How much space to leave between wall and hardwood floating floor? This is a unique floor. Each board is solid bamboo (never thought I'd say that) but they snap together the same way that an engineered wood floor does. This is still a floating floor though, each piece is just much heavier since it's solid.

I'm wondering how much of an expansion gap I should leave between my wall? I've read anywhere from a 1/4" (on each side for a total of 1/2") or 1/2" (on each side for a total of 1"). As part of that, should the moisture barrier go all the way to the wall or should I keep that the same distance from the wall as the wood/bamboo?

  • Moisture barrier? Or just underlayment? Is this going in a basement? May 15, 2012 at 20:27
  • @TheEvilGreebo It is both.. it is going on a concrete slab on the 4th floor of a condo building.
    – Nate
    May 15, 2012 at 21:31
  • Have you checked the manufacturers spec sheet or on line info?
    – mikes
    May 16, 2012 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


Your vapor barrier needs to extend beyond the edges of the floor to prevent moisture from getting to the floor. Install in accordance to manufacturer's recommendations.

The expansion gap needed also depends on the manufacturer's recommendations - different materials expand at different degrees. The point of the gap is to give it room so it doesn't end up buckling. If you can't find a solid recommendation then use 1/2" for the maximum protection - and if the trim you install doesn't cover the gap, use quarter round.

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