Which Direction to Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring in the Hallway?

Which Direction to Lay Vinyl Plank Flooring in Hallway?

Selecting the right direction to lay your vinyl plank flooring in a hallway is a decision that carries more weight than you might initially think.

This choice has a profound impact on both the aesthetics and functionality of your space. When laid correctly, vinyl plank flooring can act as a visual guide, leading you down the hallway while creating a pleasing, cohesive look that complements the rest of your home.

Incorrectly laid flooring, on the other hand, can make the hallway appear disjointed and narrow. The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with comprehensive guidance and critical considerations to ensure your hallway flooring not only looks fantastic but also stands up to the high-traffic nature of this essential passageway.

Things to Consider When Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring

There are several vital elements to consider when laying vinyl plank flooring. I can tell you from personal experience that overlooking these can lead to unwelcome surprises. Let’s break them down.

Hallway dimensions and shape

  • Narrow vs. wide hallways

Having lived in homes with both narrow and wide hallways, I can tell you that the direction of your planks can drastically change the feel of the space.

In narrow hallways, you might want to lay the planks lengthwise, helping to elongate the space and create a sense of flow.

In contrast, for wider hallways, you could experiment with planks laid across the width to add depth and character.

  • Rectangular vs. irregularly shaped hallways

In my first apartment, the hallway was a weird zig-zag shape that threw me for a loop.

For these irregularly shaped hallways, try mimicking the shape’s direction with your flooring.

It can help guide people through the space and make it feel less chaotic.

Natural light sources and room transitions

  • Position of windows and doors

Large windows flank the hallway in my current home, and it made sense to lay the planks parallel to the light source.

This enhances the natural light’s effect, creating a brighter, more welcoming space.

  • Connecting rooms and open floor plans

With open floor plans, like in my sister’s home, it’s crucial to consider how the hallway flooring will transition into other rooms.

In her case, continuing the direction of the planks from the living area into the hallway created a seamless transition.

Design preferences and patterns

  • Matching vs. contrasting existing decor

I’ve learned that not all planks should match the walls’ color.

Depending on the size and shape of your hallway, contrasting colors can create a dynamic and visually intriguing space.

  • Stripes, herringbone, or traditional layout

In a friend’s home, they used a striking herringbone pattern in their hallway, completely transforming the space.

So, don’t be afraid to play with patterns. You could opt for a traditional layout, stripes, or even a herringbone pattern, depending on your style and the hallway’s dimensions.

Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring Lengthwise

Benefits of Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring Lengthwise

  • Creating an illusion of depth and length

My neighbor, who lives in a beautiful yet compact city apartment, taught me the trick of laying vinyl plank flooring lengthwise.

This method creates an optical illusion that elongates the corridor, making it appear more spacious than it is.

It’s incredible how a simple adjustment in the flooring direction can dramatically transform the perception of a room’s size.

  • Emphasizing hallway continuity

In my own home, I chose to lay vinyl plank flooring lengthwise to emphasize the hallway’s continuity, ensuring it flowed from the entrance right through to the other rooms.

This technique helped to create a sleek, unified look that seamlessly tied together all the elements in my house.

When Lengthwise May Be the Best Choice

  • Narrow Hallways

For those who live in homes with narrow hallways, like my cousin’s old Victorian house, laying vinyl plank flooring lengthwise can be a game-changer.

It steers your view down the hall rather than across it, making the narrow hall feel more substantial and less claustrophobic.

  • Hallways Leading to a Focal Point or Feature

My aunt’s house has a hallway leading to a beautiful French door that opens to her garden. In her case, laying vinyl planks lengthwise guided the eye directly to this charming feature.

The lengthwise flooring acted as a visual arrow, drawing attention to the focal point at the end of the hallway.

Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring Widthwise

Advantages of Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring Widthwise

  • Broadening the Hallway Visually

Remember how I mentioned that the direction of your floor can create optical illusions? Well, that trick works both ways.

My friend’s loft, for example, has an unusually wide hallway that seemed to stretch on endlessly.

Losing the vinyl plank flooring widthwise, the hallway appeared less like a cavernous tunnel and more like a cozy, inviting space.

The widthwise flooring altered the hallway’s visual dynamics, giving it a broad and spacious feel.

  • Enhancing the Hallway’s Proportions

My brother’s bungalow had a hallway that was both wide and short. Laying the vinyl planks widthwise, we found, gave a balancing effect to the proportions of the hallway.

It made the short distance seem longer and the vast expanse appear cozier. This technique enhanced the visual harmony of the hallway, making it a much more pleasing space.

When Widthwise May Be the Best Choice

  • Wide Hallways

Another instance where widthwise flooring shines is in the case of naturally wide hallways.

My friend’s ranch-style home has generous hallways that felt too broad when laid lengthwise.

Switching to a widthwise direction helped tame the overwhelming breadth, making it feel more balanced and proportionate.

If your hallway feels too expansive, consider laying your vinyl planks widthwise.

  • Hallways with Abundant Natural Light

My cousin’s sunlit hallway, filled with natural light from a large skylight, is another excellent example of where widthwise flooring works best.

The light streaming in from above interacted beautifully with the widthwise planks, creating a sense of width and openness.

The shadows cast by the planks also added visual depth, creating a stunning interplay of light and shadow.

So if you have a hallway bathed in natural light, laying your vinyl planks widthwise could produce a truly spectacular effect.

Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring Diagonally

Advantages of Laying Vinyl Plank Flooring Diagonally

  • Unique and Dynamic Visual Impact

In my own home, I opted for a diagonal layout for my vinyl plank flooring. This unique layout completely transformed my hallway, creating a dynamic visual impact unlike anything I’d seen before.

Each plank seemed to guide the eye along a unique pathway, producing an intriguing and visually captivating effect. It was like my hallway had become a work of art!

  • Making the Hallway a Focal Point

Following this diagonal path, my previously overlooked hallway became the focal point of my home.

My neighbors and guests often compliment my choice, saying it adds an unexpected twist to the general flow of the home. Not to brag, but it’s turned heads more than once!

When Diagonal May Be the Best Choice

  • Creative and Contemporary Design Preferences

My friend, a graphic designer with a penchant for contemporary aesthetics, also chose a diagonal layout for her vinyl plank flooring.

The diagonal layout, she told me, embodied her creative mind. It broke the monotony of traditional layouts and gave a quirky, modern twist to her hallway.

If you, like her, seek to add a unique touch to your design, a diagonal layout might be your perfect fit!

  • Irregularly Shaped Hallways

My uncle’s house, an old Victorian with lots of character, had an irregularly shaped hallway.

Traditional lengthwise or widthwise flooring layouts didn’t work with this unique space.

However, laying the vinyl planks on a diagonal created an exciting pattern harmonizing with the hallway’s unusual shape.

So, if you’re struggling to find a suitable flooring layout for an irregularly shaped hallway, consider giving the diagonal layout a try!


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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