HOW TO USE EXPANSION JOINTS

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN EXPANSION JOINT?

Expansion joints and/or contraction joints, as mentioned in our article on the most commonly used accessories in construction, are very important in different situations. They are used when tiling large surfaces to avoid tile breakage with temperature changes, as when the temperature rises or falls, the tile is subject to contraction and expansion.

Expansion joints allow a little freedom of movement to the ceramic tile, avoiding problems of cracks or fissures.

For this reason, it is important to respect both width and depth of the joint when it comes to flooring tile installation.

CONSEQUENCES OF NOT USING EXPANSION JOINTS

Failure to properly make expansion joints can lead to tripping on elevated tiles, and may even result in the breakage of some of the edges of the surface.

Another advantage often overlooked is that if a piece does break, it will be much easier to replace if there is a correctly laid expansion joint

Expansion joints models

On the other hand, an overly large expansion joint size will have a negative effect on the aesthetics of the installation.

PURPOSE OF EXPANSION JOINTS

Therefore, the goal is to find a balance between a joint that is enough to handle contraction and expansion movements when temperatures change, and that is not so large as to ruin the appearance of the installation.

GROUT JOINTS ARE ESSENTIAL

A very important error in tile installatioin is not respecting the minimum joint size (butt-jointing).

Experts recommend that there should be a grout joint of at least 1mm to allow for tile expansion.

Whenever possible, and when it does not affect the aesthetics too much, this joint should be extended to 1.5 mm, as this will minimize the possibility of problems due to tile expansion.

JOINTLESS LAYING

This tile installation system is based on leaving an expansion joint of 1mm. It is a fine gap that aims at a homologated separation between tiles. Experts will lay the tiles faster, and with extreme precision

BUTT-JOINTS

This system is based on laying the tiles with an expansion joint distance of less than 1mm, or none at all. As we have already mentioned, it is not at all advisable.

WIDE JOINT

Some decorative styles require tile installation with expansion joints of more than 3mm, normally when a rustic finish is desired.

USE LEVELING KITS

It is important to have a leveling kit (usually consisting of pliers, clips and wedges) as this will make it easier to lay tiles and avoid mistakes.

WHERE CAN I FIND EXPANSION JOINTS?

We encourage you to check out the ALUMÁCER® Complementos S.L.U. full catalogue to discover all the expansion joint models and to see the wide range of products we have available. You can access the catalogue free of charge at the following link: www.alumacer.com/alumacer.pdf