Timber floors from companies like Parquetry Flooring Co Pty Ltd are beautiful and long lasting, but they also expand and contract over time. So that the expansion and contraction doesn't result in the floor buckling, you need to have gaps around the edges of the floor. Aptly named expansion gaps, these critical gaps can look unsightly, which is why most people cover them.
There are a range of ways to cover the expansion gaps in your timber floor -- take a look at these ideas:
1. Use baseboards
Baseboards are one of the most common and simplest ways to cover your expansion gaps. Before putting in your timber floor, remove all of your baseboards.
Lay the timber floor, leaving a small expansion gap around the edges. The gap should be less than the thickness of the baseboards -- if you need a larger gap based on the floor manufacturer's instructions, consider replacing your old baseboards with thicker ones. Once the floor is laid, replace the baseboards and the gaps are instantly hidden.
2. Embrace transition strips
While baseboards work in most areas, they cannot hide expansion gaps in between different types of flooring or between rooms. Luckily, there are special transition strips for this purpose.
Transition strips come in a range of sizes and for a range of purposes -- some ease the transition between flooring that is different heights, while others are designed to work with flooring that is the same height. If you don't have baseboards, some transition strips even work near walls.
Basically, a transition strip features a top layer that is applied half over your timber floor and half over the adjoining floor. It also features a track that can be screwed or otherwise attached to the floor, and between the top of the strip and the bottom, there is an expansion gap.
3. Rout the bottom of door frames
If you have a door frame that you love between two rooms and you want to keep your door frame in place rather than using a transition strip, consider routing or hollowing a bit of the door frame out.
Then, slip the last plank of your timber floor slightly under your door frame. You may have to shave or rout some of the timber floor board to make this possible. Just make sure that there is a small gap present in the space between the timber flooring and the wood door frame -- that allows for expansion.
4. Allow expansion with other materials
In some cases, you can even create an expansion gap that is not immediately next to your timber floor. For example, if your timber floor butts up to a tile floor, lay the timber floor so that it is flush with the first row of tiles. Then, remove the grout that lines that row of tiles. Replace it with caulk. The caulk will let your timber floor expand as needed.