Wondering how to fix buckled laminate flooring? You’re at the right place, where we have discussed everything you need to know.
Buckling floors are common with laminate flooring in countries where the temperature frequently changes due to humidity levels.
It is one of the main reasons for the floors to buckle. Laminate floors generally tend to buckle when your floor no longer has sufficient space to contract or expand anymore.
When the outside temperature is cooler, the planks tend to shrink. The sudden changes in the temperature are one of the main reasons for laminate floors to buckle.
That’s when it is important for you to understand how to fix the buckled laminate flooring of your house.
How To Fix The Buckled Laminate Flooring?
Laminated floors are engineered flooring material that is expected to last for a long time. In fact, it is due to the weather and climatic changes in tropical countries due to which this particular flooring fails to withstand expansion and contraction.
If you are willing to fix your buckled floors, at first, removing the mold or baseboard near the buckled plank is very important. It will help you to inspect the area that has been affected due to buckling.
At the same time, you should also take adequate care in removing the spacers and fitting them with smaller ones. It is better if you can manage and trim the expanded space.
To keep the repair plank stable, you may also nail it to the baseboard and hang some weight on it. This will enable you to avoid unnecessary buckle formation on top of your laminate flooring. You might also love to learn more about making your laminate floors shine.
Why Do Your Laminate Floors Buckle After a Few Years?
Believe it or not, moisture is the sole enemy of wooden structures. The accumulation of moisture causes dampness; this damp has often swollen the quality of the wooden material used in the wooden planks.
In fact, that is the root cause of a laminated floor buckling after a few years. Let’s explore the exact reasons behind the laminated floors buckle one by one.
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Changes In Moisture and Temperature
The climatic changes are one of the main reasons for maximum flooring-related problems in your house. Buckled flooring is definitely one of those.
At times, flooding and rainwater leakage in your house can damage the existing flooring planks. The worst part is it can cause sufficient damage to your subflooring surface.
Until and unless the water-soaked subfloor of your house is dried, the wet wooden planks can cause maximum damage to your flooring.
The variation in the humidity level of your house might be responsible for severe floorboard expansion. Your laminated floorboards can separate, warp, buckle, or even lift during such a scenario. That can be one of the main reasons your laminate floors buckle.
Improper installation is one of the main reasons for laminate flooring to expand and contract when the space is inadequate.
Above that, humidity is one of the main reasons for which laminate floorboards expand and contract due to weather changes.
That eventually compels the floorboard to buckle up, lift or warp. Sometimes significant bubbles form on the swollen laminate flooring boards of your laminate floors.
Unexpected Expansion Of Floorboard Planks
The unexpected expansion of the floorboards is one of the main reasons for the flooring planks to either expand or contract or shrink.
According to some of the leading flooring renovation experts, common flooring problems like the planks getting de-laminated, separated, lifting, or buckling up are common scenarios in cases related to faulty flooring.
Sub-flooring related imperfections
It is important to know the sub-floor related imperfections causing the laminate floor to lift up. The moisture gathered beneath the laminated flooring affects the quality of the sub-flooring.
At times, moisture accumulation in the subfloor impacts the adhesive used for gluing down the subfloor with the laminate floors.
That can be another genuine reason for your laminated floor to buckle, separate, and may lift up your laminated flooring.
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Prolonged Exposure To Water
At times, water damage is one of the popular reasons laminated floors buckle. The laminated flooring is not at all resistant to water, mainly if water soaks in it for a long time. The exposure to water expands the plank compromising the quality of the wood.
That is one of the reasons why the homeowners invested in laminate flooring are always advised to avoid walking on wet feet on laminated floors as maximum traffic from the wet foot on the floors can damage the quality of the woods in the long run.
Steps On How To Fix a Buckling Laminate Flooring In Your House?
There are plenty of ways to fix faulty laminated floors that have worn and buckled up due to aging. Re-fixing a buckled laminate flooring is easy only when you are aware of the following DIY remedies that have been shared below in detail.
Replacing The Old Planks
The old damaged planks must be replaced with the newer ones. That’s an excellent remedy to replace the old laminate floorboards with newer ones.
The buckled planks usually get swollen due to excessive exposure to moisture, water causing dampness. By replacing those, you can always ensure your floors remain immune from famous flooring-related problems due to buckled flooring.
At times, the laminated boards get damaged so severely that they might go beyond repair. Before replacing it with a new plank, it is always recommended to trim the area where you are planning to reinstall a new plank.
If needed, measure the additional space in case the floor expands or contracts to depend upon the humidity level in the temperature. Before installing the new plank, leave some additional area so that the plank gets some space when it contracts or expands due to humid temperature.
It will help you to avoid unwanted expansion and contraction. After that, you can use a caulking gun to abrase the new laminated floor upon your sub-flooring. This is an excellent DIY strategy to troubleshoot buckled flooring-related issues. You might also find this guide helpful in caulking between baseboards and floorboards.
Identifying The Water Source Causing Damage To The Floors
Before restoring a fix, it is important to check the water source of the damage caused to your flooring. If it has been caused due to humidity and moisture, it is important for you to identify the source of such a problem in your flooring.
For that, you have to find out whether it is due to the humid climate or due to any internal leakage in your water pipes. Once that’s identified, solving the problem will be much easier for you. Take necessary actions to be taken after analyzing the trouble bothering your property.
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Inspecting The Expansion Gap
It is important to inspect the expansion gaps in your flooring planks before restoring buckled flooring. Sometimes your floors may tend to lift up from their original position due to lack of inadequate expansion and contraction or shrinkage gaps.
Changes in temperature and humidity are one of the primary reasons affecting your laminate floors’ longevity. Due to widespread laminate floor installation errors, the flooring specialist might overlook the importance of maintaining gaps while installing flooring planks.
You need to identify if there are short gaps in the floor planks that have been installed on your property. It is better to mark those areas after removing the buckled floor planks if you find any.
This time, ensure that you leave an additional gap of 8-10 mm after reinstalling each plank on your laminate flooring. It will help you to avoid the popular flooring-related problems due to the expansion and contraction of your laminate floors for at least the next 5-7 years.
Finding A Suitable Fix To Get Rid Of The Warping Issue
It is better to analyze your popular flooring-related problems before dealing with your warped floor. Identify the nature of the problem hampering the longevity of your planks and get rid of those.
This will always be a good remedy for rectifying the floor buckling issues associated with internal flooring. The underlay beneath laminate floors may get damaged due to mildews, excessive moisture, or for remaining water-soaked for a long time.
That’s when a typical musty smell arises from the sub-floor. Spongy feelings and squeaky sounds arise while walking on those bare feet.
Once the area is identified, mark it down and start removing the old planks. If needed, work on the damage caused to your sub-floor.
Lift up the existing damage caused to your laminated flooring planks and find out whether any other areas are affected or not. If it has not been affected, then it’s okay.
If there is any other additional damage in the plank, try to get rid of it too. Before beginning the restoration work, it is important to consider the present conditioning of your existing floors.
If it is still wet, you should give some time for the floors to dry up. Once it dries up, then only you should start working on those.
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Removing The Damaged Board And Replacing It With Newer One
Excessive damage caused to your floorboard may compel you to replace it and get a newer one. Well, if that is the case, it is always recommended to spend an extra dollar for buying a laminated flooring plank that comes with the manufacturer’s warranty.
If there is any defect in the flooring, you can claim compensation from the manufacturer afterward, provided you do not overlook the measures that you have to take for maintaining the planks.
This may include avoiding exposure to humidity leading to moisture, avoiding water spilled on the floor, never letting the floors remain wet, and leaving it like that for a long time.
The room temperature should be regulated and controlled from time to time so that the damaged board barely impacts your existing flooring.
Short DIY Tips For Removing and Replacing Damaged Board
While doing so, you might have to remove the old laminated floor planks at first. So, begin the DIY work by removing the old planks first.
Step 1: Remove the entire plank that is surrounded by warped planks. Use a pry-bar on any of the plank edges or corners and use some force to lift it up.
Step 2: Cut the laminate plank with a skill saw carefully so that the areas not damaged are not bothered while cutting.
Step 3: Remove any of the two plank pieces in the middle. Cut in a way that it slides; the rest 4 pieces can be placed in the middle. It will help you to break the interlocked planks clutched to one another.
Step 4: Repeat these step-by-step guidelines for dealing with the other planks that have been damaged or affected.
Overview The Current Subflooring Condition First
It is essential to overview and consider the conditioning of your subfloor first. If the current conditioning of your subfloors has any issue, then at first, that should be taken care of.
If you miss out on the issue, the same trouble will keep repeating repeatedly. That is why you should find a remedy to fix the problems causing damage to your subflooring at first.
Once that is controlled, you can expect your laminate flooring to ensure trouble-free performance for years. Issues like moisture water leakage are pretty common to impact your sub-floors.
If that happens, first get it fixed. This will help you to troubleshoot 60% of the flooring-related problems in your subfloor. Once that’s done, it is only advisable to look into the problems bothering your laminated floor planks.
DIY Strategy To Fix The Lifted-Up Laminated Floors
There are plenty of reasons for laminate floors to lift up. If you are facing any such issue in your existing flooring, then the change in temperature and moisture level is definitely one of the main reasons behind it.
To get rid of laminate floors lifting up, get an assurance that there are adequate expansion or gaps in your laminated floors.
Check the humidity level of the rooms where you have installed laminate floors. It is equally important to look into the subflooring imperfections if your floor is lifting up.
You can use a hammer or a chisel to get rid of the molding or laminate baseboards first. Measure the expansion of your laminate floor and consider the contraction gaps.
This will help you to trim the floorboard plank so that some extra gap can be maintained after putting it back in its original place.
For about 24-48 hours, place a little weight on the top of the repaired board to keep it from shifting. This will help you to attach and glue the laminate flooring planks tightly with the subfloor surface.
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Do You Feel Spongy After Putting Your Feet On the Laminate Floor?
The main reason for which you might feel spongy after putting your feet on the subfloor is the poor quality of the laminate floor beneath your feet.
These scenarios are pretty common when flooring specialists overlook the errors while installing the laminate floors for the first time.
The soft and spongy spots on the laminate floors can be fixed by using a syringe and air inflation needles by pinning those down in those areas safely.
After pinning those down, it is equally important to see whether any edge or corner of the pins is lifted up or not. If it is lifted up, it is better to beat the sharp corner and edges of those pins or needles to make them blunt. It will ensure safety when there is maximum foot traffic on the floor.
Is It Normal If Laminate Floor Moves Up And Down While Walking On It?
The laminate floor moves up and down whenever you are walking on a floating floor that has incurred sufficient gaps between the floorboards.
Such gapping occurs when the floorboard planks pull away from one another. The gaps between floorboards compel the laminate floor to lift up when the temperature goes beyond normal 60-80 degrees.
If you are looking ahead to fixing this, acclimatizing your laminate flooring is very important. By acclimatizing your laminate flooring, it is easier for you to maintain the room temperature and conditions of the external surrounding of your rooms.
If the room temperature is not too humid nor too warm, then only the particular temperature will be considered suitable for laminate flooring. It will always help you to choose the right flooring option for installing laminate floors without any single spot or dispute.
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Buckled flooring or warping issues in your flooring are a common problem these days. If you are worried about any such flooring-related issues, at first, you should take some time to inspect the problems behind such buckled flooring conditions.
If you think you have identified the problem, you should think of a way to restore and re-fix it. If you are planning to run a DIY restoration work, the detailed guidelines shared above on how to fix buckled laminate flooring will help you to deal with different varieties of laminate flooring-related problems or any other issues.
That way, you can always save an extra dollar from hiring flooring renovation experts for re-fixing your flooring problems.
Jenny SteffensHobick is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at House Whirl. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.