Floor Mat Problems

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by dvcochran, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

    Feb 19, 2018
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    The closest I have experience of is with laminate flooring (interlocking engineered planks of MDF with a wood facing).

    On installation you have to leave a gap on every edge (say 1/2" in an average 18'x12' room) and cover with a finishing strip to allow the flooring to expand and contract with the variation in temperature - moisture plays a part too, it's recommended to unpack the boards in the room where they'll live and leave them for a day or so. They're manufactured very dry and the normal moisture in a house causes expansion.

    Without the gap you get a little hill in the middle of the room (or splitting if you fix the edges) and the joins are where it's worse because those are the interruptions in structure.

    Moisture again, warm summer air can carry more than cold winter air and concrete underneath can cause more to condense out into the covering - different underlay materials (or none, which is worst) make this more or less apparent in terms of expansion.

    Whether or not the mats in question are quite as susceptible to moisture and temperature as engineered wood I don't know (the 1/2" kiddy type jigsaw mats I have certainly move a fair bit), but I think it's worth considering.
  2. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

    Nov 7, 2017
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    Southeast U.S.
    Several years ago when the laminate craze had just began we got on board and covered a utility room. I used the vapor underlayment included, and the laminate sat inside the house for around a month before installation. The baseboards were removed to upgrade as well making it easy to allow the 1/2" gap around the perimeter.
    The original laminate (Pergo I think) had a very hard slick surface with a "wood appearance" that was not very convincing. In less than a year the feathering at the joints began just as you described. It quickly worsened and the floor squeaked terribly.
    That was about the time the water proof vinyl planking came out. It has a much better look and feel, went down easier because you can score and cut it with a utility knife and has do great for about 10 years. Very durable.123

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