Laminate flooring is made to last, however sometimes you can run into issues and one of the most common issues is buckling laminate flooring. Buckling occurs when laminate flooring does not have enough space to contract and expand with temperature changes. Since it is a floating floor, the planks tend to contract when it is cool and expand when it is warm. Therefore it is crucial to take precautions to prevent buckling.
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 for the buckling is.
Reasons for buckling laminate flooring
- Water and moisture damage (Over mopping, water leak etc.)
- Floor was not acclimated before the installation (Keep the flooring in room temperature for 24-48 hours before installation)
- No expansion gap or the gap is too small (The larger the space, the larger the expansion gap should be)
- When the floor was installed, the room temperature was unusually high or low.
- No vapor barrier was installed, causing moisture damage (Common with cement subfloors)
- Lack of floatation (Heavy objects pin the flooring to the ground, prohibiting the floor from floating and contracting and expanding with temperature changes)
- Floatation restrictions prohibiting the floor from floating properly and expanding / contracting with temperature changes.
Buckling is most frequent near walls where the laminate flooring expansion has met its max and had no more room to expand freely.
How to Repair Buckling Laminate Flooring
- Determine what caused the buckling
- Fix the cause of the buckling
- Replace the buckled planks (Explained below)
Read Ashley’s blog about her buckling flooring experience Kitchen Cabinet & Flooring Mistake to Avoid
How to Fix the Cause of the Buckling
Water damage is one of the worst enemies of laminate flooring. Since laminate flooring is not waterproof, any water must be immediately cleaned up to prevent permanent damage.
Unfortunately, in most of cases, buckling related to the water leaks or moisture exposure will force you to replace the floor or the affected planks due to excessive swelling. In severe cases your locking systems or flooring will be expand in size and you will not be able to properly lock the back in place.
If you see blisters on the surface, you have no other choice than to replace the damaged area. Underlayment must be completely dry and potentially replaced too. Subfloor must be dry and in good repair before you start the repair.
Floatation & Movement Restrictions
Laminate flooring is a floating floor system. The seasons, moisture, and temperature (inside and out) play important role how your flooring will perform. Sufficient expansion gaps are essential. All movement restrictions must be removed such as:
- Remove nailed wall base and/or quarter round to the floor
- Re-install all moldings that are pinching your floor
- Re-install nailed transition pieces without an expansion gap
- Re-position and add felt pads to heavy furniture to evenly distribute the weight
- Increase the expansion gap around the perimeter of the room
- Increase expansion gap to the transitions
- If the flooring was installed under cabinets, add dilatation or remove the laminate under the cabinets.
How to Repair The Flooring
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.
- Remove moldings to prepare to replace the flooring
- Uninstall the laminate up to the problem zone
- Check the locking system. If it is undamaged, simply reinstall the flooring.
- Complete reinstallation
Be sure to address the root problem of the buckling to prevent it from occurring again
How to Fix Scratched Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is scratch resistant, however under harsh conditions it can scratch.
Minor Scratches can be repaired with a repair kit. Bestlaminate offers the Robert’s Repair Kit which can match nearly any laminate flooring and cover the scratch right up.
If the scratch in your laminate flooring is very major, you may have to replace the plank. Do this just as you would replace a buckling floor.
How to Replace a Damaged 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
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.