We recently attended a Parade of Homes event. Of course, the homes were lovely. The outdoor living spaces were wonderful. The basements were enormous. The tile work, terrific! Paint, gorgeous. The floors? Well, we give them a mixed review.

We loved the two homes with Kentwood floors (especially the whiskey barrel flooring with the wooden plugs, shown at top left). Not only were they beautiful, they had held up wonderfully – still looking great after thousands of visitors had paraded all over them. Meanwhile, a few of the floors in other model homes had clearly visible scratches caused by weeks of heavy foot traffic.

Another favorite was the reclaimed hardwood flooring in the French Provincial model – just beautiful! The floors had elegant long lengths with a terrific natural (rather than overly machined) distressed look.

What really struck us though, was the lack of flair in the floor installations. We saw a few tile inlays, but other than that, the installation designs were fairly routine.

What could they have done to add a little sizzle? They should have used a simple design idea that always makes an elegant and dramatic visual impact. They should have had some of their floors installed on a 45 degree angle. Angled flooring is a gorgeous look, too often ignored by homeowners, designers and architects.

You should consider this design option too!

Some Advantages to a Diagonal Installation:

1. A diagonal installation is perfect for a room that isn’t entirely square, and to be truthful, most rooms are not square. Why? A diagonal installation also helps avoid the “dutchmen” – a thiner strip of flooring required to finish out a room when the dimensions are not an exact multiple of the floor board width.

2. Wood flooring is normally installed perpendicular to the floor joists that run below the subfloor as this gives the floor added stability. However, if running your floor in that perpendicular direction isn’t visually desirable, a diagonal installation makes for a beautiful alternative.


1. There is more waste in a diagonal installation. Remember, you have to cut a 45 degree miter on the end of each board that terminates at a wall, and that leads to more waste. Typical straight-lay waste is usually about 5% above the room’s actual square footage. Diagonal waste will be closer to about 15%. That means you’ll buy 10% more wood than you would for a normal straight installation.

2. All those miter cuts mean there will be some incremental installation charge as it does take a little more work.

Be bold! Don’t follow the straight floor crowd! Set your own course! Go Diagonal!