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No expansion gap at sliding doors

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:53 pm
by LaurenW
Our contractor installed our 2 1/4” wide red oak flooring without an expansion gap at the sliding doors. I have read that this flooring expands in the tongue direction and that is the side away from the one slider and perpendicular to the other, so maybe this isn’t a problem? If it is, is there an easy way to trim these back a 1/4” without ruining the rest?

Re: No expansion gap at sliding doors

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:06 pm
by A. Spruce
While it is true that most of your expansion happens across the grain, there is some longitudinal expansion as well. Will you have a problem, most likely not, however there should still have been a transition molding placed along the door to allow for a tight fitting appearance, while still allowing for the 1/4" required gap. This is something that can be added after the fact, it's just more difficult to cut the flooring back than had it been done correctly the first time.

Re: No expansion gap at sliding doors

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:19 pm
by LaurenW
How would we cut it in after the fact? Is there a saw that can get that close to the door? I was hoping to just place colored caulking up to the door, so a clean cut is a must!

Re: No expansion gap at sliding doors

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:05 pm
by A. Spruce
I don't think caulking is the fix for this, it isn't going to look that great and it isn't going to allow for much expansion before it's too distorted and failing, let alone unsightly. You're looking for a transition molding that is sort of "L" shaped. It is designed to sit flat on the floor and butted tight to the door threshold. The "wing" of the "L" extends over the top of the flooring. The wing is long enough that it allows for the gap to be hidden while the flooring itself would be tucked under the "wing".

Most of the cut could be made with a circular saw, though you may have to remove the door panel to have room for the saw. An oscillating tool would probably work well too. A good straight edge held in place by heavy weights or helpers, would be your cutting guide.

Re: No expansion gap at sliding doors

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:09 pm
by LaurenW
What about a toe kick saw and placing a piece of wood the thickness of the gap to ride the saw against?

Re: No expansion gap at sliding doors

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:55 pm
by A. Spruce
If you have one of those, yes, that would work.

Re: No expansion gap at sliding doors

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:16 pm
by LaurenW
I don’t, but our local tool rental and Home Depot rents them. Thank you for your help!