How to Repair Buckled Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is an affordable way to create a beautiful surface in your home without spending a lot of money. These interlocking pieces can give your home the look of a real hardwood floor without a difficult installation or high cost.
When the flooring becomes damaged or buckled, however, it can seem like a substantial repair project. But with some simple tools and a few easy steps, you can take care of the job without too much hassle.
Step 1 - Assess the Cause
Typically, buckling or peaking in a laminate floor is caused when there is an increased tension between the boards in the flooring. This can be caused by temperature and humidity differences, which cause the flooring to expand and press against its edges. The tension occurs most often around the walls where the flooring abuts, and to repair the problem the basic goal is simply to decrease that tension.
Step 2 - Remove Molding
Use your hammer and screwdriver to remove the molding around the base of the room. The pieces that are removed will have to be put back in place when you have made the repairs, so use care during this process. Set these aside until the end of the repair.
Step 3 - Replace the Spacers
When the flooring was installed, spacers were placed between the wall and the closest floor board. These were put in place to support the flooring between the boards and the wall. Remove these and install smaller ones to provide more room for the expanded floor boards. Next, push down on the buckled area or peak. If it does not disappear with pressure, use smaller and smaller spacers until the peak disappears.
Step 4 - Reinstall the Molding
When the peak or buckled area has been eliminated, you can reinstall the molding around the edge of the room. Hammer the piece back into place securely with finishing nails.
This is basically the end of this project, but remember that you can use also the same technique if there are gaps between the floor boards. In that case, instead of replacing the spacers with smaller ones, use wider ones to will eliminate the extra space.
Further Laminate Repair: Damaged Boards
You can also replace piece of your laminate flooring if they become damaged or scratched. To do this, remove the molding and all of the floor boards between the wall and the damaged board. Because laminate flooring is put together in a click and lock technique, it is impossible to rake out only one board without removing the rest leading to it. Replace the damaged piece with an new one, and then put all of the boards back into place between the wall and the area you are working in.
Situations like this are why it is so important that you buy extra materials when installing laminate flooring. You will give yourself a little wiggle room during installation, but keeping extraneous pieces can come in handy with repairs later.
Scratches can be repaired or covered with a flooring repair kit. Matching the color on the flooring and the repair kit that you purchase is the most important part of this task, so take a piece of the flooring to the store with you so that you can be sure of the proper color. To be extra certain it comes out as the right color and sticks correctly, test the kit's substance on a smaller piece of scrap wood in your work area before using it on the floor.
Your laminate flooring can provide you with a wonderful look if you keep it in good condition. Always replace damaged boards immediately and repair scratches as soon as they happen to make it easier on yourself in the long run. Also, compensate for temperature changes with the proper spacer size and your floor will look great for years.