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How Much of a Gap Between New Floor and Wall?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: John in Pennsylvania is on the line and has a question about flooring. What can we do for you today?

    JOHN: We’re about to become homeowners and we need to rip up some carpet. And we want to install hardwood flooring. We were curious how far you have to leave it away from your new floor – away from the wall.

    TOM: Is it prefinished hardwood, John?

    JOHN: Yeah, it’s all finished. Yep.

    TOM: OK, well, that’s great. Now, I would recommend probably around ½-inch.

    JOHN: OK.

    TOM: You want to make it so that a piece of baseboard molding plus shoe molding will cover it. So, between baseboard and shoe molding, you’ve probably got about an inch to an inch-and-a-quarter of overlap, so to speak. So generally about a ½-inch will work.

    Most of the flooring manufacturers will give you specific advice on what the gap should be but I’d say generally about a ½-inch is fine. And remember, that’s a ½-inch away from the drywall. Because even – you have space under the drywall, as well as another ½-inch. That should give you plenty of room for expansion and contraction.

    JOHN: OK. And then the other question was: when we get the new floors delivered, they said you have to leave it a certain amount of time before we install it to get, I guess, acclimated to our weather?

    TOM: Yeah, you want to acclimate it to the space that it’s going to be in. Because if it comes really cold, for example, it’s going to kind of shrink and then if it expands, it could buckle up. So you want to just put it in the room that you’re going to install it in and leave it there for a good couple of days to acclimate.

    JOHN: OK, great.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. It’s very exciting. This is your first house?

    JOHN: Yeah, yeah. First house, yep.

    TOM: Alright. Well, good luck and call us anytime, Dan, if we can help.

    JOHN: Appreciate it. Thank you.

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