H Pattern Laminate Flooring: All You Need to Know

Are you thinking about staggering your laminate flooring and considering an H joint? Well, before you start doing anything, there are some things you might need to know because after reading this, you’ll probably change your mind.

H pattern laminate flooring is something you probably have heard of but hopefully not seen much. And there is a very good reason for this. Some say your floor might not be able to breathe or move properly and end up causing gaps or even lifting. YOu’re probably better off installing it in A Herringbone Pattern which looks way better.

What Is An H Pattern Laminate Flooring?

An H pattern laminate flooring is created when you alternate between the floorboards of half and full length. In this style of flooring, all the boards eventually end at a single edge in every other row. Thus, the appearance of the letter H emerges. 

Is An H Pattern OK For Laminate Flooring?

Laying your laminator in an H pattern by itself is nothing disastrous; it’s still something most floorers would not recommend or even tell you to avoid entirely. This is primarily because laying down floorboards in this pattern reduces their ability to expand and contract as a unit due to changes in humidity and temperature levels. Even more so if you decided to glue your joints.

As a result, the single laminate planks do not move in tandem and cause gaps. You may even notice that they start to lift, much like a hinge.

Consequently, H joints will warp, and your laminate floorboards will start popping out of place. With your floor wrecked, you will have to install a new one again, costing you a lot in the long run. 

Pros Of H Pattern Laminate Flooring

Homeowners tend to opt for H pattern laminate flooring primarily because it has an orderly and neat format. But other than that, nothing would convince a professional floorer to lay it in an H pattern. 

Cons Of H Pattern Laminate Flooring

Although H joints do not negatively impact the longevity or durability of your laminate floorboards, they are not recommended for the reasons mentioned below.

  1. The main reason why you should avoid H-joints is that it decreases their ability to expand and contract as a single unit. As a result, the different floorboards move in their own direction. Eventually, you may see gaps between the panels or planks lifting up like a hinge. 
  1. Installing an H pattern laminate flooring doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing. 

How To Lay Laminate Flooring In H-pattern?

If you’re still determined to install it anyway, follow the steps below:

  1. Prepare your room to lay down laminate flooring.

Before you can start laying down laminate floorboards in your room, you must prepare them accordingly. The first thing you need to do is to tear out any previously installed flooring without missing any nails or staples. This is because even the slightest bump on your subfloor could negatively impact the result. However, you can skip this step if you plan to install your new planks over another type of hard floor, such as tile or vinyl. 

In addition, you should also look closely at the subfloor to ensure that it’s relatively level and flat. If the subfloor in your room is in bad shape or has been made out of wood, then you will need to add a ¼-inch layer. 

  1. Acclimate the laminate panels 

Once you have ensured the stability of your subfloor, it’s time to acclimate your laminate floorboards. Thus, it’s recommended that you place all the flooring material at least 24 to 72 hours before the start of the installation process in the particular room where it will be laid. This is done to allow the flooring to get used to the temperature and humidity of the room.

Acclimating your laminate panels beforehand allows you to prevent problems in the future, such as bubbling or buckling of your floorboards. For a better understanding of how to acclimate your laminate panels, be sure to abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations. As a result, you will also be able to qualify for warranties should you need them later on. 

  1. Apply underlayment to the subfloor

The flooring manufacturer must have provided a set of recommendations for you to follow to figure out the type of underlayment to bring home. Simply put, it’s a sheet of thin paper, plastic, or foam that helps create a moisture barrier. Consequently, it protects your laminate floorboards from too much humidity. 

It’s also instrumental in cushioning the flooring to help avoid hollow sounds or squeaks when you walk on the flooring. Be sure to cover the entirety of your subfloor with the recommended side of the underlayment, following the instructions as much as possible. 

  1. Cut out a couple of starter boards.

To start with staggering your laminate flooring, you will need a chop saw or a laminate cutter to take out at least five to six plans of different lengths. One end of the boards will be used as starts for around five to six rows, whereas the other end can be used to finish the rows on the opposite side of the wall. 

  1. Laying down the laminate floorboards

Remember that laminate flooring requires an expansion gap between the edge of the panels and any cabinets, walls, or other obstructions. The space you should leave is commonly ½ an inch. However, it would be best if you made sure that this space is left all around the floorboards. For an accurate measure of the gaps, feel free to use plastic spacers. 

Now, lay down a precut starter panel close to the wall on one side of the room. Continue this process by laying down whole planks end to end throughout the room until there is no space to put them in a row. The last board that you place needs to be measured and then trimmed accordingly to fit. 

Next, move on to the next row. Take a close look at the panel you placed in the last row and compare it with the ones that you cut out earlier. Pick one that has a length of at least six inches and is shorter or longer than the starter panel of the last row. 

You will want to place a couple of starter panels down a single wall to compare their varying lengths. Once you have measured all the floorboards in question, it’s time to start locking them together. When creating a pattern correctly, you may need a wooden or plastic black to tap the tongues. 

  1. Stagger the laminate floorboards

While installing your laminate floorboards, often take a break, take a step back, and view all your hard work from a short distance. This is key to ensuring that you are moving in the right direction. Feel free to pay special attention to the seams and adjust the rows you have placed in an H-pattern before proceeding. 

What Other Patterns Can You Use For Laminate Flooring?

Below are several other patterns you can opt for when laying down your laminate floorboards.

  1. Diagonal pattern

Laminate flooring panels do not have to be placed parallel to the walls. You can place them at different kinds of angles to allow them to open up your space. Rooms often tend to appear larger when the floorboards are laid at a diagonal, even if you have darker finishes. Rest assured, diagonal flooring patterns will help you hide the sins of those walls that are not straight. 

  1. Parquet pattern

The parquet pattern of flooring originated in the 1500s in France. The pattern’s name comes from ‘parquetry,’ a French word that means a small compartment. The name was given so because installers would often take small pieces of wood and put them together to make various geometric patterns. 

When installing laminate flooring in a parquet pattern, you can ensure that your room becomes a symbol of timeless beauty. Moreover, the entire value of your home can be enhanced by channeling your inner creativity. 

  1. Chevron pattern

The Chevron pattern allows you to garner visual interest by creating designs in a v-line. It helps add a luxurious, elegant, and contemporary look to your room. You can easily install this pattern in your home with the help of flooring manufacturers, who are developing laminate flooring planks to imitate the proper shape of the design. 


Should laminate flooring have a pattern?

Your laminate floorboards should be laid down only in a single pattern, namely the random stagger pattern. This means that the leftover piece of one row should be used to start the flooring of the second row. 

What pattern is best for laminate flooring?

While you should avoid creating a flooring pattern, you can always opt for a randomized stagger or random stagger pattern. However, it does not just appear as you lay down the planks. When creating this design, you must be careful and pay special attention to every row you lay down. It falls on you to ensure that every new row is unique compared to the two or three rows before it. 

Where do I start laying laminate flooring?

You should start the first row of your laminate flooring by laying down the panels with their tongue towards the wall. Meanwhile, the second plank should be placed right next to the first, with its groove aligning with the tongue of the previous panel. 

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