We want to remove wall-to-wall carpeting in our 14' x 14' living room and put in medium-priced engineered hardwood flooring. About how much would it increase the materials and installation costs if the wood is laid in a hexagonal pattern with an 18" straight border, versus having all the planks laid parallel to each other?
Terry B. ~ Lafayette, Louisiana
Terry, if you want to build a patterned wood floor, then you will need to purchase more material than would normally be needed when installing a traditional wood floor. This is because of the angled cuts at the end of boards that are needed to create the hexagonal design and the waste that will be produced from cutting each individual board to size. This type of project would also require quite a bit of additional labor, which could increase the overall project cost (assuming that you were hiring someone to install the floor for you).
Unfortunately, engineered wood flooring is not ideal for this type of custom flooring installation, because most engineered wood products are factory finished with a needed tongue or grove on either side and at both ends of the floor board. Additionally, most pre-finished engineered wood flooring has a slight bevel on the edges, which would be lost when you trimmed off the ends of the board to create the needed angle cuts.
If you really want a patterned floor, then you are going to have to find an engineered product which is available unfinished and does not require a tongue and groove at the board's ends. If you can not find an engineered flooring manufacturer who specifically states that it is okay to use their product for this type of project, then I would strongly suggest that you use solid wood flooring instead. It would also be to your benefit to consult a flooring contractor who works in the Lafayette area and has experience with this type of installation, as it can be tricky. Good luck!