Putting in laminate flooring over a large area

Hi All,
I'm putting in laminate flooring in a hallway; the hallway opens up into a room on one end. If you measure from the far end of the hallway to the far wall of the room, it comes out to about 30.5 feet. Now, I read on the package that if you putting the flooring in over a width or length that exceeds 27 feet, you have to put in "expansion" molding?
Can someone enlighten me on this topic? What is expansion molding? Additionally, I'm wondering what will happen if I just go ahead and put it in without expansion molding? Am I likely to see problems with the floor? Thanks for any feedback!
Sincerely, -Josh
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com, 12/30/2005,2:58:12 PM, wrote:

You should put a transition piece between the two rooms at the doorway. That will break up the length and allow the planks to expand and contract slightly with the ambient temperature.
They have transition pieces shaped like a "T" where the vertical piece goes between the ends at Home Depot or Lowe's or a flooring store.
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if its a laminate floating floor, meaning its only fastened to itself and not the sub floor, these floors will expand and contract. Typicly the gap for expansion is left at the wall (See you package for how much) The problem when doing a very large area is that the amount of expansion and contraction can be greater that the amount of a gap that can be covered by a typical molding. So, what else could you do? I wouldn't put a big expansion gap down the middle of a floor. It will look like crap. Mayby put your expansion joint where the hall joins the larger room. Maybe install a real hardwood floor instread. if you haven't bought the floor yet see if you can find one to walk on, compare the feel to a real hardwood floor.
Anyway - To answer your question, expansion molding looks like a T and is installed over a gap left for expansion and contraction. W/o room for expansion the floor could buckle a bit and feel springy and not tight to floor. W/o enough of an expansion joint, if the floor expands past what you have allowed, you will get buckling. The question is how much. Some floor will not expand at all, some will shrink, some will expand a lot. Humidity and tempature will control this.
Theoreticly you could install you floor so it never expands or contracts at all! This would be possible if you let you pices aclimate to their environment for a few weeks AND the room NEVER changes tempature and humidity. For some folks this is very possible. For most its impossible.
good luck
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No wrote:

So if I understand correctly, my options are:
1) Put expansion molding in. 2) Leave a larger gap at the edges in order to accomodate significant expansions and contractions with climate changes.
In my case the second is a very real option. The baseboard molding is rather thick, the sheet rock is not hung to the ground, and the crown molding we'll be putting down will be at least another 0.25". The instructions say we only need 5/16" (0.3125"). All told, we're going to have a gap of about 1.25" from the floor to the wall. That seems like plenty of room for expansion. Is that the only thing I need to be concerned about?
(Incidentally, I looked into hardwood, and I couldn't afford it. :-( )
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Perfect. You're golden. More than enough. The instructions are for a worst-case scenario anyway. You'll be fine.
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wrote:

Agreed
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

I installed a 40 foot long hallway without any expansion joint. The floor expansion was large enough to cause a bit of floor buckling in the summer, and a visible gap between the floor and the baseboard in the winter.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

An expansion joint is just a molding shaped like a T and overlaps the floor (you leave a 1/4 or 3/8" space between the floor boards and the upright part of the T. The obvious place would be the door at the end of the hall.
You might be able to get away with not using an expansion joint if you have only small changes in temperature and humidity. Otherwise, you could get some buckling. The expansion joint at the doorway makes the most sense and lets you change the floor direction at the doorway if you want. Note that the generally preferred way is for the long length of boards to lie in the direction of the light.
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... : Additionally, I'm wondering what will happen if I just go ahead and put : it in without expansion molding? Am I likely to see problems with the : floor? Thanks for any feedback! : : Sincerely, : -Josh : Let's see, the instructions say ... and you want to ... hmm, I wonder if it says that because there could be problems with the floor if you do that? What do YOU think? Sometimes even RTFM is no good, is it?
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