What is an expansion gap and why do I need one?

What is an expansion gap and why do I need one?

This entry was posted on November 2, 2020 by sam elliott

An expansion gap is an essential part of installing a bamboo or wooden floor.  It allows the planks of bamboo to naturally expand and contract without causing them any damage or distortion.


What exactly I an expansion gap?

It is a gap of at least 10 - 12mm left around the perimeter of the entire room or area.  A gap should also be left wherever the floor comes into contact with fixed objects like door frames, fireplaces and radiator pipes.  To make sure that you leave the correct sized gap you can use flooring spacers, which help to keep the floor away from walls whilst fitting.  These are then removed once the floor has been fitted. This is an essential part of fitting your bamboo floor.

Carbonised Vertical Bamboo Flooring with an expansion gap

Why do I need one?

Bamboo is a natural product so naturally absorbs any humidity in the air and expands slightly.  Similarly, when the humidity drops, the bamboo will slightly reduce in size.  However, this is nothing to worry about and is a completely natural process.  You may not even notice anything happening as the changes are so small. However, this does mean that the bamboo will need space to make these changes.  This is why you need an expansion gap.  If no gap is left and your bamboo floor needs to expand, it won’t have the sufficient room and could start to distort, rise up and crack.  


How do I cover the gap up?

We have a wide range of bamboo flooring accessories that are designed to cover up expansion gaps.  Skirting boards and beading can cover the gaps around the edge of the room. Door bars will cover the gap in between different rooms. Ramps will transition your bamboo floor to a different floor covering of a lower level.  We even have stair nosing if you would like to use bamboo flooring on your staircase.  Most noteworthy is that all of these products are available in the different colours and styles of bamboo, allowing you to match your flooring. 


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