One of the most surprising things I discovered during my flooring adventures was how significantly light can affect the perception of space. It’s not just about the design or direction of the planks, but how the light hits them.

  • How Light from Windows Can Highlight the Planks

In my home office, I have this enormous east-facing window that floods the room with morning light.

I laid the planks horizontally, and I noticed how the sunlight streaks across the planks, accentuating their length and making that room feel more expansive.

It was a visual treat I hadn’t anticipated, but it added a unique charm to the room.

  • Positioning the Planks Perpendicular to the Main Light Source

When I started on my kitchen, my contractor suggested laying the planks perpendicular to the primary light source, which, in this case, was a large patio door.

I was skeptical, but the result blew me away. The cross-light from the door highlighted the depth of each plank, and each morning, the room felt incredibly expansive.

Impact of Artificial Lighting on the Flooring

Artificial light also plays an essential role in how your flooring looks.

  • Recommending Installing Planks Parallel to the Primary Artificial Light Source

In my dining room, the primary light source is a long, hanging fixture above our dining table.

Instead of going perpendicular, I went parallel with the planks to the light source. Trust me when I say it made a world of difference.

The shadows cast along the length of the planks created a sense of continuity and depth that was genuinely mesmerizing during dinner parties.

Transition and Entryway Considerations

Transitioning from one room to another is not just about opening a door, it’s also about the visual cues that tell us we’re moving into a different space.

With flooring, you want to ensure that these transitions are smooth and pleasing to the eye.

Importance of Smooth Transitions

  • The Need for Transitional Pieces at Entryways

In my home, I’ve observed the significant impact transitional pieces can have at entryways.

Not only do they protect the edges of your flooring from damage and wear, but they also provide a seamless transition from one type of flooring to another.

When I replaced the carpet in my hallway with wood flooring, I included a bronze transition strip at the doorway.

It marked the change in flooring, added a touch of elegance, and, most importantly, prevented tripping hazards.

  • Thresholds or Transition Strips

Thresholds and transition strips are essential in any home, and I can’t recommend them enough.

They serve as a functional and aesthetic bridge between different flooring types or directions.

While working on my living room, I used a beautiful marble threshold to transition from the tile in the entryway to the hardwood floor.

Not only did it provide a smooth transition, but it also gave an added touch of sophistication to the space.

Maintaining the Flooring Pattern at Doorways

  • Aligning Planks on Both Sides of the Doorway

Maintaining continuity in your flooring pattern at doorways can significantly enhance the overall aesthetics of your home.

I aligned the planks on both sides of each doorway in my home.

It’s a small detail that makes a big difference in creating a continuous, cohesive look.

Plus, it’s an excellent way to impress your guests with your attention to detail!

Practical Considerations

Importance of Proper Installation Techniques

When installing new floors, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper installation techniques.

A little extra time and effort in this initial phase can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

1. The Need for a Level and Clean Subfloor

When I was installing the new hardwood floor in my kitchen, I made sure the subfloor was utterly level and clean.

Any unevenness or debris can cause issues with the new flooring, and let me tell you, it’s not a problem you want to discover after you’ve laid down your beautiful new planks.

2. Using a High-Quality Adhesive or Click-Lock System

I highly recommend using a high-quality adhesive or click-lock system. When I worked on the floors in my bedrooms, I opted for a click-lock system.

This method not only provides a secure, tight fit but also allows for easy replacement of individual planks if necessary.

Significance of Waterproofing and Moisture Resistance

Moisture can be the enemy of many types of flooring, especially if it seeps into seams and edges.

This is where waterproofing and moisture resistance come into the picture.

  • 1. The Necessity of Sealing Seams and Edges

When I installed my bathroom floor, I paid extra attention to sealing the seams and edges.

By doing this, I protected my floor from any potential water damage, and it has held up impeccably well over the years.

Tips for Working Around Obstacles and Corners

For those tricky areas like obstacles and corners, I have a few tips that have worked incredibly well for me.

1. The Use of Spacers and Expansion Gaps

Spacers and expansion gaps are your friends when installing new flooring.

I learned this the hard way in my dining room when the wood flooring began to buckle due to temperature and humidity changes.

Remember, your flooring needs a little room to breathe!

2. Cutting Planks to Fit Snugly Around Obstacles

In my home office, I had to navigate around a built-in bookshelf and a radiator.

It was a challenge, but cutting the planks to fit snugly around these obstacles resulted in a seamless and professional look.

Just remember to measure twice and cut once!


In installing vinyl plank flooring in my tiny bathroom, I’ve learned a few essential things. First, choosing the direction of your floor planks can significantly affect the room’s overall aesthetic.

Next, the click-lock system is highly effective for a secure fit, allowing for easy replacement of individual planks. Additionally, never underestimate the significance of waterproofing and moisture resistance.

Proper sealing seams and edges is vital to protecting your floor from water damage. Lastly, working around obstacles and corners might be challenging, but with accurate measurements and careful cuts, you can achieve a seamless look.

The direction of your vinyl plank flooring plays a crucial role in defining the look and feel of your room. In my case, laying the planks lengthwise made my bathroom appear more extensive and more spacious.

It’s not just about aesthetics, though; it can also influence how water flows and where it pools during a spill or leak.

Every bathroom has its unique features, and yours is no different. Maybe you have a built-in bookshelf or a quaint corner sink, or perhaps your bathroom is a unique shape.

Your flooring should complement these features, not work against them. When I renovated my bathroom, I considered my personal preference for a clean, modern look and worked that into my design.

Flooring installation can be a complex process, but a well-informed approach can make it much more straightforward and rewarding. If you’re unsure about something, there’s no harm in seeking professional guidance.

After all, your bathroom deserves the best. Remember, renovating your bathroom is not just about enhancing its aesthetics but also about creating a space that represents your style and brings you joy.

So, take your time, do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. The result will be worth it.


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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