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How to Replace Damaged Laminate Flooring Planks

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 66 comments 6 minutes read

You just got that new home or you’re moving the furniture back into place after the remodel and all of sudden it happens…that sound, that feeling, shame, guilt, that uh oh moment and you don’t know how to solve it. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise. Yes, we know… you damaged the laminate plank. So you think of how to replace damaged laminate flooring planks.

It is important to make a plan before you move forward so you can save yourself worry, money, and time. Before you start thinking about how to replace damaged laminate flooring planks, take a quick glance at your room. Is your damage close to the wall or it is in the middle of the room?  There is a different procedure to follow depending on where the damage is located. If the damage is located next to the wall then you simply may want to disconnect those planks. If the damage is located in the middle of the floor then you may want to try a different procedure as we have highlighted below.

Damaged Plank Close To The Wall

Procedure:

In the event that you want to try this yourself, here is a guide to assist you along the way. If you’re not capable or doubt yourself, we advise you to consult with an installation expert. If you follow this guide, please take safety precautions with your tools, your adjoining planks, and your body (wear safety glasses, etc).

  • You’ll want to locate the wall that is closest to the damaged plank, then, you’ll want to remove the molding along that wall.
  • Now you have to reach the damaged plank, the only way to do it is to disassemble all the planks around by disconnecting the locking system.
  • When you disconnect the tongue of one plank from the groove of the other plank, they’re unlocked. You may have to do this several times before you can reach & replace the damaged laminate plank.
  • After, you will have to reset the wall base moldings back to normal after you have replaced the damaged plank and reconnected every plank.

Damaged Plank In The Middle Of The Room

Procedure:

Unfortunately, this type of fix does take some time and can require some skill. In the event that you want to try this yourself, here is a guide to assist you along the way. If you’re not capable or doubt yourself, we advise you to consult with an installation expert. If you follow this guide, please take safety precautions with your tools, your adjoining planks, and your body (wear safety glasses, etc).

  • To repair damaged laminate planks, start with drilling a ½” hole on each corner of the damaged laminate plank. You will want to be as close as possible to the plank end joints.
  • Drill two or three more holes on each side of the damaged laminate plank approximately 4” to 5” from each other.
  • Draw a straight line between the holes to prevent mistakes and use it as a cutting guide.
  • Make sure you stick to the exact depth of the laminate when using the saw so you prevent cutting into the underlayment or sub-floor which you definitely do not want.
  • Begin in the center of the laminate plank, cut along the lines to the inner holes and continue to the holes that you drilled.
  • Cut out the center piece or lift it out. If necessary you can use a utility knife to lift it up.
  • Remove the remaining pieces of the board by rocking them up and down. Be gentle and very careful during this step because you could cause damage to the laminate floor planks next to the damaged one. You definitely want to pay attention to the adjoining laminate floor planks.
  • Make sure the area is cleaned up from any excess. You want it to be nice and clean before you install the new plank.
  • Now it comes time for the replacement laminate plank. You have to cut off the tongue on both sides, the short and long edge of the board. Laminate flooring brands may also require trimming of the groove along a short edge so the new plank will sit in place. The best tool to do it will be a vibratory undercut saw.
  • Now that the damaged laminate plank is out of the way, it is time to install the new laminate plank. Apply a few drops of glue to the groove of the uncut plank (the one that was connected to the damaged plank). You should apply glue to all seams and joints but only a few drops. Wipe off any extra glue that you may have before it dries.
  • You should place something heavy on the plank and let it dry for the day.

Now that you know how to replace damaged laminate planks, you will be able enjoy a beautiful floor! We welcome feedback and any suggestions you may have on how to replace a damaged laminate flooring plank. If you’ve followed any advice from this article then please share your experience with us. We would love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

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66 comments

Tracy January 21, 2012 - 2:16 pm

We had a small leak under the baseboard heater in our family room, about 6 of the planks warped quite bad at the joining seam, is it possible just to replace those planks ?

Reply
Fred January 23, 2012 - 1:28 pm

Tracy, Yes it is possible to replace those noticibly damaged planks, however, you need to thouroughly inspect all of your planks that were near the water damage because they may not look too bad right now but they may have soaked up some water and that could lead to problems down the road. Also make sure that no water has gotten under your underlayment, if it has then you will need to disconnect the floor and take the underlayment off of the floor to let the floor dry out completely before reinstalling the underlayment and flooring,

Reply
Tony January 17, 2012 - 2:30 pm

My problem is that I have about 1 metre square area of water damaged planks to replace. They’re start from the wall but involves 2 planks that run along the wall that have been cut at one end to fit around different door frames. Also I don’t have any spare planks and can’t remember the make. Although I’m sure remember the fitters clicking the boards together rather than glue them together. Can i just pick up another brand of laminate floooring of the same colour? How do I cut them to fit around door frames. Is it easier to get the whole 18square metre area replaced? which would a shame as it’s this only small area needs replacing as the rest of it looks fine .

Reply
Fred January 23, 2012 - 1:35 pm

Tony, if you do not have replacement planks for the damaged ones than I would highly recommend that you do not try to do the repair with another brand of laminate as it will not look good and it will probably not last. Unfortunately without spare planks you will need to replace the whole room with new laminate and this time make sure to order at least 1 extra box so you don’t run into this problem again. It will be too hard to find the exact same material to do your repair unless you order it right away because manufacturers often discontinue their flooring products quite often. I hope this helps.

Reply
Eli January 8, 2012 - 3:02 pm

For the first method (disassembling the planks back to the damaged area) you wrote “Lift up the laminate plank to disengage tongue and groove of the board and unlock the planks”. Please let me how can you lift a plank that is engaged in one long side and one short side? THe only wat I think is to lift the entire row on planks that are engaged onntheir width (shor side). In y case I have a lenth of 25 feet. Can I lift the entire lengh together and than disengaging the entire row? Needs few people to hold (at the ends and in between? Woudn’t that break the tongs if the entire row is not rotated in unisome the 15-20 degrees that is required for disengagement? HELP please.

Reply
Fred January 12, 2012 - 11:48 am

Eli. I have disassembled large rooms by myself many times. The key is to take your time if you are by yourself, lift each board gently and work your way down the row until the entire row is at the proper angle to take it apart and then remove the row by grabbing it in the middle of the row and gently pulling it apart. It wouldn’t hurt to have a person or two there to help you out with disassembling the floor, just take your time and work together.

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How to repair laminate flooring- damaged laminate floor — Laminate Flooring How To October 7, 2011 - 3:05 pm

[…] that compound will not fix it, your only choice is to replace the damaged planks. Use our guide “How to replace damaged laminate flooring” to learn how to do it. It is fairly simple procedure, but if you are not a DIY guru, find […]

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Randy jolly September 5, 2011 - 11:30 pm

My problem is I have to replace a laminate board in the doorway.the problem is the edge goes under the door trim. I can’t lift the board to interlock it. How do I replace this board. Please help!!!!

Reply
Fred September 8, 2011 - 5:43 pm

Randy can you send a picture to my email [email protected], that way I can see what you are trying to describe to me and I can better help you, thanks.

Reply
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