Why Does My Oak Flooring Need An Expansion Gap?

9th Oct 2012 @ 16:37

Naturally an oak floor will expand and contract as the humidity and temperature of the room changes. When there is a high level of humidity in the air, the solid boards will take in the moisture of the surrounding area, causing the boards to expand. When the humidity level reduces, the boards will contract.

Typically your oak flooring will experience these changes as the seasons change. During the winter months where heating is normally left on for longer period of time, your oak flooring will lose its natural moisture, causing it to contract. This is because the surrounding air is much dryer than usual, meaning there is no moisture for the boards to take in. This contraction can result in small gaps appearing in your oak flooring.

Oak Flooring

During the warmer months, where the heating is normally switched off, your oak flooring will begin to expand once more. This is because there is often more moisture in the air, which is then absorbed by your oak floor. This expansion will lead to the gaps created during winter disappearing.

This natural expansion means it is extremely important to leave an expansion gap when laying your oak flooring. This gap should be left around the perimeter of the room, and should be around 15mm wide. Without this gap, when the flooring expands, it could lead to much more serious problems as the boards are forced to rise.

As always if you have any further questions, please give us a call on 01538 304584.

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