I have a manufactured home with OSB subfloor, to install another subfloor for hardwood would cause a lot of problems. I want a continuous floating floor with no transitioning pieces and I want to know what are the common problems. Is it done in long, continuous installations? The length is 28' ft x 22' ft (living & dining) reducing to 13' x 17' (kitchen) and then to 8' x 10' laundry, then to 16'x 3' foyer.

  • It will depend on your climate and the specific product you use. Engineered floors are getting better and more dimensionally stable, but you'll need to check with the manufacturer of the product for a definitive answer. – DA01 Aug 1 '17 at 16:41

The problem is expansion of the floating floor from seasonal moisture changes**. Transitions provide expansion joints. If you have excessively long continuous flooring, without large expansion joints at the ends, then when it gets humid your floor will expand, not be able to push outwards at the ends, so will push upwards in the middle instead.

** My thanks to DA01 for his comment on this. I'd always assumed it was thermal expansion.

  • The expansion is more due to seasonal moisture changes than temperature (after all, the interior of a home shouldn't be fluctuating that much temp-wise). As such, in some climates, you might get away with little to not expansion gap (dry desert, for example) – DA01 Aug 1 '17 at 16:40
  • @DA01 - Interesting, I didn't know that. I'll admit the "thermal expansion" reason never made any real sense to me, but I trusted that expansion was a real issue when I installed my own floating laminate floor. Answer update, my thanks. – AndyT Aug 1 '17 at 17:04
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    It's most noticeable in climates with extreme seasons. A house in MN, for example, can have 80% humidity in the summer, and 20% in the winter. It plays havoc on hardwood floors, doors, windows, etc. :) – DA01 Aug 1 '17 at 17:09

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