When installing tongue and groove OSB sub-flooring panels, it is essential that you space them correctly. Sub-flooring panels will expand and contract with changes in ambient moisture. This is most pronounced during installation as the panels acclimate. It’s for this reason that you should allow the panels to acclimate on the jobsite.
Even after the panels are acclimated, changes in seasons will lead to expansion and contraction as moisture content changes. If the panels are butted right up next to each other, they have no space for expansion. What happens then is that they buckle, causing uneven, warped flooring. Buckling panels also pull fasteners loose so floors can be creaky and spongy.
When using T&G along the 8’ lengths will take care of the requisite spacing between panels. On the 4’ ends be sure to leave a 1/8” gap between panels. A 10d nail is the perfect spacer to ensure you’re getting the right amount of space between your panels.
Proper panel spacing means fewer expensive callbacks.