The choice of flooring is one of the most basic yet important decisions a homeowner has to make when undertaking a renovation, as it underpins everything else. While there are plenty of different options, from carpet to terrazzo, one material is the acknowledged standard: hardwood.
When you have finished installing wood flooring, you will, no doubt, need some flooring accessories to add the finishing touches to the room. As already mentioned, you will have expansion gaps around the edge of your room. These can easily be covered over with a range of flooring accessories like: skirting board, beading — quarter round, door bars, ramps and pipe covers.
When you are fitting any type of wooden flooring, you must leave an expansion gap. This gap should run the whole way around the edge of the room, including in doorways, pipework and fireplaces. The expansion gap needs to be at least 10mm.
If you need an excuse to shop, the one must-have decor item with hardwood flooring is a rug. It will perform double duty as a decorating piece and floor protector.
Traditionally, hardwood flooring came in thick planks of solid timber. Today, solid hardwood is still widely available, but many companies also offer engineered flooring—planks made with a thinner top layer of hardwood, bonded to other layers designed to prevent the floor from shifting during expansion and contraction cycles. All wood moves in three directions: There`s tangential, radial, and longitudinal movement.
The reason you need to do this is to give your hardwood flooring space to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. If you fail to leave an expansion gap your flooring will have no space to expand and can easily become damaged.