Expansion is something that happens with flooring material that contains wood as the material absorbs and releases moisture. The expansion and contraction can lead to multiple problems if it is not addressed during the installation process. This important perimeter of space is the solution to preventing laminate flooring from squeaking, separating, lifting, buckling, gapping and more.
Expansion space is the space left around walls and other fixed objects that allows the laminate flooring to have a little movement. Generally, the expansion space should be anywhere from 1/8” to 1/4″, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions for their specific products.
In any case, the space should not be any wider than the decorative molding or door bases that are used along the walls to hide the gap. With a proper expansion space, laminate flooring will be able to expand and contract without long-term problems.