Products & Materials

Floor Expansion Joints: an Overview for Architects

A flooring trend that’s been popular for some time is using robust, hard materials, such as hardwoods and tiling.

This trend looks set to continue well into 2022, with many lists of flooring trends for this year focusing on hardwood and stone over carpets and softer flooring materials.

Externally, durability remains the watchword for many, particularly with the cost of living rising and many homeowners and property managers seeking longevity when looking for materials.

So, for architects and property developers, the focus needs to be on understanding the implications of using harder flooring materials.

One key implication is that you might need to use floor expansion joints, also known as movement joints, to ensure the longevity of the flooring material.

Keep reading for a brief overview of floor expansion joints to help you understand their importance and various uses.

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Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay


What Are Floor Expansion Joints?

Floor expansion joints are fitted into tension gaps in hard flooring, such as tiles, concrete, or hardwood. Usually made from aluminum for ultimate flexibility, the products are fitted around the edges or into the center of the room. These products prevent the flooring from breaking in the event of movement.  


What Are Floor Expansion Joints Used For?

Floor expansion joints are used in a variety of indoor and outdoor situations to improve the flexibility of hard floor coverings. For tiled flooring, expansion joints stop the tiles from cracking if the floor moves. With hardwood flooring, the joint will reduce the damage done to the hardwood floor if it shifts. While you might not think that your home moves, most do, as they are subject to outside influences such as traffic and external building works.

Also, in some cases, the floor might be required to move, for example, if it is used to park cars on or is in an area of high foot traffic. In these cases, the floor might shift slightly at regular intervals, so it’s essential that the floor is flexible. Harder flooring materials aren’t flexible, which is why floor expansion joints are so vital.

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How Can You Select the Right Floor Expansion Joints for Your Next Project?

When buying floor expansion joints for a specific project, you need to work out what the best option is for your use. For example, if you’re wondering how to install expansion joints in a concrete driveway, you need to think about the usage and material and work out the best option. One great option for this case would be car park expansion joints. These innovative products could be a practical solution for anyone wondering how to install expansion joints in a concrete driveway, as they are a flexible solution that is designed to withstand light traffic and general outdoor wear and tear.

For indoor floor expansion joints, choose one that suits the type of material you’re using. For tile or hardwood, there are specific floor expansion joints.

As this article highlights, floor expansion joints are an important part of laying harder flooring materials. This guide should help you to understand them and choose the right option for every situation.


About the Author

Luca Yates loves writing about all things home and property. He is a big fan of modern architecture but loves to travel and see historical buildings, too!

Cover Photo by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay



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