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The Problem

Having a transition (timing function, duration) setting on an element that does a CSS scale transform on hover creates a repaint and layout invalidation on any subsequent elements.

Removing the transition directive in CSS, while still having the scale transform, avoids these repaints and layouts.


  1. Open the index.html file in Chrome
  2. Go to the Rendering tab, check Paint Flashing
  3. Hover on one element

Note that all the subsequent rows of items are getting repainted even though none change.

  1. Uncheck Paint Flashing; check Layer Borders
  2. Hover on elements

Note that each hover creates a layer out of the hovered over element, and the group of items that are below the current row.

  1. Comment out line number 16 in styles.css
  2. Go through steps 2-5

Note that only the element currently hovered on gets transformed. No other layout/paint occurs.


  1. Is this phenomenon of repaints and/or layouts expected in cases like this? Can this be optimized at the browse level? Can this be optimized at the app level?

  2. I'm aware of the will-change property but adding that to every .carousel block (and gasp on every .image-container) seems like a bad practice, so I'm not sure if this is a good idea. There can be about 20 carousel rows at any point of time, which would mean about 20 new layers!