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Problems with Hardwood Flooring: No expansion gap

Whenever hardwood flooring is being installed, an expansion gap of at least 12mm needs to be left around the perimeter of the room (including doorways).  This allows the flooring to expand and contract naturally.  If an expansion gap has not been left, your hardwood flooring may warp, rise up and break, as it has no room for natural movement.

How to leave an expansion gap

Flooring spacers can be used during the installation of your hardwood flooring, to ensure that the correct size gap is left around the perimeter of the room.  There is no need to worry about how the gap looks as it will be later covered by your skirting board or beading.  For further information, see our article: What is an expansion gap?

Expansion gap Flooring spacers used to create an expansion gap

How to resolve the problems once it has happened

If your hardwood floor has been fitted without an expansion gap and your flooring has started to warp, then the following things can be done.

  • Remove the skirting or beading from the room
  • Cut the planks of flooring down around the edge of the room to create the appropriate expansion gap
  • Replace skirting or beading
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