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Floating Floor Being Pinched

When installing floating floors it is imperative that the floor is allowed to “move” because that is what floating floors do. This is often interpreted as having to leave adequate expansion gaps.

This is true! But there is more to worry about than just expansion gaps. Cabinets on top of the floor make a difference and so does the ability to move around transitions and under base trim.

On photo1 below you can clearly see the transition is pinching the floor so much that it is lifting at the end. On photo 2 you can see a transition is glued down on the floor. This area is also failing a few feet out.

When a floating floor is pinched, the floor will fail at the weakest point, this is often around a stairstep (sidestep) installation of the planks where there is a short seam stagger.

Questions or comments are welcome!

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James Lee Senter
James Lee Senter

When installing floating floors, it is crucial to allow for adequate movement, as that is the inherent nature of these types of floors. While providing sufficient expansion gaps is a significant consideration, there are other factors that can impact the floor's ability to move freely.

Cabinets installed on top of the floating floor can restrict its movement, as can the lack of proper clearance around transitions and under base trim. In photo 1, it is evident that the transition is pinching the floor to such an extent that it is causing the planks to lift at the end. Similarly, in photo 2, you can observe a transition that has been glued down directly on the floor, leading to failure a…

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