Laminate Flooring Expansion Gap Filler: A Complete Guide 

If you have laminate flooring, you may have noticed a small gap between the planks and the wall. This is called an expansion gap, and it’s essential for the health of your floor. The expansion gap allows the planks to expand and contract as temperature and humidity levels change, preventing them from buckling or warping.

But when this expansion gap is too big, it not only doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing but, in some cases, also causes minor damage if left unattended.

What Are Laminate Flooring Expansion Gaps Fillers?

Laminate flooring expansion gap fillers are materials designed to cover unintended big expansion gaps that remain after installation. They vary depending on the size of the gaps and the type of laminate flooring installed. The pattern may also play a role, such as an H pattern, L shape, or herringbone pattern.

There is a recommended gap size for every laminate flooring type, and its manufacturers offer the best ranges to cover these areas. 

Why Do You Need Laminate Flooring Expansion Gap Filler?

The need for laminate flooring expansion gap fillers will depend on the size of these gaps. In the summer seasons, when the humidity is high, the pores in laminate flooring will absorb moisture and expand, and the gap (in this case, left intentionally) should be big enough to accommodate it well. 

Unfortunately, more often than not, the gaps become too big due to improper acclimation, the floor didn’t settle well enough, or the intentional gaps left were too big, which is when you’d use a gap filler. 

Additionally, when the humidity is low and the temperature high, it dries the laminate flooring, and the floor will thus contract, and the space should be enough to ensure it doesn’t become too big. Some reasons to get laminate flooring expansion gap fillers include the following;

  1. Maintain the Smoothness

Huge gaps on your laminate flooring make the rooms look less aesthetically pleasing. These huge gaps make them uneven and thus unreliable for homeowners. You can cover these gaps using a filler to create a smooth finish! 

  1. Avoid Moisture Damage

Huge gaps, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, create space for water to sip beneath the floor. This causes mold growth that could damage the floor and make the laminate flooring weak, and you will thus need a replacement sooner than required. To avoid this issue, it’s recommended to use a filler to cover these gaps.

  1. Right Gap Size

Laminate flooring expansion gap fillers ensure you have the right gap size. These are vital requirements in installation; these materials ensure you get it right. Additionally, you don’t need an expert installer since these gap fillers are reliable for the job. 

What Are The Best Laminate Flooring Expansion Gap Fillers?

There are various substances you can use to fill expansion gaps, depending on their size. These varieties also depend on costs and whether you prefer DIY projects or professional results. Here’re some of the best laminate flooring expansion gap fillers:

  1. Rugs

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money or put a lot of effort into filling the expansion gaps, using a rug is probably the best option for you. This approach allows you to cover multiple gaps simultaneously. 

This solution, however, is only applicable to small spaces, and if you have a huge gap, you’ll need to get a bigger rug for an effective outcome. 

  1. Caulking Solutions

Silicone caulk is an excellent alternative for big expansion gaps since it is permanent, simple to use, and you can make your solution from home. It will cover all sizes of gaps well, and since it is waterproof, you won’t need a replacement or worry about it coming off. 

Mix some silicone caulk into the caulk gun, measure the areas to fill, and pour the caulk into these spaces. Once it dries, your gaps will be covered, and the floor will look smooth. Moreover, silicone caulk is moisture-resistant, which is ideal for bathrooms and kitchens. 

  1. Expansion Joints

In cases where the gaps are too big, like in halls, expansion gaps are needed within the room instead of the edges. In this case, an expansion joint comes in handy. It also covers these gaps in case they are bigger than intended. 

Measure the gaps and get the right expansion joint sizes, and install them into these gaps. They look good and will still leave enough room for expansion without causing warping or damage. It is a great alternative if these gaps are in between the rooms. 

How To Fill An Expansion Gap?

Caulking is the best approach to fill expansion gaps for many homeowners. Here’s a complete step-by-step guide explaining how to fill an expansion gap through the caulking method:

Step #1 – Select The Caulking Type

There are various caulking types available out there. The expansion gap size will determine which material to utilize. You can select silicone caulking for its properties and availability. Silicone caulking is a great option if these gaps are in kitchens or bathrooms. It is waterproof and durable and will blend into the laminate flooring color you have. 

Step #2 – Measure The Gap Sizes. 

While filling laminate flooring gaps, you should still leave enough room for expansion to ensure your floor remains flat when the humidity level changes since inadequate room cause floor damage. Here, measure the gap size and determine how much space it should have after filling it. Importantly, you can mark the lengths for an accurate installation. 

Step #3 – Fill The Caulk Gun With Silicone Caulking

Carefully pour the silicone caulking into the caulk gun and ensure there aren’t any air spaces. You should use only the amount of caulking needed for these gaps. Otherwise, the material will dry before you can use it.

Step #4 – Insert The Nozzle And Fill The Gaps

Since the areas to be filled are already marked, simply fill these gaps using the caulking gun. Keep your nozzle at a 45-degree angle to ensure only the right caulk amount is used. 

Pull the caulking gun trigger until the areas are fully covered with silicone caulking. This tool is simple to use, and you can follow along the expansion gap until you are satisfied with the amount used. 

Step #5 – Cleaning Caulk Spills

Throughout the caulking process, some silicone caulking is bound to spill on the laminate flooring, and letting it dry causes an uneven floor. This cleaning process thus ensures only the areas required to have caulking get completely dry. 

You can use a wet rug with warm water in this process. Wipe them down and once the floor is clean, proceed to the next step of laminate flooring gaps filling. 

Step #6 – Let The Laminate Flooring Dry

The final step involves letting the caulking dry and set. Make sure the room is well-aerated and completely dried. Once it dries, you can inspect whether the intended sections have been covered. 

If these gaps persist, you can use other laminate flooring expansion gap fillers (Mentioned above)! Additionally, you can start covering the gaps once again and make new measurements before you can refill them. Indeed, getting a professional ensures you get this repair accurately. 

You should follow these steps carefully for proper results. For DIY enthusiasts, all items needed for the repairs are readily available, making the process fast and simpler. 


Alternative Ways To Fill Expansion Gaps

Several alternatives for filling these gaps include rugs and expansion joints, among other materials. These will depend on the expansion gap size and material availability. Some options, like rugs, are readily available at any home improvement store and are cheap.

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