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TOPIC: Advice needed re: expansion space

Advice needed re: expansion space 17 Feb 2012 11:00 #3180

This question was submitted to our website. Thoughts?

I sub for a big box store along with running my own business on my own. I am looking for some technical information about a 3/4" oak installation. I went out to a jobsite to meet a customer and their builder for a new construction job. Most of my business is residential remodel, this was my first new construction estimate. I told the homeowner that they would need a 3/4" expansion gap for the product that they picked and they told me that they didn’t want that much because they didn’t want any shoe molding in front of the baseboards. To help, the builder said that they always use 1/4" expansion and had never had any problems. I don’t usually deal with builders, but it seemed like he was a better expert in flooring than me (I am also CFI certified, if that helps my case any). My question is: How do you deal with people that insist on incorrect installations? I know that if they had a problem and it went to court I would be responsible because I am the installer. They also wanted me to butt the wood with no expansion up against the wooden railing plates, HELP!

Advice needed re: expansion space 17 Feb 2012 11:19 #3182

When you are not confortable with something that they ask you, dont do it. Always trust your feeling or you will say after :damn i knew it.. When the customer or contractor know my job more than me, than i tell him to do it himshelf..

Advice needed re: expansion space 17 Feb 2012 11:43 #3183

  • tdmac
  • tdmac's Avatar
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Yes it is a quandary, HOW do you cover yourself?.
Well maybe you should tell the contractor and clients you want a video conference to discuss the situation. If they agree get your video camera and shoot your discussion and your explanation. Then as they agree, go do the job and then put it on YOU TUBE!!! That always seems to settle things.
I know this is crazy, but what else can we do when some people Know everything.
One post said that a Judge would hold you responsible. I have broken that rule here many times but in our climate we can get away with it.

Advice needed re: expansion space 17 Feb 2012 13:55 #3186

They can get what they are asking for if you remove the baseboard and undercut the drywall also along the parallel side if they don't want shoe. Than you can charge for reinstalling new base board and make some more profits without compromising the recommended expansion gap.
At the walls where the flooring butts into you don't need as much of a gap as long you cover the gap with baseboard.

Johannes.

Advice needed re: expansion space 17 Feb 2012 16:18 #3190

Yes, you can install the floor without a 3/4" expansion gap. A thought for the technical discussion: In a perfect world the product and the installation would be of quality and the end user would maintain the floor as recommended. So, why does one need a 3/4" gap to all vertical objects? Is the floor going expand that much in place? One claim in the trade is that if the floor expands it has "room" to expand. Well, then you need to determine what would cause it to expand that much, can you control it before installation begins? The other is that if the floor is flooded it will give the floor enough space so that the fasteners will release from the sub floor before the floor pushes out the walls. Also, if you must leave 3/4" expansion around walls what about doorways? Think about it. Today most homes have 1/2" thick casings and 7/16" thick baseboards so either cut all the sheet rock or get over yourself, don't live in an absolute world of guidelines or you are bound to have a rough time. Guidelines are there to give you a general direction. It is your job to use common sense.

Advice needed re: expansion space 17 Feb 2012 16:40 #3191

Or if they're buying QS it wouldn't be a big deal. I di cut sheetrock all the time. I'ts miserable but I charge a Ducat per ft for it.
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