What is the Difference between a Control Joint and an Expansion Joint?

When you’re looking for the right building materials, it’s important to know the difference between a control joint and an expansion joint. These are two important joint types, but they don’t do the same thing.

What is a Control Joint?

According to Builder-Questions.com, “a control joint is exactly what it references, a means of controlling movement within the structure.” This source also states that while a control joint is similar to a construction joint, they are not the same thing.

What is an Expansion Joint?

Emseal.com states that “an expansion joint is a mid-structure separation designed to relieve stress on building materials caused by building movement.” Typically, this type of joint is used when building movement may happen from thermal expansion, wind, seismic events, live load deflection, or static load deflection.

Control Joint vs. Expansion Joint: The Differences

A control joint will be used to help relieve stress from small amounts of movement due to shrinkage during the curing. This type of joint may also be used to relieve the stress of small expansion or contraction movements will happen.

On the other hand, an expansion joint is designed and sized, on purpose, to separate building elements and accommodate movement, which can be very large. These joints are designed to expand, as the name states.

Control joints are often formed during the placement of building materials and can be cut after the building materials are placed. However, an expansion joint will be formed and sized by the building design team. These joints will be bridged and sealed later with an expansion joint system.

While you might mistake control joints and expansion joints, they are not the same thing. These are two very different and important joints used with building materials. If you need control joints and expansion joints, 9 Brothers Building Supply has just what you’re looking for.

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