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Home >> Flooring Maintenance >> Buckling Laminate Flooring- How to Repair a Laminate Flooring

Buckling Laminate Flooring- How to Repair a Laminate Flooring

You may have a buckle in your laminate flooring or you’re researching potential issues that may occur with laminate flooring. We’ll make this simple for you so you can solve the issue. Yes! It is possible to fix. Buckling laminate flooring is easy to fix if you know how to do it. Before you begin, you should figure out what the possible cause could’ve been. If you’re looking to install laminate flooring for the first time, then you can still learn and prevent buckling by reading our article! Before we talk about the solution, let’s understand some potential problems that may have caused this annoyance.

Reasons for buckling laminate flooring:

  1. Water and moisture damage (over mopping, water leak etc.)
  2. Floor was not acclimated before the installation (keep 24-48 hours in room temp before installation.)
  3. No expansion gap or the gap is too small (bigger rooms, bigger space.)
  4. No dilatation (big spaces or multiple rooms and “pancake” installation.
  5. When the floor was installed, the room temperature was below standards required by the manufacture. Usually 65 deg F.
  6. No vapor barrier was installed; therefore, causing moisture damage (cement sub floors.)
  7. Luck of floatation (heavy objects such as: pool table, grand piano, heavy furniture and/or kitchen cabinets sitting on the floor.)
  8. Floatation restrictions ex. nailing quarter round molding to the floor.
  9. Floatation restriction ex. not leaving expansion around pipes, pillars, t-molding etc.

Usually but not always buckling will be present near a wall where the laminate flooring expansion has met it max.

Steps how to repair buckling laminate flooring:

Step 1: Determinate the reason of the bucking.

Step 2: Fix the reason of the bucking.

Step 3. Repair the floor

Buckled laminate  (Photo credit: from Oysters to Perls)

Buckled laminate (Photo credit: from Ashley @From Oysters to Perls)

Read what Ashley is saying on her blog about her buckling flooring experience: Kitchen Cabinet & Flooring Mistake to Avoid

Find & fix the reason of the buckling floor:

Water Damage:

In case of bucking related to the moisture or water leak you need to fix the reason of the buckling before you move forward and start repair of the floor. Unfortunately, in most of cases, buckling related to the water leak or moisture exposure will force you to replace the floor or affected planks due to excessive swelling.  In severe cases your locking and/or flooring will be expanded in size and you will not be able to properly lock the back in place. If you see blisters on the top surface the game is over- you have no other choice than to replace the damaged area and install new floor. Underlayment must be completely dry and potentially replaced too. Subfloor must be dry and in good repair before you start repair.

Floatation & Movement Restrictions

Laminate flooring is a floating floor system. The seasons, moisture, and temperature (inside and out) play important role how your floor perform. Sufficient expansion gaps are essential. All movement restrictions must be removed and this applies to:

  • Remove nailed wall base and/or quarter round to the floor
  • Re-install all moldings pinching floor and restricting the friction
  • Re install nailed transition pieces without expansion gap
  • Re- position and add coasters to heavy furniture to evenly spread the weight of it
  • Increase expansion gap on perimeter of the room
  • Increase expansion gap to the transitions
  • Add dilatation ( big area installation)
  • If the flooring was installed under the kitchen cabinets add dilatation or remove laminate under the cabinets.

Repair the floor – what to do with it?

Do not walk on your buckled floor! It will permanently damage the locking system. Depending on your situation and the size of the damage, you may be unfortunately be forced to replace entire room. In a good case scenario after fixing the reason of the buckling you may be able to reinstall or to  replace the planks.  To do this,  first you will want to remove the molding so you can replace the flooring. Once quick note, during the un-installation of your floor do not damage the molding that way you can reinstall it after replacing the floor. After removing the molding, you will want to force down any pressure that is affecting the laminate flooring. You may not be able to remove the pressure with force. However, we want our laminate flooring to be even and beautiful once again.

Read our other tips how to repair damaged flooring

How to fix a scratched laminate flooring

Maybe you don’t have the buckling laminate flooring problem, perhaps you’re looking for a simple repair to fix a scratch. Maybe you scratched your flooring up in the process of fixing the buckling problem. Don’t worry because the simple fix to repair a laminate flooring is with the Robert’s repair kit.

Damaged Laminate Plank

How to replace damaged laminate flooring plank

If you’re looking to replace a damaged plank and need more information on how to do it yourself then we suggest you check out our article: How to Replace Damaged Laminate Flooring Planks

Damaged Laminate Plank

Thank you for taking the time to read our article! We encourage you share any comments, questions or experiences with us that you may have. We are here to help you in the best way we can.

For more information or questions that you may have then we encourage you to visit Bestlaminate.

 

 

 

137 comments

  1. My husband and I just bought a house and have noticed a problem with the flooring. It is a engineered bamboo wood floor and in out hallway its just not sitting right. The previous owners put it in and the rest of the house is fine no problems with it, but in the hallway it seems like the planks are fitting too tight. He tried pulling it up and shaving a bit off of each end but its still too tight it seems. We’re afraid to take too much off because the floor needs those grooves to fit together. Its driving him crazy! Help please!

    • Hi Danielle, thank you for your question. There are many questions that need to be answered in order for us to give you the best help. Please feel free to call us at 800-520-0961, and we will be happy to help you. Thank you. – Brittany

  2. Hi, I put a new laminate floor into a large room a few years ago. I hired a professional installer to help me do it so I know that there is a plastic sheet moisture barrier as well as the thin foam pad. The room is 24′ X 40′. Also this room is a renovated garage so the floor underneath is made of cement. Now a few years later the floor still looks very good, except that there is occasionally something coming up through the crack between boards in one spot in the middle of the floor. The thing looks like an off white flower. If you touch it it crumbles into dust. This thing can be vacuumed off but a few weeks later it is back again. Humidity in this room is kept at a constant rate of 55% or lower with a dehumidifier. Any ideas what this “flower” could be caused by or what I can do to make it stop?
    Thanks, Alex

    • Hi Alex, thank you for your question. I am unsure of what that could be, it could depend on who the manufacturer is maybe you could get in contact with them and they might have a better idea of what it could be. I wish I could be of better help to you. I wish you the best of luck. – Brittany

  3. I left a single plank (5.7″ wide, 48″ long, 12mm thick) in the bed of my pickup for about 4 hours with the hot sun (80 deg) beating down on it on a dry Calif day. Afterwards the ends of the plank were bent upward. I suppose if I let it lie flat on my indoor carpet it may eventually flatten out again, but it makes me nervous about the floor I already laid. This plank was laying alone so it had nothing to do with expansion space and this product is supposed to take hot sun. Any thoughts why this happened?

    • Hi Steve, thank you for your question. It had to have had some sort of humidity for the ends of the plank to bend upward. That is the only thing that I could think of. It would not happen in a normal household condition so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Best of Luck. – Brittany

  4. I have a laminate floor and on the first hot humid day I notice some buckling and now that we’ve had more hot and humid days I have three spots that are buckling. What could be the problem?

    • Hi Myesha, your floor could be buckling for many reasons. 1. If it was installed but not locked in all the way that will make the laminate start to separate and buckle. 2. When installed if there wasn’t the appropriate amount of extension gap from the wall to the laminate, which cause the laminate to buckle because there is not enough room to expand and contract when the temperature changes. I hope this helps.Best of Luck! – Brittany

  5. We did not leave enough of a gap around the perimeter of the room. So we are fixing that problem. However, should the panels that are buckled automatically lie down once we have made the appropriate gaps?

    • Hi Sytvia, thanks for your question. It could possibly lie back flat down, but if it was not installed properly the floor could be buckling due to not locking in tightly. It would just depend on if it was locked in correctly. I hope this helps. Good Luck!

  6. Hi. A contractor installed my laminate flooring on the basement sometime in October of 2012. We started to notice some buckling sometime in April or may of this year on the masters bedroom , hallway and I front of the kitche. We thought it was just normal because the the temperature changed. But around 3rd week of may, the buckling on the master bedroom laminate flooring got worse where the plank will almost come off. I called the contracted and he just came last week to have a look at it and we were told that the temperature on my basement was too cold and there is no thermostat to maintain the heat of 10-12c and it cause my flooring to swell and also my garage (attached to the house) is also cold, and since the masters bedroom is also closed to it. Btw, my basement flooring use to be carpet. But since I bought this house 10 years ago , we always used the fire place on the basement and ther is no thermostat since our thermostat is controlled from upstairs floor. I have a 2 year warranty, but was told by the contractor that since the cause of the buckling is d reasons he told me earlier , it is not being covered under warranty because he did not installed the flooring improperly and suggested to us to changed into new hardwood flooring instead. Laminate flooring that he installed was brand new and we barely go down on the basement and use the area. I don’t think that it is cause by moisture since there were never and flood on the basement nor spilling that we remember might have cause it since we seldom go and used the basement. Do u think the problem is “expension gap”. Pls. Advice. Thank u.

    • Hi Phyllis, When installing laminate in the basement there should be a 3 in 1 underlayment with a moisture barrier that protects against moisture I don’t believe that the cold would do that to the laminate because if it has the expansion gaps going around the room the laminate would have room to expand and contract I don’t see why it would buckle. Try and contact the manufacturer of your laminate to see what they will say. I wish you the best. – Brittany

  7. Sir,

    I may be speaking on behalf of a number of your readers because I looked for the answer to this common question but didnt find it.

    What is the “best” tool to use to cut the 1/4″-1/2″ off the edge of a laminate floor AFTER it was installed? All of your answers indicate that one should remove the board and cut on a table saw or other saw. I don’t want to do this.

    Therefore, would a Dremel or a multitool with cutting blade work best?? What tool would cut flooring closest to the wall and assuming the baseboard has been removed?

    Thanks

    • Hi John, Thanks for your question. Yes you can use a undercut tool to cut the boards if you would like, but the best method would be to take the boards out and cut board the way it is suppose to be cut to the proper length from the beginning. Good Luck! – Brittany

  8. Hey guys, thanks for answering all of these questions. We just installed Tarkett Solutions laminate flooring and I’m worried about the expansion gap. The manufacturer instructions say to leave a expansion 5/16 gap, put a t moulding if it’s over 40′ feet, and to put a t moulding in doorways “where required”. It is installed in a 14 x 18 dining room that is connected via a 6′ doorway to a 12 x 13 playroom. (31′ total length between the 2) It is also connected to a hallway that runs parallel to these rooms and is connected to each via a 30″ doorway.

    The layout is similar to a B with the vertical line on the left side being the hallway and the 2 holes being the 2 rooms.

    My question is should I try to dd in t mouldings at those doorways? My initial installation is all one continuous piece without t moulding anywhere.

    • Hi Nick, you are so welcome. We are happy to help! I would follow the instructions the manufacturer off the laminate gives just so your laminate can stay in warranty if anything were to go wrong. You can put t-moldings in doorways if you would like that would be ok. Good Luck! – Brittany

  9. We installed a floating wooden floor that covered 750 square feet. The hallway there was a bow uphill slant in the floor and we covered it and now it is buckling. There is no way to tear the floor up because it is in the middle. Is there anyway to nail that down or will that buckle the rest of the floor?? My parents are older and keep tripping over it and if they fall they will get hurt and we dont know what to do..Any suggestions??

    • HI Amy I’m sorry to hear that you wooden floor is buckling. The only suggestion I would give is to take the floor out and gradually level the floor. The floor can still slope but it has to be a gradual slope because of the joint integrity with the floating floors. The problem with nailing it down would be that it is not considered floating anymore and that could cause the rest of your floor to buckle. I hope this information has helped you. Thank you for your question. Brittany

  10. I have bought some 15.3mm laminate from Costco couple of days ago. However, my contractor put them in my unheated garage for one night (around -15′c that night). Then he moved the laminte into my home next day. He has not installed the laminate yet . I am worring if the cold night (-15′c) will effect (damage?) the laminate? Thank you very much!

    • Hello Anne, laminate flooirng should warm up at least 48 hrs before the installation. Cold temperture during a short period of storage in your garage should not impact your laminate.

  11. Thank you so much for all your responses to these questions. It must take you a long time. We put laminate flooring in our new house about 2 1/2 months ago. I noticed buckling near the support wall between the living room and the garage. I also noticed it buckling spot “downhill” from the other spot. When I step on the laminate, it makes a crackling/squishing noise. This sound is also made in other spots that I know are dry, so the sound may be nothing. There is no leak in my slab copper as it was inspected by a plumber who visited my house. There is also no apparent leaks in my sewer drain system. I have had a water mitigation company come to my house, I have purchased a moisture meter, and there is no evidence of any water existing in the laminate flooring. Here is my question: Can water be trapped below the moisture barrier and show no sign of itself in the laminate, save the buckling spots? This is the only explanation that would make any reasonable sense, as there is no evidence of moisture as verified by myself and water mitigation company. My installer checked those spots and said that they are high/low spots in the flooring that are causing them. I feel like I’m going out of my mind. The only evidence I have for believing there is water under there is the sound includes a little more “squish” Than in the other spots. The other question I will ask is if the water is under the laminate, and it is not doing anything else but buckling the laminate, can I just forget it, let it dry out eventually, and go on with my life? Lastly, can someone come, take up one of the boards where I think the water is, and help me verify, visually, that there is no water? I think that’s the only way I will ever be satisfied. I just want to make sure the repair job does not include taking up all of my laminate flooring. Thank you for your response.

    • Also, there is 1/4 inch, at least, of gap under the quater-round.

    • Mason, buckling can be related to the other reasons than water. For example lack of expansion gap, not enough space for expansion, pinched floor with heavy objects ( like kitchen cabinets, grand piano, heavy furniture etc). Another reason could be installation without expansion gap for spaces approximately 40 ft lengthwise and 30ft side-wide; this rule can be changed down due to the heavy furniture load, which limits the floor to float.

      Crackling noise may be related to the “valley” in the subfloor. Even subfloor is essential when it comes to laminate flooring installation.

      Removal of one board is possible and can be done without the problem. Read this article to learn more.

  12. We moved into this house right at 2 years ago. We noticed then that the laminate in the bathroom was separating at the seams. We didn’t pay much attention to it as we just assumed it was from poor craftsmanship and we knew we wanted to replace the bathroom floor with the remodel. However now we have two places in our living room and one place in our kitchen that are bubbling/buckling. Our house is built on a slab. We can not find a moisture problem anywhere in the house. Do you have any idea why this is happening it hoe we can preserve the flooring a little longer until we are done with the remodel and are ready to have the floors done right?

    • Elizabeth, separation in the bathroom can be related to the moisture exposure or luck of the t-molding in the doorway. In both cases you need to replace or take apart and re-install your floor.

      Your living room: buckling can be related to the moisture exposure or wrong installation. If you excluded moisture or water damage it means that your floor was installed too tight ( not enough expansion gap). You need to fix the problem and address the buckled up area. This article can help.

  13. My laminate flooring on my second floor in my house in my bedroom squeaks constantly and one certain spot when you press on it with your foot it makes a loud pop sound as if it was hitting a vent or something, it bothers me majorly, any ways to fix without having to replace the whole floor or drilling???? Please respond!

    • Andrew, your problem could be related to the “valleys” in your subfloor. This is probably why your floor is flexing up and down and squeaks. Even subfloor is essential for stability of the laminate flooring. If this is your problem there is no easy fix. You need to repair your subfloor and to do it you probably need to take your flooring apart, fix the subfloor and reinstall the floor.

  14. I believe that my floor is buckling due to recent exposure to damp spots on an area rug (my mom and her dogs are here while she is recovering from a fall and she has had issues training them). I don’t see any visible signs of permanent damage. Is there anything we can do to salvage the floor?

    • Leeann, I am sorry to hear that. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do with damaged flooring planks. Once is damaged it has to be replaced. What we suggest is to replace only the damaged area and a skillful BBB rated flooring installer will be able to do it for you.

  15. FRED,
    Just had 12mm laminate installed my kitchen and living room that flow together,both over a crawl space,install guy put a straight edge over the areas and as I expected not level.He used about 3 bags of henry floor level on the bad spots.Also used a quality vapor\silent floor underlayment.The problem I have is the floor in some areas creak as i walk on it.Some boards have a crunching or swishy sound when i put my full weight on them,the sound on some boards may be 2 feet of noise but no noise on the rest of board(piece)I believe that i have still some low spots causing this?if so ,how do i fix it,take half floor out,level bad spots,or just live with it(hate this idea)Also if the installer did his best(is he accountable for every low spot)in the floor OR NOT?!?.kitchen is 20 by 10,living room 22 by 15.thanks.
    BRIAN

    • Brian, we suggest to consult with your installer. Double check all expansion gaps. You have pretty big area and you probably need more that 1/4′ gap if your floor is installed without dilatation between kitchen and living room.

      12mm floor is very forgiving for not even subfloor, so we are not sure , after what you did fixing your subfloor if this is the reason of your problems. What flooring brand do you have?

  16. I have engineered wood floors which were installed approx. 4 years ago. Now within the last 2 weeks I have noticed these black spots appearing ramdonly on my floors. They look like smeared ink spots. Some are irregular patterns and some are just dots. The surface is still smooth. Now I know these were not here before. I literally get on my hands and knees to wipe my floors down with a microfiber dust rag, and any debris-light spots I use a bit of elbow grease. If these black blotches were there prior I would have been scrubbing the relentlessly.. Anyway they will not disappear. There is no water damage/mold. Beside they do not look like your typical water damage spots. I have no pets. Plus they are on the living room floor which there are no water pipes. They have even appeared in 2nd floor hallway. Now to throw another element into the mix, in November I noticed 3 pinpoint size kick outs which suggest termites – small sandy poop pile from termites. Cleaned it up and it didn’t appear for a month, then noticed a pipe again last week. Termite inspector came out but since he didn’t see any other indication of them around the house he recommended that I wait until April when our entire condo complex is tented for a complete fumigation. When he was here in late December I did not have the black blotches on the floor otherwise I would have pointed it out to him. Barring that its not water damage and that my home will be tented in 2-3 months, I would get used to the look if it was more on the lines of French bleeding wood floors; however this looks horrible. Any idea what this could be? I am at my wits end, upset and frustrated. Oh, seems like blotches are developing from bottom of floor to top not vice versa. help:-(

    • Charlie, we are puzzled with your case. This could be insect or quality related. Ask another professional what he thinks or call manufacturer for assistance.

  17. I have a friend that is having problems with her flooring. She has 2 little dogs that wet on the floor from time to time and the flooring is buckling. If this moisture is cleaned up immediatly how is this possible. Help

    • Anne, not all laminate floors have a moisture resistant core so any prolonged exposure to water or moisture can cause the laminate to swell and buckle.

  18. Thank You Deborah, I am soon installing the same floor from costco ,I will keep that in mind not to bang the planks in but tap gently. I know The harmonics floor install kit has a different type of block that is used which looks like none other, and the staggering pattern is explained on their website, its important to follow that for warranty purpose.

    • It is great practice to read all instructions before laminate flooring installation. Wrong installation is not covered by warranty and some manufacturers have special requirements. Locking system from brand to brand differ in installation method and some floors can not be installed by tapping boards together. So, again, if you are going to install your floor please read the installation instruction usually inserted inside of each box.

  19. Im sorry 26′ is the longest stretch between dining and living room and that is not with the running length of the planks bet the running width . Do I need to do anything between the rooms or is 26′ with 3/8 gap at both perimeters OK. Thanks

  20. Hi, Just bought 375 sq ft. of 8mm harmonics laminate floor with 2 mm attached padding from Costco. The rooms are living at 18×13 and 10×13 dining L shaped attached through 10 ft opening with the longest linear length 18 ft .The floor is 3/4 plywood over wood joists with 25×25 x 4 ft high full concrete unventilated partially warm crawlspace under both rooms. Manufacturer recommends 5-6 mm vapor barrier but absolutely no more added padding also 3/8 gap all around perimeter. Its 15 degree in Midwest now and with furnace humidifier 40% humidity otherwise 20%without.
    1.I have read about mold under vapor barrier forming over time depending on wood humidity level, but wood seems dry do I really need vapor barrier?
    2.Do I need a Dividing strip between the 2 rooms even though they are almost 1 large room?
    3.Is it better to install during warm weather ,I can wait. Manufacturer recommends 60 to 70Degree with 50% outdoor humidity.
    4.On 18ft run is 3/8 gap on both ends ok? I have read floor can contract just as much as expand so if humidity is 50 % and when winter comes again and humidity drops the gap can be to large.what is max floor can expand and contract? Sorry for long post I want to do it right Thank You!

    • Vic, I do recommend that you use a moisture barrier otherwise your warranty may be void, also you only need a t-molding in any doorway that is 48″ or less if it is going laminate to laminate. It doesnt matter what the outside temperature is when installing your floor, the only thing that you need to do is have the flooring inside of your temperature controlled home for at least 24-36 hours to acclimate to the temperature and humidity and you will be all set to install your laminate. Also make sure to follow the manufacturers recommendations and keep the 3/8″ gap along the perimeter of the room.
      Good Luck. Fred

  21. I had parquet flooring throughout my house, but decided I wanted laminate flooring with a moisture control padding put on top of it, after time the laminate begin to buckle, after looking to see it the problem was in the laminate flooring I found that the parquet flooring had buckled underneath it. My question is why did this happen? I don’t have a water leak, but underneath the parquet there was moisure

    • Hazel, it is hard to tell what happened to your floor without physically being there to inspect it, I would call a local flooring contractor to inspect the floor and try to locate the problem.

  22. i want to install laminate flooring in a cabin.there will be no heat in the winter . will this be a problem ?

    • Wayne it is best to check with the manufacturer of the laminate floor that you are interested in to get the best answer. Some laminate may hold up better to large temperature fluctuations.

  23. Hi and thank you… I have an issue with my new Laminate. I had a friend who also happens to be a contractor install costco prepadded laminate. He used a heavy mill plastic as a moisture barrier on my slab floor and all seems to have been done right EXCEPT ONE THING, i can see and feel every joint both up and down the piece and side to side. When installing they were brutal, they did use the rubber blocks and mallets ,but their “click/drop /tap into place” was more like “shove/slam a hard hit on the end and front to lock it down & in . Could this be why each seam has small lip or am I just getting my face too close to look at it? Please advise. Thank You Deb.

    • Deborah, it sounds like your installers did not install the flooring properly and destroyed the locking mechanisms on your laminate flooring. If you hit/smash the boards together too hard then you have a high likelihood of causing the boards to delaminate which is where the top wear layer of the products splits apart from the HDF core of the board. If this is the case then you have no choice but to replace those damaged boards. Laminate floors do have slight tolerances for lippage and seam gaps, in order to find out the tolerances for your flooring you will need to contact the manufacturer and request a full spec sheet on your specific laminate floor. Good luck, Fred

  24. Hi… I live a mile from the coast in New Jersey… Sadly we flooded from Super Storm Sandy up to the bottom of our sub flooring. We went without electric for 13 days. Without heat for a full month. Once the heat was I stalled, my pergo floors started to change (buckle and separate) my flood adjuster is telling me that is not from the flood, however, the water was so high that at its highest point when I opened my front or back door it was level with the floor I was standing on and stayed that way for 12 hours before the tide went out. Let’s say it was not the flood ( though I don’t see how ) in your opinion… What else would cause this? Thanks for your help.

    • Lisa, the only things that can cause buckling and seperation is water damage, lack of a proper expansion gap around the perimeter of the room and wrongly securing the laminate flooring to the subfloor via nails/screws. Since the water was so high in your home I would bet that it is moisture damage which has caused your flooring to expand and buckle. Thanks, Fred

  25. I am having a 14mm laminate flooring with attached pad installed on a concrete slab. When walking across the floor I can hear a “swishing” sound coming from the plastic sheeting that was installed over the concrete. The installer says the sound will diminish once the floor gets “broken in” from usage. Is this correct or is there a problem with the installation?

    • Gwevet, Once your laminate floor is installed you shouldn’t hear any swishing noises coming from the floor at all. It sounds like something is rubbing against the bottom of the floor creating a noise. I would have somebody come over to take apart and inspect the floor, subfloor and underlayment.

  26. We just installed laminate in our master bedroom. The room is 13 x 14. I’m afraid that when I glued down the t moulding between the room and bathroom I didn’t leave enough of an expansion gap. Will this cause my floor to buckle? Their is an expansion gap around the rest of the perimeter.

    • Jason, as long as you have left sufficient expansion gaps around the rest of the perimeter of the room you should be fine. Your room is average in size so it will not expand or contract much at all. Let me know if you do have any other questions. Fred

  27. We purchased a house with laminate flooring 3 years ago. Now the laminate has dark circles
    thorughout the living room and Florida room. I had a contractor in my house and he said the only time he has ever seen the floor turn black was from water damage. I think ceramic tile is under the laminate but I am not sure. The black spots do not feel spongy nor is the floor buckling. Is water the only possibility for large black spots? Some are 2 feet in diameter?

    • Marsha, is there a way that you can send me pictures of the damage in question? If so you can send them to fred@bestlaminate.net and leave me your contact info, I will get back to you right away with my opinion of the cause of the black spots. Fred

  28. Hello~ I just noticed in the last few days that the laminate flooring near my kitchen sink and dishwasher is starting to buckle. This seems to coincide with the timing of another problem: my kitchen faucet is pulsating and there is a leak in the sprayer hose. Could there be water leaking somewhere under the floor from that issue that would cause the buckling? Thank you for your insight.

    • Jill, the only way to find out if there is a water leak under your flooring would be to call a certified plumber. Excessive moisture/water will cause laminate to buckle and warp over time so it wouldn’t be out of the question for the damage to have been caused by water damage. Fred

  29. sometime do it myself-er

    Our contractor is an aquaintance…. In quote process, we expressed our concern about floors not being level, and pointed to some areas. We were assured he was used to dealing with un level floors. We are paying $15500 for floors, counters, and a row of addtional cabinets in kitchen Upon pulling up the carpet in the biggest room, the un-level problems were exposed in this room. We asked about leveling it, and he said between the padding and it needing to settle, it would be fine. So they layed the full room. Pulled up carpet in dining room, tore up tile in kitchen. Contractor charged $300 to grind down uneven part in the transition area from Dining to Kitchen. Layed 90% of floor in both rooms. We can feel many other areas of it being unlevel in other places of both rooms of which he did not address. Finally today they pulled up Living room. Found severe drop in one corner. Charged $80 to add ‘thin set’. 3/4 room layed, finish tomorrow.

    Now doing research (a little late, I know) and have now discovered that it should have been leveled. Found instructions from trash can, it says clearly that the floor should be leveled. Instructions say “No glue needed’, yet he is gluing the pieces together at the ends and the sides. Several areas creak, sag, bounce. ALSO – will be putting a 100 gal Fish Tank in corner of 1st room, and will also be putting a Granite slab in corner across from fish tank to place a wood burning stove on. Concerned abou the weight of both of these items, as well as the aquarium.
    Frustated and feel like we’ve made a huge mistake and can’t undo it without either loosing a lot of money, or loosing a friend. (Don’t say ‘not much of a friend if he did that to you…..we’ve already thought of that fact) Also ordered 75Sq Ft of Granite. One single ‘imperfection’ (his words, it looks like someone splilled something on it (and they buffed over it) rather than it looking like an imperfection. No other place on any of the pieces, Spot color is not seen
    anywhere on any of those 75Sq feet of granite. in the rest of the pieces. Totally looks like it shold not be there.
    Thank you = Mrs. Sometimes do it yourselfer’s wife

  30. You are doing a terrific job buddy. Regards from Hotel Charles de Gaulle. Keep together with the good do the job.

  31. We have a laminate flooring installed a year ago – we have buckling in two different areas – we also have ceramic tile that is right next to some of the laminate with transition pieces – none of the buckling is right at the tile; however, it is not a far distance from the tile – one place is right outside my husband’s bath – we were told by the installer that the tile person put grout right up against the laminate which doesn’t give the laminate enough room to expand – the tile person says that is not the problem = the tile person removed the transition piece from the bath and now the buckling is no longer there – can the transition pieces be put down too tight?

    • Bridgette, If your transition is too tight to the flooring then it can cause the laminate to buckle because the laminate does not have a sufficient expansion gap. You should probably have one of your installers remove the boards closest to the transition and cut it down so you have the proper expansion gap to the transition. If you do that you shouldn’t have any more problems. Good luck

  32. Thanks for a great website. I’m considering laminate flooring in our living room and hallway. I have a BUNCH of questions, but will limit them! Mainly – it is covered with carpeting at the moment and I’m not sure what the condition of the floorboards is. How smooth and level do they need to be? Several spots squeak so I will be screwing those down (it was built in early 1970′s so probably just nails that have loosened). Do they make thicker/stronger underlay pads for a possible uneven floor if I do in fact have problems?

    And another topic – it sounds like I should put in some type of transition border to separate the living room from the hallway?

    • Phil, Your subfloor should ideally be as smooth and flat as possible, however laminate flooring is a “floating floor” so it is not quite as critical to be perfect as if you were laying linoleum or sheet vinyl. The underlayment will absorb most small subfloor imperfections but you need to be careful of sharp rises or dips in the subfloor, such as an uneven floor joists, that could potentially lead to peaks in your laminate floor due to the uneven subfloor. Most all underlayments will perform the same in regards to their ability to level out subfloor imperfections. Some underlayment will provide better thermal, sound and moisture protection than others but all of them are, in my opinion, equal in terms of subfloor correction. If you are worried about the condition of your subfloor you should call a flooring contractor to give you their opinion on the suitablility of your subfloor for installing laminate flooring. Also depending on the size of your living room and hallway you may or may not need a transition between the two rooms. I have ran flooring straight through the living room and hallway with no transition many times and have never had any problems. If you do that the most critical thing is that you have the proper expansion gap along the perimeter of the room that way you can eliminate the chances of your floor buckling due to it being pinched somewhere. I hope this helps. Fred

  33. Alexis Roberts

    I just had someone off craigslist say over the phone that he could fix the buckling by sanding it if it wasn’t too high. Does this sound right? He did ask if it was near the wall or in the middle.

    The buckling begins to the right of the entry from one room to another. It extends outward about 3 ft. I am describing this as best I can. I know absolutely nothing about laminate flooring.

    Nothing I’ve read so far said anything about sanding.

    Thanks Much,

    apr

    • Alexis, please do not let anybody sand your laminate flooring!!! The contractor is clearly oblivious to laminate flooring and how to repair it……DO NOT ever sand laminate flooring under any circumstance, you will destroy the flooring and there will be no going back afterwards. Please call a local laminate flooring store that does installations and have them come out to give you an estimate for the repair. It is either an expansion gap issue or something is pinning your floor down and not allowing it to expand or contract. Laminate flooring needs to have an expansion gap due to humidity and temperature causing the floor to naturally expand and contract. Also you should never nail or glue laminate flooring down to the subfloor, it should always “float” on top of the subfloor.

      • Alexis Roberts

        Thanks Fred,

        Would you believe he just left after giving me an estimate? He retracted the sanding. He must have read your blog! I do not intend to use him and will take your advicre about getting a flooring installation store (or two) to have a look and give an estimate.

        I feel pretty educated with the information you provided. Doesn’t it need a bit of time to “settle”? I had one guy start the job – one whole room and another finishished the rest of the house. The first guy said he could do it all in one day, but he wanted to let it “settle” – I don’t remember what term he used. That room isn’t buckled anywhere.

        This house is not moisture free for sure. I think it is a combination of not enough expansion gap and the humidity because it wasn’t this bad initially, only the last week or so when the temperature has been running around 80 with rain. It may be the shoe board is nailed to the flooring also, but I don’t think so. I don’t want to wreck it trying to find out. However, I know how to tell if someone knows what they’re talking about now. I will definitely get a second opinion.

        Thank goodness I found your website. Thanks for the knowledge. Oh yeah, he did mention gluing it down. As soon as I didn’t say anything he retracted that too saying he didn’t know anybody that did that. :)

        Hip, hip hooray for the web and people like you that don’t charge for their expertise!!!

        apr

  34. Margaret Jenkins

    Had someone look at floor today and they said i should have someone remove molding and trim all sides of the room and the floor should flatten out. Do you think this would work. this is a large room roughly 25′ x 20′. thanking you in asvance.

    • Margaret, it is critical to have a 3/8″ expansion gap between the floor and the perimeter walls and any transitions that were installed in the room. After you have that gap then you can replace all of your trim and moldings in the room. This will prevent your floor from buckling for the rest of the lifetime of the flooring.

  35. Margaret Jenkins

    Had my laminate floors installed during cold weather. This was done in the basement and used a gas fireplace constantly.
    the floors are now buckling in a number of different places. Called the person who installed it and he said whoever put the baseboards back up put them to tight too tight to the floor and that the floors would straighten out if I had them removed and a gap left. I had that done now my floors are buckling in different places plus the previous areas. He is coming back out this week to see what can be done to correct this problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thank You

    • Margaret, the baseboards being too tight to the floor had nothing to do with your floor buckling. There simply was not enough of an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room or there was either a finish nail or another object pinning down the floor somewhere which was causing it to buckle. Have your installer check to see if there is anything pinning down the floor and not allowing it to move freely. Good Luck, Fred

  36. Hi Fred,

    we just had our hot water pipe burst in the upstairs bathroom (water is off now), by the time we noticed it (about 20-30min after it burst), the ceiling, area rug, and a part of the floor of the living room underneath had been flooded.
    I just installed the laminate about 1 1/2 years ago myself.
    The sub-floor is concrete, I have a better quality steam barrier (the one with the little Styrofoam balls that allow air circulation.
    We immediately soaked up as much of the water as possible, removed the rug and started going under the laminate and steam barrier.
    The area that water was on the surface of the floor was about 10×8 feet, we took out about the same amount of flooring (probably a little more, maybe rather 12×10) immediately and dried it, we also went under the steam barrier and dried the concrete underneath.
    At the moment we have the dehumidifier and fan going, we reached under the flooring (and barrier) further into the room to dry any moisture that might still be there with dry towels. We reached about 2-3 feet under the laminate and steam barrier at the border to where we had taken the laminate out, we also continued doing so (reaching in underneath the floor) until we could not feel any moisture anymore.
    The ceiling tile is also out and the ceiling is pretty dry in the other spots (we’re having a drop ceilling because we had a water damage of that same pipe about 15 years ago so the original ceilling is all open and we can access things easily, which is also why the water had such an easy way down into the living room).
    Do you think we’re good?
    Is there anything you would say we should do in addition to this?
    The concrete flooring underneath the laminate that we left in seems to be dry, so does the laminate.
    Are there any tips as to what we should do next?
    Do you think we would need to rip out more flooring or should this be enough?
    As far as I can see and tell we got all the water soaked up and I’m hoping that the dehumidifier will take care of any left moisture…
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks!
    Carina

    • Carina, sorry it took me so long to respond to your question, I was on vacation last week. To address your concerns it seems that you have been very vigilant so far by taking apart a large section of the flooring and drying out as much moisture that was visible. Also the dehumidifier is a brilliant little appliance that will help to suck all of the excess moisture out of the room. In my opinion I believe that you have done enough to stop the water from pooling underneath the floor where it can do the most damage and I think that after 24 hours of running the dehumidifier and letting everything dry out you should be fine. Im sure that you are already finished because this happened nearly 2 weeks ago but at least other people can see what you have done and that will help them if they need good advice. Thank you for your post. Fred

  37. Hi, we ostalled our 12 mm plank laminate this winter and with he increase in humidity recently the floor has expanded and it is touching the walls in a few areas and the plank are snapi g and crackling. My husband is going to fix this issue. Will the snapping go away or is the whole floor ruined?

    • Amanda, we have heard of a few complaints with some 12mm floors doing the same “crackling and crunching” noises. We have advised our clients to disassemble the floor completely and seal the edges of the boards with a clear, siliconized acrylic caulk. This will help to prevent any cracks or squeaks in the joints once that is done. You should also call your manufacturer to see if there was any quality control issues or if there was a recall issued for this problem for your flooring. You can also Google your floor and see if there are any other people who have had similar complaints and you can see if they heard of a recall for that product. The floor should not squeak or crackle once the expansion gap is corrected and once you seal the edges of the boards with the clear caulk. Good Luck with this issue. Fred

  38. It seems my floor is buckeling where there is no furniture on it but only when it’s muggy or damp in the house .. When it’s dry outside and inside the floor is fine .. I’m thinking maybe a dehumidifier but would I still have to replace the floor if that’s the case .. And I have no floor molding down would that keep anything in place

    • Briana, It sounds like you don’t have a sufficient expansion gap around the perimeter of your room. When the floor swells due to the humidity it causes the floor to expand and it may not have anywhere to expand if there isnt at least a 1/4″ to 3/8″ expansion gap around the perimeter of the room depending on the size of your room. You can try to use a dehumidifer it may help to keep the humidity down in the room but it will be costly to buy and keep it on. It would be best if you paid a contractor to look at your installation and ask his opinion also. He may recommend to disassemble the floor and trim the edges of the boards around the perimeter so that you have the proper expansion gap.

  39. I purchased laminate floors a year ago in my kitchen. Less than 6 months after installation I noticed buckling of the floor, as well as warping. The installer is claiming excess moisture. I don’t understand why. We use a swiffer mop on it. No excess moisture ever. Now, they are starting to warp all over the place, and the place where I purchased them from is ignoring my calls. Suggestion(s)?

    • Joan, it does sound like water damage could be the culprit. Do you have any extra boards from your original installation? I would suggest to call the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint with them about the company who is ignoring you. I would call a local contractor and have them come out to inspect the flooring. He should be able to figure out whats going on there. If you do have extra boards then he may be able to repair your flooring. If you don’t have extra boards then it might become difficult because your flooring may be discontinued and you may not be able to find a box of it anywhere in which case you will need to replace the entire floor in your kitchen. Good luck, I hope that all goes well, Fred

    • Joan,
      Make sure you contact the Attorney Generals office (Dept of Consumer Affairs) in your state, because they will follow your complaint and contact the business on your behalf. Also, first get an inspection report that will detail the problem…it will probably cost apprx $200.00, but it is worth it because any contractor knows that a judge will honor an inspection report. The contractor will be forced by the Atty General and the inspection report to make it better.

      Having said that, I have my own locking laminate floor issue and I am starting to suspect that some of these designs are simply un-workable. I am going to push for the atty general’s office to fight harder for consumers with these issues and for our Congress to pass some laws on the manfacturers of these floors and against the contractors installing them. Good luck….dont be surprised if you are still dealing with issues in a year from now.

  40. We recently installed a laminate floor in a large chapel (2500 sf) and now the floor is severely buckling. I have read all your comments about leaving expansion gaps around the perimeter and I know that was done but now the flooring is tight against the baseboards. We have 24 pews in the chapel and we did screw them into the subfloor for safety reasons. Is this what is causing the buckling? It is mostly down the center aisle where the worst buckling is happening. Is there a way to secure the pews that will not affect the laminate? I have had two different companies to look at it since the original installer will not answer my calls. One said it needed to be trimmed around the baseboards. The other one said it needs to be removed and replaced with tile or carpet, that it will never be right because of the heavy pews. Could you please give me your opinion? Thank you so much.

  41. Hi Fred,
    Just recently the laminate floor was installed but weren’t any expansion gaps around the perimeter; even the fireplace area did not have any expansion gap -I believe the installer intended to put shoe moldings instead using of reducer/t-molding. One of the area seems to be peaking/buckling up (it appears to be slighty twisting), and a few of laminate planks layer on the side seems to have small peeling –like a stickers isn’t adhered all the way. I was told laminate floors would horizontally expand by its width, not length. And what appeared to be peaking/bucking could settle down eventually, and the “peeling” also could be the case. Will you please provide some insights and advices? I would greatly appreicaite it, and thank you for your time.

    • JH, I definitely see that there can be a problem if there is no expansion gap around the entire perimeter. The reason for having an expansion gap around the entire perimeter is because of it being a “floating floor” it can shift in any given direction either horizontally or vertically and it can expand either way as well. The larger the room the larger the expansion gap that you need to have to account for this. Unfortunately at this point I would recommend that you re-check your entire perimeter to see where the floor has no room to expand. Once you mark all of the areas you will need to disconnect the flooring and trim down all of the boards that you had previously marked. Be careful not to over cut them, just make sure to have a 1/4″ to 1/2″ expansion gap depending on the size of the room. Usually any room that is longer than 25 ft. will need a 1/2″ expansion gap. After cutting the boards, carefully reinsert them back into their proper positions in your floor. Once completed you can reinstall your baseboards and/or quarter round moldings. As far as the peeling effect that you are talking about, I’m not sure if the boards are factory defective or if they were damaged during installation. You can send me a few pictures to fred@bestlaminate.net if you would like. I can better help you then. Thanks for your question, Fred

  42. Dear Fred…first thank you for being there for all of us who are far from expert in these areas.
    I am planning to put a bamboo floor in a large kitchen, with a large island with the dishwasher and sink and quartz counter top. I currently have a tile floor. I am leaning toward a floating floor with a top quality underlay. I also asked my floor installer about about the cost and “mess” of removing the tiles and installing a non-floating bamboo floor. He told me it can be done, however he would also have to move the island to remove the tiles under it. That scares the heck out of me…very large island (long with a right angle extension) and the heaviness of the counter top. He said the floor could be installed “up to” the island but this is not the proper way of doing it. Help! Thank you in advance.

    • Mary Ellen, I would not remove the ceramic tiles unless it will cause clearance and/or height issues with your doors and your transitions to other floors. The floor will be higher but it is a very messy, labor intensive and expensive job to remove ceramic tile and level the floor afterwards if needed. It will be much harder for your contractor to remove the ceramic tile with the island in the way without possibly damaging it while trying to remove the tiles that are halfway pinned underneath the island. That is why he recommends to remove the island if you want to tear out the old ceramic and I agree with that. However, if he does remove the island to remove the tiles make sure that the island is put back into place before installing the laminate because it will be too much weight on the laminate if it is installed on top and it will not allow your laminate floor to expand and contract correctly. That can lead to possible problems with buckling and it will also void most warranties. You have a few decisions to make regarding installation of you floor, make sure that you take my advice into account and you will be fine. Thank you for your question, Fred

  43. Fred-
    Over the holidays my father installed Pergo in two upstairs bedrooms. This was the first time he had worked with Pergo. Everything seemed good when the project was finished the first week of January. But now I have severe buckling in the center of my bedroom in an open area. The buckling is running along the long side of the board and what started off to be a small area of buckling has now expanded and more boards in that line of installation are now buckling. I have spoken to my dad about it – he is out of state- and he believes it may be because he put some nails in an area along the baseboard before installing the quarter round. Based on what I have read above, sounds like that might be the issue but would appreciate your insight.

    • Vanessa, it definately sounds like you have buckling due to a lack of an expansion gap. You would be surprised of how much a floor can expand under seemingly regular conditions. I have seen a few buckled floors and 99% of the time it is a lack of an expansion gap because the floor has expanded and it has nowhere to go but up to relieve the pressure against the wall. In order to prevent damage to the locks on the buckling boards, you will need to remove the quarter round, and baseboard if you have it, and look for an area where laminate is pressed against a wall or a nail by the wall which is not allowing the floor to expand. Once you locate the problem you can try to fix it yourself by removing the board and trimming it to fit or you can call a flooring installer, tell him you have located the problem and pay him $50 and have him fix it for you. Its not a big problem as long as you fix it right away before your boards become damaged. Good Luck, Fred

  44. Hi Fred, I am slightly puzzled. I have installed my laminate, and have the beading ready to nail to skirting. But, leaving the expansion gap upon removing spacers, combined with the fact the beading is glued to skirting, surely with contant traffic then the edges/ends of the boards will be prone to loosening, as only air to stop tthem.moving

    • Gillian, as long as the flooring is installed according to the manufacturers instructions and you have left the proper expansion gap along the perimeter then you will have no problems with any of your board loosening. Constant traffic is normal wear and tear on a laminate floor and it will not affect anything whatsoever. Thanks, Fred

  45. I just spent a good deal of money to have a laminate floor installed with the highest grade of vapor barrier available. I live in florida and the flooring was laid on concrete slabs. 2 weeks after installation I noticed big bumps near every sliding door. Installers came back and told me it was moisture around the doors that was getting in. I just had the door and window contractors over and they did moisture tests and say there is no way that much moisture is getting in and if I have a vapor barrier and no standing water it is not my doors. The rooms with the sliding glass doors are the biggest rooms and I removed the molding to discover only an 1/8 “of a gap. The floor guys want me to pay for oak thresh holds and edging so they can screw them into the concrete. I agree that the thresh holds were weak due to a poor manufacturing T- lock design that looks like it is made out of cardboard. However, I am not so sure about the sliding doors with the edging. We have lots of humidity in Florida and is it better to have a 1/2″ gap if my molding covers it? I thought laminate didn’t swell as much as real wood and that is one of the reasons I bought it. I also realize hot and cold concrete could have condensation so I was talked into highest grade vapor barrier. Please Help! Kim

    • Kim, depending on the size of your room the expansion gap should be anywhere from 1/4″ to 1/2″ along the entire perimeter of the room. Moisture is definately a possibility to cause bumps or swelling near the doors. Without seeing your floor in person I cannot tell you what is causing the problem. As long as there is an expansion gap along the perimeter you should still be ok and there shouldn’t be any bumps in your flooring. Ultimately your flooring installers will need to diagnose and correct the problem because they installed it and as long as you didn’t have any moisture issues along your doors and windows before the installation then it is the responsibility of the floor guys to fix it. Good luck with you problem. I hope they can fix it soon for you.

  46. Hi,

    Found 3 bedrooms afloat with water which seemed to have dripped from the ceiling. the flooring is wooden tiles and in one room the tiles have swelled and caused a bump in the room, where there are no service providers to immediately help what can i do to reduce the damage caused by the water?

    • Tendai, after a wood floor starts to swell due to water damage it is unrepairable unless you remove and replace the damaged board(s). There really isn’t any way to make the bump sit down because the wood itself has been warped and it will never go back to its original shape.

  47. I had my hardwood linoelum flooring installed 11/01/10 and now bumps are forming and some are very noticeable and the guy who installed will not call me back. Is there anything I can do to fix this other than replacing it?

  48. I just installed a 14mm thick floating laminate floor in our basement. I put down a vapor barrier as directed, though there is a seam across the middle of the floor–and the plastic sheeting was hardly crease-free as I had to displace many items across the room as I laid the floor–just difficult to put down a smooth sheet. Trouble is this, there are many small gaps (no bigger than 2mm) in the floor between the wood slats. In fact, some even seem to lift slightly as if they are no longer locked.

    I was having some difficulty with the install as I came across instances where the boards fit together poorly. Is this because of a poor job of putting down the vapor barrier? Or is it a defective/inferior flooring choice? (It has a lifetime warrenty.) Although this was my first floating installation, I totally think it was straightforward and simple. I DO NOT want to call a professional and give them $$$ for something that I can likely tackle myself. I am afraid I will have to pull up most of the floor and start over. Thoughts and suggestions?

    • David, laminate flooring is a great choice for flooring because of its ease of installation but if you are not careful when installing it can turn into a problem down the road. If the boards are no longer fully locked together than you have no other choice than to disassemble your floor and start over again. There are many reasons that can cause the flooring to not stay locked together. The board could have a damaged lock, there could be debris in the joints, the locks may have never fully been engaged, there could be a defective board, etc. Without seeing your flooring I cannot tell you what the issue would be. I honestly don’t think that your underlayment had anything to do with the boards coming apart. Hopefully it won’t be too difficult for you to take apart and reinstall you floor since you already have everything cut to length.

  49. I have a bamboo floor about 4 years it was perfect a peice in the doorway starting making a clicking sound and then lifting I had I guy come and he replaced 4 peices instead I returned to see a perfect floor completely buckled in hours he is saying it was the water table I have never had water . The floor is dry everywhere and a I noticed black blemishes where the boards meet looks like bruising or pressure marks they are straight shadow lines.I am so mad I want a answer.

    • Laura, I can’t figure out what straight shadow lines would be caused by. Also what are these black blemishes that you are talking about. Can you send me a few pictures so I can better answer your question. You can send the pictures to ed@bestlaminate.net, thanks, Fred

  50. Hi, I recently bought swiftlock laminate but when I went to install it the boards don’t lock together very well. Would it hurt to use a nail gun and put a 45 degree finishing nail threw the joint to help hold the seem together?

    • Mike, I would never recommend to nail down a floating laminate floor. The only time it would be ok to nail or glue down laminate is if you are putting it on a set of steps. If you are having problems locking the laminate together I would either call an installer with experience that can install the floor or return the material if it is found to be defective.

  51. Hi, I rent and when we moved in we had to have the kitchen floor
    replaced due to a pipe leak. Tiles were popping up and creating ridged
    bumps. We are now getting cracked and ridged bumps again on
    our laminate tiles in one area . The microwave cart is causing divets
    in the tiles. One tile can be pulled up and sub floor appears to be wet
    This area is nowhere near any source of water. Fridge is next to this
    and then stove those tiles are not effected. Why am I getting this issue?
    Floor was put in about 3 and 1/2 years ago and this just started about 6
    months ago. There are some gaps in tiles near kitchen also. Thank you

    • Stella, I need to know more about the laminate that you have installed. Normally you cannot pull up any tiles because they are all interlocked together. As for you subfloor being wet, it appears that you have a leak of some sort that you need to find and stop before the problem gets worse. Also laminate should never get a divet from a microwave cart. Most laminate floors are comprised of HDF pressed wood with an aluminum oxide finish on top and they are 99% dent proof.

  52. I set a vaporizer on my granddaughters bedroom floor and it left a big white area. How can I get this off?

    • Charlotte, is your granddaughters bedroom floor a laminate floor? Most laminate flooring is very resistant to stains and fading from UV rays, heat and household chemicals. I would try to use a solution of vinegar and water with 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water to try to clean the stain. Use a damp mop or a damp wash cloth with the vinegar water solution. If that doesnt work then try to wipe acetone on the stain with a clean cloth. Do not scrub the floor with anything that is very abrasive and do not saturate the floor with a lot of water. Doing those things can cause further damage to your floor. I hope that this helps. Good Luck, Fred

  53. I’ve been away from home for a few months and my father has been checking in on the house for me while I’ve been gone. He mentioned about a month ago that he was hearing a dripping noise, thought it might be the AC unit. Last week he said that my brand new laminate floors seem to be buckling a little in my hallway. Today the AC repairman came and said that I had a leak and needed freon – he also said once the freon was done there would be no more leak (still not sure I understand that part). Turns out the laminate flooring and, apparently, some of my bedroom which still has carpet are showing signs of moisture underneath. I am on a very strict budget as I am disabled and am so concerned about what the best thing to do is. My dad said he thinks it will be OK once it dries out, but the AC hasn’t really been in use much in the last month so I wonder if that could be correct. Can you please advise the best steps to correct this, and also how best to make sure there won’t be any mold. I live in the deep South so the possibility of mold is certainly there. Thanks so much!

    • Laurie, It sounds as if you have a bad situation on your hands. If there is suspected moisture coming from under your floor then the first thing you need to do is take apart part of your floor to check if there is excessive moisture underneath. One cause of a buckling floor is moisture/water damage but there can also be buckling from lack of a proper expansion gap along the perimeter of your floor. Unfortunately if there has been long term moisture exposure to the underside of your flooring some of it may be ruined. Once again without taking up the floor there is no way to tell if there is mold growth or moisture damage. You can call a mold company to come and take samples from your home to check for mold spores but I dont know how much that would cost. I hope that the damage isn’t too bad. Good Luck, Fred

  54. Our kitchen laminate flooring has been laid for some years without any problems. The laminate is laid over 1930′s floorboards. Recently we noticed a lump appearing and assummed that water had been spilt as it was along one of the joins, however another lump appeared along the next join and now a third in the next join. These are all in line and are seemingly expanding, Since the first one accurred we’ve been dilegent about wiping up spills so we can rule out surface moisture. Are you able to shed any light on this problem, please? Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Sue, it sounds like moisture is a strong possibility as the cause of your flooring problem. Moisture could have found its way under your floor somehow and settled underneath the floor. A few possible ways that could happen are: a leaking water pipe, a leaking ice maker line or spilled water that gets in beetween the seams of the flooring and finds its way underneath the floor. Without seeing what you are dealing with I would call a professional flooring company to come out and do a moisture test on your floor to find out if that is the culprit. Good Luck, Fred

  55. I recently paid my brother put down a laminate floor in my daughter’s condo. He is a know it all jerk (sorry) and wouldn’t even read the instructions before laying the floor . Started in a bedrom and continued 30+ feet into the LR through a hallway and galley kitchen. He refused to make a break between rooms/areas and so the floor wouldn’t lie “straight”.There are numerous places where the floor seams have opened up, just slightly, no buckling or anything, but overall, the job was done poorly.My daughter cannot afford to replace this and I want to help her get the floor she deserves and paid for! Can I use the Kampel floor patch stuff to patch the small separations? In one spot the floor was not level and the installer didn’t sand down or make any attempts to level the floor..so we have a slight ‘bump up’ spot. Of course that is becoming a place that is getting chipped as they walk on it. I am furious at my brother and my daughter is in tears c=becasue they dropped $1500 on the flooring and I paid the installer another $250…and it’s a C job at best. Due to my diligence and eagel eye, there is plenty of expansion space and the quarter round I put down to finish is glues ot the baseboard, not the floor as my brother isnisted I do. He was justu too prpoud to admit he didn’t know how to do something. Any ideas would be welcome, at this point. Much of the floor wil be covered by area/ runner rugs, but I feel like they will just be hding a huge mistake.

    • Liz, the installer should have installed a T-Molding to seperate the rooms, especially when the overall length of the floor exceeds 20 ft. If the floor is coming apart at the seams then there could be damage to the locking system or the floor was never properly connected to begin with. I would not recommend that you try to patch the floor with any type of floor patch at the seperating seams. You can try to use the floor patch kit on nicks, gouges and scratches only. For the areas where the seams are seperating you will need to have a contractor disconnect the flooring from the end point to the area where the planks are seperated and reinstall the room until all planks are firmly locked together and there are no gaps. Without seeing what you are dealing with, I would recommend that you call over a contractor that has experience in laminate flooring installation to look at your floor and fix it. It might not cost as much as you would think. A competant flooring installer should be able to fix your floor within a few hours. I would fix the problem sooner rather than later because it could lead to more problems down the road if you don’t fix it now. Also you were right to install the quarter round to the baseboard. Good Luck with your problem, I hope that everything goes well. Fred

  56. Hi. We had a “realwoodloc” floor fitted a year or so ago – real wood which slots together and is free floating. It was always quite spongy – the installer put it down on 8mm fibreglass underlay – but it was ok until earlier this year when the middle of the floor became very spongy and moved downwards visibly when trodden upon. The installer came back and realised that he hadn’t left any expansion gap around the fireplace, which is approximately 30 inches wide. He used a specialist saw to remove about 8 mm from the wood and the floor immediately settled down again. However, now – about 5 months on – the middle of the floor is spongy again. The majority – though not quite all – of the gap that he cut out has now closed up. However, the boards around that section are very tight and don’t seem to have any gaps between them at all. This isn’t the case elsewhere in the room. I don’t think that there is any problem with moisture in the room. I think that the problem is likely to be expansion gap-related again and that there may be a small amount of wood at the bottom of the newly cut expansion gap but I’d really appreciate some expert advice in advance of speaking to the installer about it. Last time he tried to suggest that it is normal to expect a floating wooden floor to move in this way.
    Thank you in advance!

    • Tim, all laminate floors need an expansion gap of beetween 1/4″ to 1/2″ depending on the length and width of the room. The reason for that is because due to humidity moisture and temperature the floor can expand and contract. When the floor expands there is a possibility of buckling if the floor doesn’t have the proper expansion gaps. If the entire perimeter doesn’t have the proper expansion gap then it was not installed correctly. Tell your installer to check all expansion gaps and modify accordingly to make the proper expansion gaps. Good Luck, Fred

  57. Potential Buckling Cause:

    After pulling off all my baseboards to make sure there was enough room around the edges for expansion, I found my problem in the transitional molding, where my living room meets my kitchen. The screws that hold the bracket into the piece of laminate were too long and tightened into the plywood below… thus preventing expansion in that particular area. A quick switch of screws and my floor flattened right out. Might not be a common cause, but thought I’d post it here to add to the list of solutions.

  58. We had a laminate floor installed in January in our kitchen. Now it is severly buckling. The contractor that put it in said he left a sufficient gap and put in a moistrure protector. The slab was dry at the time of installation. Pergo sent out an inspector and denied our claim response based on the inspectors report that stated moisture was 21-23%. We had a plumber come who did a thorough inspection and he found no leaks or evidence of excessive moisture. I am at a loss for how the moisture could have entered the floor. I also don’t know what 21-23% means. Is that really high or is it something that could result from something like background humidity? Any advice would be appreciated greatly. Thank you!

    • Andrew, First, I am very sorry to hear that you are having these problems with your flooring. Excessive moisture in your concrete subfloor over time will eventually cause problems to develop in your laminate floor. If you have bad drainage problems during rain storms or if your subfloor is below ground level those are a few examples of what can cause excessive moisture to build up in your subfloor. I don’t think that background humidty would be the case because the warping and buckling from moisture damage happens 9 times out of 10 from moisture being trapped underneath the floor with nowhere to go but up. Your floor eventualy will start to swell from the constant moisture exposure. Moisture padding is a a great deterrent however some of them are not as good as others at preventing larger amounts of moisture from passing through them as condensation. If you decide to replace your laminate flooring again make sure that you go with a premium moisture padding and check the moisture rating on them if the information is available.Good Luck. Fred

  59. The plumbling behind my refrigerator (ice-maker) was leaking. I didn’t know (or it wasn’t too bad) until I got a new frig and the installer discovered the problem. He shut off the water, and then I had a plumber come and put in a new valve which got the plumbing straight. But my laminate flooring began to bubble…across my entire kitchen and behind the frig into my very small “mudroom,” with washer/dryer. What I have had is laminate over the house’s original vinyl. I called my insurance company, and their adjuster came out and did an estimate, and they sent me a check. I’ve had a hard time getting a flooring company to get over here, but finally the one that originally installed the laminate came today. They pulled up the laminate and said I am lucky; the water was trapped between the vinyl and laminate. The removed the laminate but left the old vinyl. And they said it just needs a couple of days to dry out. (I cannot see anything wet, but I’m only looking at vinyl… not underneath.) I still wonder whether the subflooring is damaged, because there are areas where the floor is lower in places. Should I get a contractor over to take another look and see if my subfloor is really okay? They flooring company was going to go ahead and order my new laminate. I’m just not sure this is going to work well, and I don’t want an uneven floor with brand new laminate on top. Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • Mindy, A few years back I had a customer with the same exact issue.The flooring company is correct. The water was trapped beetween the vinyl and your laminate and had nowhere to go except up into your laminate flooring which caused it to warp and buckle. A sheet vinyl floor is waterproof so unless there were large holes in the vinyl no water would get underneath your floor. Once the vinyl floor has completely dried it is then safe to reinstall your laminate flooring. I waited 2 days until I reinstalled the laminate for my customer and there have been no further issues. The key is to make sure that the viny is completely dry before reinstallation.
      Good Luck, Fred

  60. Should I leave a space and transition piece at doorway between two rooms?
    I’ve had a problem with the floor buckeling just at the doorway.
    It looks to flow from one room to another but it seem to work.

    • Cliff, It is recommended to put a T-Molding in doorways beetween rooms specifically to prevent buckling. Each room needs to be its own seperate floating floor. Good Luck.

  61. In one of my bedrooms the laminate is flush against the wall in the corner for about 19″ and some in the closet on one wall. This room gets a lot of hot sun in the summer. The humidity can reach above 50% if the shower is used. Will this lack of required 1/4″ gap cause buckling or any other damage?

    Thank you.

  62. we have experienced buckling on our laminate floors and do not have the room to remove the laminate to cut on a jigsaw or table saw and got estimates for a flooring company to reapir that were too high for us to afford right now. What type of saw would be able to cut the laminate from around the baseboards and doorjams. Is there a special saw that would need to be purchased to do this? Thank you!

    • Samantha, unfortunately there is not a safe or efficient way to cut the laminate flooring when it is that close to the baseboard or doorjambs. The only way that you can fix your laminate is if you take it apart and cut the boards once they are removed from your floor. If you do not want to pay a contractor to repair the floor than you might be able to do the repair yourself. Laminate flooring is a great flooring choice because it is fairly easy to disassemble, make a repair, and reassemble once the repair is complete. I hope that this helps. Good luck. Fred

  63. Bobby Boone, a T-Molding should be installed in any doorway that is less than 48″. The reason for that is it seperates each room into its own floating floor and that allows each individual room to expand, contract, and shift by itself without bothering the other floors in the home. Buckling of the floor can occur In some cases you could get away without putting a T-Molding in a doorway. If you are doing a small installation you would probably be fine going from room to room without a T-Molding. However if you have a medium to large installation and you are going from room to room through a standard doorway you should install a T-Molding in the doorway. Thank you for your question. Fred

  64. we bought our laminated flooring from lowes it was installed by their contractor we experiances
    bucking in a foyer like area where our living room ,two bed rooms open to same area the contractor came out and removed quarter round and cut more gap it did not go down completly but has gotten worse . they want to install a floor mold between the openings . my wife does not any thought.?

  65. my floating floor is buckling around the kitchen cabinets, I pulled the quarter round off and found no gaps under the cabinets, in the same area as the buckling. what type of saw or service installer can fix this mistake. I purchased the home with knowing it was their,but at the price cant say no.what tool will get under cabinet to cut my gap. I tried a dremel no good! Any suggestions?

    • Robert, it sounds as if the previous installer did not leave the proper expansion gaps around your cabinets and it is now giving you problems with buckling. I would recommend that you start at the closest wall to your cabinets and actually take apart the floor up to your cabinets and then cut the boards so you will have a 1/4″ to 3/8″ expansion gap when you replace those planks by your cabinets. You can use a jigsaw or a table saw to make those cuts and it will be a lot safer to cut the boards when they are removed rather than try to jam a tool under your cabinets to try to cut out the gap. If you do not have the capability to accomplish this task then look for a certified laminate flooring installer in your area that would be able to fix this problem for you. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask. Good luck Robert.

  66. I just bought a pool table and have experienced the “super heavy objects ” problem you talk about. I can not seem to find these “special coasters” you recommend to use. Do you have a name of these coasters or can tell me where online I can see them or purchase them

    • Thank you for your question. You can buy pool table coasters online. Simply put “pool table coaster” in search to get results. You can also buy them on Amazon.com – this is one of the vendors.

      Good luck with coasters search and enjoy your pool table~

  67. I fear my floor is buckling because of moisture from water spilled and not mopped up in time near my sofa. I have extra planks in storage.

    How do I find a reputable person or company to do the repair work?

    • I am sorry to hear that.

      Try BBB listed laminate flooring installers. Here is the link where you can enter ” laminate flooring installers” and narrow your search to your zip code or city. Select installers with best BBB reputation. You can ask for references and call their customers.

      Another good source to find good laminate floorig installers will be ANGIES list- this is reputable place to find out solid recommendations.

      Good luck:)

      • JUST FYI-The WORST flooring person contractor/insurance listed and licensed installed our flooring and he is on Angies List as good. He was a nice man but NEVER addressed my concerns and my flooring is HORRIBLE.

        I would ask people whom you have visited homes and as for a photo gallery of their work and the ability to call the person that the flooring was installed.

        • Good point Bennie! We are sorry to hear about your problems. Now, you have a chance to put your feedback on Angies list , so other people who will deal with your installer will know more about the quality of his work. All the bast and thank you fro your opinion.

        • Secret_Asian_Man

          Just because they have a photo gallery of their work, does not mean 1) they did the work or 2) the flooris still any good.

          Sometimes flooring looks great when it is first installed. But if the expansion gap was not properly cut, or if they forgot, or improperly installed a moisture barrier, the floor could buckle and heave months later.

          They could even bring you to a client they just finished and it would look great that week, but 6 months later, it’s cracked and breaking!

  68. Should there be duifference where you can feel where the boards meet at the ends. What does that mean?

    • Transition from laminate flooring plank to plank should be smooth. If you can see some discrepancies it may be due to: uneven sub floor, double layer of underlayment if this area, dirt or dust trapped in locking system of one of the planks, unlocked locking system, water damage ( one or both planks will have “puffed up locking system” and they will not be able to fit together).

      • we put a floating laminate flooring and we nocticed that in the middle a panel has not locked and i don”t know how to fix it i can’t take all the panels apart there are to many we were pretty much done and it is in the middle of the floor help what can i do?

        • Hi Dawn you could do many of things it just depends on what is wrong with it. If it is the short edge coming out you can just tap it back into place I would need to know further information so I can try to give you the best answer. I hope this helps.Brittany

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