Expansion joints for floors

Essential technical profiles that absorb the thermal expansion of the floors, thus avoiding the occurrence of fractures, decisively influencing the quality and durability of the materials laid. There are various materials, depending on the characteristics of the flooring, and with different colors to best match the chosen coating.
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What are movement joints?

The grouted joints between ceramic tiles are expansion joints. They must be installed during the installation because the tiles expanding and contracting naturally, given the changes in temperature and humidity, would risk going against each other with the consequent formation of cracks. In addition to the joints, when the paved surface exceeds a certain size, it is necessary to create slightly larger installation breaks of thickness in which profiles are inserted with an elastic insert with the task of dividing the flooring into smaller areas, absorbing the mechanical stresses between them. These joints, called expansion joints, involve only the thickness of the coating. The same applies to any type of material that is laid, both for laying indoors and outdoors. Each material has its own physical-mechanical characteristics, so case by case particular precautions must be followed, that is defining where it is absolutely necessary to perform an expansion joint.

Which expansion joint to choose

The range of expansion joints is wide, and figuring out which profile to choose is not a complex decision. It all depends on the type of flooring (material and size, the width of the joints, the characteristics of the adhesives and grouts) and the intended use. Let's take the example of an internal flooring intended only for pedestrian passage: if you are laying slabs with a 3/32" (2 mm) gap and perhaps not a very elastic adhesive then you will have to opt for an aluminum joint with EPDM insert, quite wide, closer to 15/32" than at 3/16" (12 than at 5 mm), for example the Coflex CB. On the contrary, with smaller sizes, with an elastic adhesive and a screed suitable for the flooring, you can evaluate a plastic profile such as Coflex CAJ and stay closer to 5 mm. In the event that marble is laid, for which there is a need to smooth the floor, then you will have to select the Coflex CTL joint, available in various materials and with the insert in different colors.