I am installing luxury vinyl tile in a room and I am having an issue with the gap. My drywall sits about an inch from the subfloor. There is no drywall there at floor level to hold the LVT in place. The space under the drywall to its back support is about 1 inch. So if I leave a 1/4 inch expansion gap from the drywall it will be a total of 1 1/4 inch from where the flooring would actually touch anything. I fear that the expansion gap being that large would create spaces at the joints down the line. It is the click together flooring (Shaw alto plus planks). At first I thought I could just stick the planks 3/4 inch under the drywall which would leave a 1/4 inch gap to the outside support stud but I quickly realized I am unable to click the next piece in under the wall (oops). I hoped I explained this well. ANY suggestions (other than scrapping the product because I love the look and feel) would be greatly appreciated.

The last picture is of the flooring laid under the floorboard and under the drywall. You can see the gap is enough to still see space between the flooring and the wall.

The pictures do not show the depth very well.

I did call Shaw, and they did not seem to understand what I was asking. She just kept saying you need an expansion gap.

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    So you have no baseboard trim and don't plan to install any? If your planks were going to come apart at the joints later it doesn't matter what size expansion gap you go with--it's a crap product. I doubt that's the case, though. You can install a 10x10 section in the middle of a gymnasium and it's not a problem. I'd leave a 1/4" gap from the face of the drywall and go on with your day.
    – isherwood
    Jun 8, 2017 at 15:51
  • Hey yes there is baseboard. I forgot to mention it. I added some pictures so you can see some of the other details I case I forgot to mention something else. That is a relief. If you can put a square in the middle of a floor that means there is no expansion gap that is too big. Whew
    – Reece Mc
    Jun 8, 2017 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Take the baseboard off and install your floor. Cut your vinyl tile even with the sheetrock, less 1/4 inch -- this will allow space for you to lift your tile and lock it in place; after you have installed your floor, you can reinstall your baseboard to sit flush to the floor, leaving a finished look. The 1/2 inch thickness of the sheetrock will give you plenty of expansion room. There is very little expansion in vinyl. Trust me, I spent 29 years installing flooring.

  • Baseboard is intended to hide the expansion gap. It looks to me like the baseboard was installed at the height of carpet, so removing the baseboard and re-installing it definitely seems like the right call.
    – Clint
    Jun 9, 2017 at 14:54

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