How to Use Spacers for Laminate Flooring

How to Use Spacers for Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for homeowners due to its durability and ease of installation. However, one crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is the use of spacers. Spacers are small objects that play a vital role in ensuring a successful laminate flooring installation. Without proper spacing, your flooring can buckle, warp, or develop unsightly gaps. 

In this article, we’ll explore how to use spacers for laminate flooring. We’ll dive into the different types of spacers and help you choose the right one!

We’ll provide instructions on strategically placing spacers and ensuring they remain in position. Proper spacing enhances the appearance and allows for a natural expansion of the laminate planks. You’ll be equipped with techniques to achieve a flawless installation using spacers. Let’s dive in to find out the answers. 

How to Use Spacers for Laminate Flooring

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How to Use Spacers for Laminate Flooring

Using spacers for laminate flooring is crucial to ensure a successful installation. 

  1. Begin by preparing the area, ensuring the subfloor is clean and level. 
  2. Before laying the first row of laminate planks, place spacers along the starting wall. These should be placed every 12-16 inches to create the recommended 1/4 to 1/2 inch expansion gap.
  3. As you continue laying rows, place spacers every few feet along the walls and at the end of each plank. This ensures the expansion gap remains uniform around the entire room.
  4. For door frames, pipes, or other fixtures, use spacers to maintain the expansion gap. Cut the laminate planks to fit around obstacles, leaving the recommended spacing using the spacers as a guide.

Once the final row is installed, you can remove all the spacers. The expansion gap will then be covered by baseboards or quarter rounds which allows the floor to expand and contract as needed.

The Role of Spacers in Laminate Flooring Installation

Spacers play a vital role in laminate flooring installation by allowing for the creation of expansion gaps. These gaps are essential to accommodate the natural expansion and contraction of laminate planks due to changes in temperature and humidity.

Without proper expansion gaps, the flooring can warp, buckle, or develop unsightly ridges, compromising both aesthetics and longevity. Spacers ensure a consistent gap width along the perimeter of the room. This gap is typically between 1/4 to 1/2 inch. 

It provides the necessary space for the flooring to expand and contract freely. Failing to leave these gaps can result in the flooring becoming tightly compressed, leading to buckling, cracking, or premature damage. 

By using spacers correctly and following manufacturer guidelines, you can prevent these issues. This ensures a successful, long-lasting laminate flooring installation.

Choosing the Right Spacers

When choosing spacers for laminate flooring installation, consider the various types available. These include wedge-shaped, T-shaped, and adjustable spacers. Each type offers advantages for different applications.

The appropriate size and shape should be selected based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. These recommendations consider factors like expansion gap width, room size and layout, and aesthetic preferences.

Larger rooms may require wider or adjustable spacers. Smaller spaces or areas with obstacles may benefit from smaller or wedge-shaped spacers. By carefully considering these factors, you can choose the most suitable spacers for a successful and professional-looking installation.

Choosing the Right Spacers

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Common Mistakes to Avoid

Leaving spacers in place

Common mistakes to avoid when using spacers for laminate flooring installation include forgetting to remove them after installing the final row. 

Using the wrong spacer size

Another mistake is using the wrong size spacers, which can result in inadequate expansion gaps. Using spacers that are too small or too large can cause the flooring to become compressed against walls or obstacles, resulting in cracking or buckling.

By referring to manufacturer recommendations, you can avoid pitfalls. Choosing the appropriate spacer size and ensuring consistent spacing are crucial steps. 

Inconsistent spacing

Inconsistent spacing along the perimeter is also a common issue to watch out for. Failing to maintain consistent spacing between spacers can also lead to uneven expansion gaps and visible imperfections.

Conclusion

Proper use of spacers is critical for successful laminate flooring installation. Avoiding common mistakes like leaving spacers in place, using the wrong size, and inconsistent spacing along the perimeter is essential. Following manufacturer recommendations ensures proper spacing, preventing buckling, warping, and gaps.

This article has provided valuable insights into the importance of spacers and the techniques to use them correctly. Now that it’s clear how to use spacers for laminate flooring, you can confidently approach your laminate flooring project, armed with the skills to deliver professional-looking results. 

Taking the time to properly install and remove spacers will pay dividends, allowing natural expansion and contraction without issues. Refer back to this guide whenever needed, and happy installing! Your laminate floors will thank you for your attention to detail.

Mark is a seasoned home services contractor and now serves as the Director of Market Research for Services Curated.