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Leaving Expansion Gaps; How to do it right?

Leaving the right expansion gap is an essential part of fitting any wooden floor. Whether it be solid wood, engineered wood or parquet block flooring, they all need an expansion gap to allow for natural movements when the wood expands and contracts with changes in the surrounding atmosphere.

An expansion gap is a small space left around the perimeter of the room.  For hardwood floors it is recommended that a gap of at least 12mm is left around the entire edge of the room, including all doorways, fireplaces, and around any pipework.

 

How do I leave the right expansion gap?

To make sure the correct sized expansion gap if left you could use flooring spacers, which can then be removed after installation.  When installing a wooden floor, the main things to remember about expansion gaps are:

  • They should be at least 12mm wide.
  • Leave the gap the whole way around the edge of the room – the floor should not be touching any walls woodwork or pipes.
  • Remember to leave an expansion gap in between doorways.
  • Your wooden floor needs to be able to naturally and freely move, so should not be fixed or connected to anything (with the exception of any adhesive you use to fix your floor to the subfloor).
What is an expansion gap - feature Using flooring spacers to get the right expansion gap

How do I cover the space up?

Depending on where the expansion gap is, will depend on how you will cover it over.  For gaps around the edge of the room you can either use skirting boards or beading.  If you have taken off the existing skirting to install your new floor, then replace this with new.  If you have left the original skirting in place when fitting your floor, cover the expansion gap with beading.

For gaps in between doorways, you should use an appropriate door bar.  The one that you choose will depend on what is the other side of the door.  There are many different types including, wood to wood, wood to carpet and ramps.  If you are not sure which one you need, give us a call and we will help to advise you.

For any pipes coming through your flooring, like radiator pipes, you can simply cover these over with pipe covers.

If you would like to find out more about covering expansion gaps, have a look at the following: Which hardwood flooring mouldings and accessories will I need?

 

Oak door bar Oak door bar
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