Filling the Gap: Installation Made Easy

Welcome back to Filling the Gap, our series dedicated to educating you about expansion joint solutions. This month, we’re discussing the ease of installation and how it can impact a project.

Expansion joints run through the structure of a building, from top to bottom and front to back, so choosing the right cover is the real first step to a successful installation. After selecting the appropriate solution for your project, getting it set up correctly is critical to avoid system failure in the future.

There are multiple expansion joint solutions available, depending on the type of movement that needs to be accommodated, the type of mount required, and even aesthetic goals.

Surface-mounted joint covers are attached at the top surface of the cover, or just inside the joint opening. They don’t require a blockout to be formed or cut, which makes for a simpler installation. Surface-mounted covers are ideal for retrofit applications, or projects in more advanced stages that require a joint opening that wasn’t planned for and therefore cannot accommodate a blockout.

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Flush-mounted joint covers include a base frame that is anchored to a blockout, which is a formed recess in the substrate. Installing these types of cover systems into a blockout allows the covers to sit flush with the surrounding surface. It is important to correctly specify the dimensions of the blockout early in the process to avoid costly errors down the line.

Our expansion joint systems also offer fire barrier options, one of which can be mounted from below the joint opening instead of the typical mount from above. Undermounts are suitable for projects like parking garages, stadiums, or other scenarios where an emergency solution is needed.

CS manufactures many kinds of expansion joint systems, and, when it comes to installing them, the specifics can vary for a multitude of reasons (the various types of transitions, for example). The good news is that we’re here to help your installation go as smoothly and accurately as possible. In addition to supplying detailed instructions with every model (plus accompanying videos for some), there’s one resource we think is not only the most helpful but also the most fun—our Installer Workshop.

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Once a year, we gather 20-30 installers at our facility in Pennsylvania for two days of learning and swapping techniques. The event includes a morning classroom session, a tour of the factory, and plenty of active participation, with about three-quarters of the time being hands-on learning.

This year, we welcomed the following types of attendees:

· General contractors
· Specialty contractors, including:
      - Flooring
      - Drywall
      - Waterproofing
      - Firestop
      - Masonry
      - Restoration
      - and more!

Wondering if you should attend? YES! Whether you’re brand new or a veteran installer, you’ll learn something and make lasting connections. Why? Because everyone in the room, including your fellow attendees, is a resource. According to Scott Boyer, project manager at CS, “It’s really about working with other installers who may have seen or may have experienced things that you’ve never seen. You can collaborate—different installers have different ways of solving problems, and you may be seeing it for the first time.”

Want to see the workshop in action? First, take a look here at our most recent session. Then, start planning to attend next year.

In order for your projects to stay on budget and on schedule, rethinking your installation is extremely important. When choosing a manufacturer look for one that offers a review of your specifications beforehand (we do!).

As always, you can come to us with a problem and feel confident that we’ll help you solve it—innovation excites us.

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