After much research, my husband and I decided on 3/8" x 3 3/4" strand carbonized bamboo to install ourselvesover a concrete slab. When we received the wood and began reading the installation instructions, we ran into a big problem. "Areas greater than 27’ feet in any direction such as; (one room, two or more adjoining rooms, archways greater than 4 feet and large rooms with a connected hallway) must have T-molding breaks installed across the room, at the archway or at the beginning of the hallway or entry to provide additional expansion space." UGLY!
We have a 15' x 16' dining room/entry way that flows into the 18' x 17' family room after narrowing to 10' for 5'. Please see attachment. So we have 37' front to back.
In trying to avoid the T-molding in the middle of the flow, we have 3 questions:
1. Would the direction of the wood make any difference in expansion? From front to back as opposed to side to side?
2. Would a spline between 2 boards work instead of the T-molding?
3. Would longer acclimation (1 week to 1 month) help lessen expansion?
Thank you for any help. We are doing the installation ourselves to save money and want to do the job right.
The salesperson had never heard of such a requirement so didn't provide any help.
It is common to need to have a break in the flooring on larger stretches. However, I understand not wanting a t-mold in the middle of the floor. I would suggest just leaving a nice sized expansion gap around the entire perimeter. This should avoid any issues. I would try to leave at least 1/2" space, then use a combination of a baseboard and a shoe molding to hide the gap. One important thing to note however, is not having a t-mold dividing the large stretch would void the warranty. But as I said I do not think the floor will fail if you leave proper spacing. One other option to consider to help avoid movement in the floor is to possibly glue it rather than float. You would still want to leave spacing around the perimeter. You would also want to check the moisture levels of the concrete using a calcium chloride test kit prior to gluing. I would also use a quality glue that also acts as a vapor barrier such as Bostiks Best. Hope this helps.