The types of movement joints matter

by Tania Wannenburg
Kirk editorial Jnl 3 15

Movement joints play a critical role in ensuring a successful flooring installation, so too is choosing the correct type of joint for the correct installation.

As a supplier of floor and wall solutions to the South African flooring industry, Kirk Marketing is of the opinion that a vast number of tile failures could be avoided were enough attention paid at the design stage to the movement that can take place, both within the floor and structurally within the building itself.

To assist architects, designers and contractors in this respect, the company offers an extensive range of movement and structural joint options, and a well-trained sales team offering support and advice when needed.

Most floor types require allowance for movement joints. These include tiles, screeds, vinyls and carpets. The most prominent is for tiled floors. If movement joints are not considered, there will almost always be some form of failure. This includes cracking along the tiles in one or two directions and lifting of tiles. Provided good-quality tile adhesive is used along with the movement joints, a successful installation is usually the case, if tiles are correctly laid. These joints are generally known as construction joints, and are normally cut into the screed or slab at a width of 2 to 3mm. The movement allowed for these construction joints is normally 1 to 2mm.

Structural movement joints differ and require large expansion joints to be installed between slabs, normally constructed by leaving gaps in the floor slabs. All movement joints provided by Kirk are supplied in 2,5m lengths from a selection of materials – stainless steel, PVC (including PVC compression joints), brass and aluminium. The M-Trim Stainless Steel Movement Joint is designed for heavy-duty environments, where a high volume of pedestrian and trolley traffic occurs.

Depending on the application, other movement joints for heavy-duty applications include the M-Trim Brass and the M-Trim Aluminium movement joints, while the M-Trim PVC Movement Joint is an ideal alternative to using polysulphide/mastic joints.  

All of the above once again reinforces the critical role that various types of movement joints play in ensuring a successful installation.

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