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Expansion breaks--what are they? do I need them?

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Aug 09, 2013, 12:24 PM
lkloc
Expansion breaks--what are they? do I need them?
Installing an engineered click bamboo floor in LR, DR, small foyer and hall--570 sf. I thought I was all set but just read in the instructions the need for expansion breaks. What!? All the videos I've watched on YouTube and posts I've read have not mentioned or shown this. And I'm having trouble finding info on it. I need to know if I need to worry about this and if so, 1. what it looks like so I can visualize it, and 2. how to do it.
Aug 09, 2013, 12:56 PM
Jaybee
All floating floors will expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes. What you are trying to avoid is having a section of floor make contact with the walls on opposite sides of the room, or through a doorway. If the floor is installed too tightly then when it expands it will cause the floor to buckle.

Manufacturer installation instructions advise leaving 1/2" around all perimeters of the floor and installing a floating threshold to cover an expansion gap where the floor passes through a doorway.

While I understand the need for expansion room, I have found that as long as the floor is installed in a temperature controlled home that expansion is minimal. We have installed many floating floors in multiple rooms where we have continued the floor unbroken through doorways - still leaving expansion room under all base molding and shoe. We've not had any problems with any of these installations.


Jaybee