Laminate flooring elements consist of a predominantly wooden composite base. Wood is a natural construction material. One of the important features considered for the typical “floating” installation of laminate flooring elements is the movement of the wooden composite. This movement is caused by the swelling and shrinking processes of the wood due to fluctuating moisture levels in the atmosphere. Humidity tends to cause the floor to expand, while drier air conditions will cause the floor to shrink overall.
For this reason it is important that the laminate flooring has room to move, in order to avoid subsequent damage. Damage can include: open joints, swelling up or buckling in the joint area with peeling and flaking of the boards, or the floor may start lifting. It’s important that the distance between the laminate and the wall is 9 – 15mm depending on the room size. Larger rooms require more expansion space. This space is covered by skirting boards.