Expansion & Contraction of Garage Flooring

There are a lot of garage flooring products on the market today and there is at least one thing they all have in common. All garage flooring products will expand and contract. As a basic rule if you install the products during the hottest time of the year they will contract in the winter. If you install them in the coldest part of the year they will expand. One caution, the greater the temperature difference the more expansion and contraction you will see.

Most manufacturers will have recommendations as to how much room you need to leave for expansion. Remember it is not just the outside walls you need to worry about. Any heavy objects, posts, poles, cabinets, etc that your flooring in the garage is cut around must be considered.

Using wood lath or other shims when doing garage floor tiles is a great way to keep a consistent perimeter.  When you are done with the flooring installation the shims are removed and a consistent gap remains. Use base molding which can be made of wood, rubber or use one of the diamond plate products such as those sold by Diamond Life. These products will hide the gap in your garage floor without interfering with the expansion and contraction.

Regardless of what the temperature outside is, it is always a good practice to acclimate your garage floor before you install it. That simply means let it sit in the area it is being installed for a few days. In conditioned spaces acclimation of the flooring product is still important. Once acclimatized conditioned spaces tend to see less expansion and contraction.

Garage floor mats, such as those manufactured by Better Life Technology can see gaps present between multiple rolls. The best way to avoid this is to install the floor and let it sit for 7 days or so. Then install their seam tape between each roll.