recoveringacademic

When is a Shadow Gap acceptable?

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Thinking through the issues involved in advance of first fit, I realise that the issues of shadow gaps (or not) is one that I need to think through. 

 

I did this search on site

Are shadow gaps just a style thing? Or a feeling thing? Or used when needs must? Or just cheaper and so a way of saving money? 

@LadyBuilder would disagree arguing that they are are all the rage, @ProDave uses them with care, I note, @Stones dislikes them but uses them when it suits@Trw144 uses them everywhere

 

At this remove (when will I ever get to first fit?) I'm thinking - go for it  - shadow gaps are cheaper and will impress people like @LadyBuilder when they come to visit. 

 

I bet there are some real gottchas  using shadow gaps.

What do you think?

 

 

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7 minutes ago, recoveringacademic said:

Thinking through the issues involved in advance of first fit, I realise that the issues of shadow gaps (or not) is one that I need to think through. 

 

I did this search on site

Are shadow gaps just a style thing? Or a feeling thing? Or used when needs must? Or just cheaper and so a way of saving money? 

@LadyBuilder would disagree arguing that they are are all the rage, @ProDave uses them with care, I note, @Stones dislikes them but uses them when it suits@Trw144 uses them everywhere

 

At this remove (when will I ever get to first fit?) I'm thinking - go for it  - shadow gaps are cheaper and will impress people like @LadyBuilder when they come to visit. 

 

I bet there are some real gottchas  using shadow gaps.

What do you think?

 

 

 

In our case, the shadow gap was required to perform a particular function - to allow kitchen cabinet doors to open freely.

 

A couple of thoughts / questions about using shadow gaps instead of skirting boards:

 

Assuming you have a service void behind the plasterboard, how does one close the void between the shadow gap finishing bead and the floor? Presumably something needs to be done otherwise you would see battens, and potentially the structural elements of the walls if the shadow gap is any more than a few mm?

 

Is there also not a risk that even if very airtight, on a stormy day the pressure differential will increase air leakage and you'll get drafts coming through the shadow gaps?

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Wouldn't some sort of Z bar plastic / alu profile be better fir this purpose? How big a shadow gap? 

 

Hey-up........

 

IMG_0472.JPG.94e75092a30041317415371c3e618d71.JPG

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Posted (edited)

We've put shadow gaps at all floor-to-wall joints and around all door linings in the living areas of the house where we have hard floors. We haven't used them in carpeted or tiled areas.

 

We've used them for their aesthetic. We have minimal steps/rebates/shoulders etc. around any features and have tried to keep that theme running throughout the house. 

 

We have used a very simple skirting/architrave in carpeted areas. Our logic to this was that the more hoovering required in these areas would risk damage to the bottom edge of plastered walls if we used a shadow gap against carpet. We also wanted a slightly softer look in the bedroom areas.

 

Some thought needs to go into how it is best to deliver shadow gaps around door linings. Two schools of thought: 1. temporary ply liners in to board and plaster to, then remove ply liners and fit final liners, or. 2. fit final liners and mask/protect then plaster up to them.

 

We went with 1. and found we got some cracking around the liners as we fitted the final door liners. As the liners were screwed in they pushed against the edge of the shadow gap trim and the plaster cracked behind it. This happened on a couple of doors and required chipping out the cracked area and filling. If it was a painted or varnished finish to the door liner I'd try 2. next time, but natural, lacquered or oiled finish and I'd stick with 1. to avoid staining on the finished door liner.

 

We used Qic Trims

https://www.qic-trims.com/product/type-r/

 

After decoration you will need to mastic the gap from the edge of the shadow gap trim to the floor/door liner. There will always be gaps that need finishing. 

 

Shadow gaps do seem to mean different things to different people. To me they are a small rebate at wall-to-floor and wall-to-frame junctions that disguises the actual joint in a shadowed area. I know they are also used in conjunction with skirting to create a rebate above the skirting, but to me that's not a "shadow" gap.

 

Our version of a shadow gap:

 

image.thumb.png.bdb8356f4a04d29c9f3c6f80681ec4bf.png

 

image.thumb.png.2134f6838bb46012008b745bfbdcbf2c.png

Edited by IanR
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That, @IanR is impressive. Really elegant, elegant because of its simplicity. If you want to know why I keep coming back to BH, it's because of posts like yours.  You can be sure I'll be re-reading it often.

 

What do you call that stuff @Nickfromwales ? I mean generically, I'm not asking for a trade name. I know for sure that if I go to our BM and ask for Quick Trim like Ian's post I'll have another of these experiences

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17 minutes ago, recoveringacademic said:

That, @IanR is impressive. Really elegant, elegant because of its simplicity. If you want to know why I keep coming back to BH, it's because of posts like yours.  You can be sure I'll be re-reading it often.

 

What do you call that stuff @Nickfromwales ? I mean generically, I'm not asking for a trade name. I know for sure that if I go to our BM and ask for Quick Trim like Ian's post I'll have another of these experiences

No idea, just a random internet image grab. TBH, the supplier @IanR linked to is reasonabke and has the different sizes needed. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, recoveringacademic said:

That, @IanR is impressive. Really elegant, elegant because of its simplicity.

 

Thanks!

 

1 hour ago, recoveringacademic said:

I know for sure that if I go to our BM and ask for Quick Trim like Ian's post I'll have another of these experiences

 

My experience was that they're not available off-the-shelf in the normal BM's. I also found that tackers and plasters were not familiar with them so I had to set out how I wanted them to use them.

 

When I searched for them I found only a couple of different manufacturers, but lots of re-sellers, some re-branding them to make them appear different. Qic Trims seemed to be the most prolific and often re-sold under different names. I went directly to Qic Trims. The pricing they show on their site is the RRP and is to not be seen to compete with the re-sellers. I found they offered a good discount, but you have to order in packs of 25 x 3m lengths and pay a delivery charge of £25. As I used 100's of meters of the stuff it worked out very economic.

Edited by IanR

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, IanR said:

 

 

image.thumb.png.bdb8356f4a04d29c9f3c6f80681ec4bf.png

 

 

 

Sorry for going off topic but those doors are bloomin’ lovely!

Edited by Barney12

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22 minutes ago, Barney12 said:

 

Sorry for going off topic but those doors are bloomin’ lovely!

 

Thanks!

 

They are a nice door - LPD Vancouver 5P Oak. Very heavy!   But what's made that opening come together so well is the frame made by a local Joiner. (and the chippy that put it all together with minimal gaps)

Lesson learned for me here. I'd bought pre-made liners for all the standard openings and only used a Joiner for the non-standard stuff. Maybe I got lucky with the local joiner but he was cheaper and soooo much better!

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Posted (edited)

I’ve specified shadow gaps in a lot of projects and like IanR above for aesthetic reasons. They look so crisp and sharp. They’re more expensive than skirting and architraves if you use painted MDF. If you’re looking at shadow gaps v’s some oiled oak skirting and architraves or similar then they work out cheaper. You also need a good plasterer. I’ve seen a lot of crap shadow gaps as if they’re out by a few mm it really shows up. You don’t notice a good shadow gap but you can’t avoid a bad one. Always use aluminium trim. Don’t use plastic and check on delivery if you’re buying them for kinks and bends and they’re easily damaged in transit. I always use Type R instead of Type D and don’t use the 6mm as it’s too small to get accurate. On internal stud walls you’ll have to think about acoustics if you’re only using one layer of plasterboard. The trim can be an acoustic weak point and may need to be bedded to the frame with an acoustic mastic to help noise control. See below sketch. Not sure if you can rotate images after you attach them so sorry.

 

IMG_20180102_152946.thumb.jpg.5e353baf7b282cb64840bc3a5d2cd57b.jpg

Edited by Dudda
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Any idea if there's a similar solution that doesn't involve a skim finish to integrate these skims?

 

We're heavily considering Fermacell and were hoping to do away with both skimming and skirting boards, but simply leaving a gap between the board and the floor wont cut it as @Stones has already pointed out. These appear to solve that problem but require skimming, which would negate one of our prime reasons for using fermacell in the first place.

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you Don’t have to skim them you treat it the same as if you had taped and jointed. 

You would be taping and jointing the fermacel wouldn’t you ? 

You treat it very much like the corner beads with a 3 coat finish and sand. 

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35 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

you Don’t have to skim them you treat it the same as if you had taped and jointed. 

You would be taping and jointing the fermacel wouldn’t you ? 

You treat it very much like the corner beads with a 3 coat finish and sand. 

 

There is with their tapered edge boards, though we were planning on using the square edge boards as it is more DIY friendly... we may however have to reevaluate that given the desire for shadowgaps!

 

image.thumb.png.db5a6fdbfb33ba09fc33f3026677e3db.png

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What do you do on the staircase, and at the bottom step.

 

(just for clarification, I hate skirting, it just looks like a dodge to cover up something that is badly fitted)

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36 minutes ago, Visti said:

 

There is with their tapered edge boards, though we were planning on using the square edge boards as it is more DIY friendly... we may however have to reevaluate that given the desire for shadowgaps!

 

image.thumb.png.db5a6fdbfb33ba09fc33f3026677e3db.png

Has anybody here used the square edge board and had good results? 

I taped and jointed my last house and a BUTT joint where there is no taper were  the work of the devil, they required lots of effort to get right and I think your battening will need to be cock on to not show any imperfections. 

 

Haven’t I read somebody here using it recently. ?

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Nothing would induce me to tape and fill boards, either tapered or square edged.  Our old house had ceilings that were taped and filled and in the early morning and late evening the light would shine across and highlight every slight ridge.  Once it's caught your eye, you find yourself getting more and more annoyed by it.  It was the one thing that convinced me that all our plasterboard was going to be skimmed.  I just couldn't live with looking up and seeing regular ripples across the ceiling.

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One thing to consider with shadow gaps is the floor finishes - downstairs we had tiles which is fine and basically we had the house tiled and then boarded/skimmed afterwards. Upstairs we had to install the engineered oak flooring after the plastering due to the risks of damage to the floor (general mess plus high moisture content due to wet plaster damaging the floor) - this means they had to leave an exact gap to allow the floor to be laid, with the floor ending up touching the bottom of the shadow gap profile. 

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All the ones I personally like still have a skirting board, but it is fitted flush with a gap above. 

I couldn’t imagine a wall without a “ bash zone “ for the crazy wife and the hoover. 

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49 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

3D2CB930-C91E-45EB-B79D-EE21B024C0CC.jpeg

 

I couldn't live with the uneven gaps on the skirting. But the actual shadow gap on the bottom tread to the floor is doing its job.

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Posted (edited)

To be honest, shadow gaps are certainly more difficult to install - the one grace is that painting is a dam site easier with just a shadow gap instead of skirting.

Edited by Trw144

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2 hours ago, JSHarris said:

Nothing would induce me to tape and fill boards, either tapered or square edged.  Our old house had ceilings that were taped and filled and in the early morning and late evening the light would shine across and highlight every slight ridge.  Once it's caught your eye, you find yourself getting more and more annoyed by it.  It was the one thing that convinced me that all our plasterboard was going to be skimmed.  I just couldn't live with looking up and seeing regular ripples across the ceiling.

 

The problem here is the lack of plasterers. Tape and fill wad really the only viable option for me, but I did strike it lucky and get the best regarded taper on the island ( it certainly shows).

 

1 hour ago, IanR said:

 

I couldn't live with the uneven gaps on the skirting. But the actual shadow gap on the bottom tread to the floor is doing its job.

 

Depends how the skirting is fitted. All of our oak skirting was scribed to the flooring to avoid exactly that issue. Time consuming but one of those small details that lifts the overall finish a few notches higher.

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How hard would it be to come up with a gadget to neatly grind out shadow gaps after plastering, I wonder?  The trick would be finding a tool that would cut neatly, leaving a very tidy edge, but I bet it would be a winner if you could make it work.  The time saving could be massive, and significantly reduce the cost, and allow more adventurous use of gaps as design features.

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Perhaps modifying a grinder with some flanges to act as guides and a thick disk of some sort? It's take some tooling and the trailing of the right sort of disk but doable I'd think.

 

Wouldn't double plasterboard, outer to the floor and the inner raised just slightly to create the gap be viable?

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