While sunlight can focus marvelous attention on the beautiful, new laminate floor that you’re about to install, it also may have implications for your floor. Thankfully, we’re not talking about fading. However, there are other implications to be aware of before installing laminate flooring.
We all like big beautiful windows. The problem is, they can generate as much heat as they let in light. And the heat generated from sunlight, especially in rooms facing south or west, can create hot spots at certain times of the day. The temperature swing can be as much as 10% in an hour in some cases.
Laminate flooring can be affected by heat, causing it to swell when the temperature rises and shrink when it drops. The change is almost imperceptible — we’re talking tiny fractions of an inch. However, multiply that over several planks and, well, it could create a noticeable buckling problem, particularly at what are called “pinch points” or doorways. (Note: A doorway is considered a pinch point particularly if you cannot pass through the door carrying a standard size laminate plank across your shoulders.)
Here are tips for dealing with effects of bright sunlight when you install laminate flooring:
● Maintain the maximum expansion gap of 3/8 of an inch around the perimeter of the room. This is the maximum that can covered by a quarter-round molding.
● Have a sufficient expansion gap with your transition molding at your pinch points.
● Your laminate flooring will look its best when it is oriented to be parallel to the longest wall in the room.