One of the most frequently asked questions when we are installing vinyl or laminate flooring for our clients is; “Why do we need expansion joints?” Many feel that they may not be necessary and just a money spinner for the flooring suppliers.
This is definitely not so, and in the case of pretty much all flooring types there is some expansion and contraction of the surface of the floor. Expansion gaps are essential in all laminate floor installations, simply because temperature and humidity variations can differ in all rooms. This results in the laminate flooring expanding and contracting as the temperature and humidity changes. It is also the same with solid and engineered wood floors too although in the case of engineered flooring it is much less prevalent than in solid wood. In the case of vinyl, expansion & contraction takes place only due to temperature & not humidity.
Obviously if gaps are to be allowed for, from both an aesthetic and practical point of view, it is necessary to join them with ‘expansion joints’ to complete the full surface of the floor.
Do I really need expansion joints between every room?
This is another frequently asked question and again the answer is yes you usually do and it is usually necessary. Humidity and temperature can differ greatly from room to room and we therefore recommend separating some of the rooms from the rest by creating expansion joints under the doors between rooms.
This assists with preventing tension and possible distortion (upward warping) of the floor. This could happen when one room is heated and the other is not or when there is, for example, a heavy piece of furniture in one of the rooms.
An underlay for solid wood
What is also important with expansion joints is a good underlay to fit wood flooring to concrete floors. In solids & engineered we use a product called Elastilon (link to video) a very high quality self-adhesive flooring underlay eliminating the need for nails, screws, clips and glues. This method comes highly recommended and is a cleaner and quicker method for laying floors.
It a Dutch product and can be used extensively both commercially and domestically on floors with or without heating systems.
Hygiene is our middle name
It’s also important to mention in these trying times that Libra flooring not only sources, supplies and installs the finest products on the market, but that our installation crews are all highly trained in hygiene practices.
Hand sanitation precautions and the wearing of masks are always undertaken for the protection of our clients. Contact us today to learn more about the full range of excellent flooring, carpets, blinds etc. that we provide – and keep yourselves safe!