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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


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


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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pat May 29, 2015 - 5:28 pm

Small piece of plank is damaged.( laminating flooring ) do not want to replace the whole plank, just the damaged piece. ( about 14″ ) must i replace the whole plank? Thank you.

Alana Kane June 2, 2015 - 12:34 pm

Hi Pat, Thanks for the question! Depending on your plank placement and what type of flooring you have, it may be more ascetically pleasing to replace the whole plank. If you can get away with replacing the 14″, go for it! You can follow the procedure for replacing a plank in the middle of the room for this fix. Only drill holes around the area where you are fixing instead of the whole plank. Use a saw to make a clean edge where you will connect the new plank to and remove the damaged area. Next, measure the removed area and using a saw, cutting a new plank to fit in the gap. Remember to cut off the tongue and use glue to install the new piece. Good luck with your fix! Feel free to call our flooring experts if you need more assistance: 1-800-520-0961

Beryl McMahon September 13, 2014 - 1:35 pm

Dog urine creates an instant buckle in plank seams. Consumers. Would not have chosen laminate flooring for my entire house with 2 puppies in the house. Dogs are now housebroken but floor is ugly.

Bestlaminate September 13, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Beryl, laminate flooring is not a waterproof material. Unfortunately, if exposed to excess moisture, the flooring can buckle. It is very important to clean up puppy accidents right when they happen to prevent buckling. We are sorry for your troubles. Learn about fixing buckling flooring > https://www.bestlaminate.com/blog/buckling-laminate-flooring-how-to-repair-a-laminate-flooring/

Natalie French March 21, 2014 - 6:30 am

This is a useful guide but it’s definitely worth seeking professional advice if the problem can’t easily be solved independently!

admin March 25, 2014 - 2:58 pm

We agree with you Natalie!

Sad August 1, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Had an overflow of water on my laminate. Was probably on there for an hour before it was vacuumed up. Brought in carpet driers and a dehumidifier. If I can live with the damage do I still have to worry about mold underneath.

Bestlaminate August 20, 2013 - 3:56 pm

Hi Sad, thank you for your question, the best you can do is try to keep most of the humidity out of the bathroom, it could cause mold down the road if all the water is not completely dried underneath the laminate. If you are concerned with the mold later oh you can always pull up the boards to check, it just depends on how often that bathroom gets used and if all the water is dried up. Best of Luck. – Brittany

regina April 19, 2013 - 10:00 am

is it possible to remove a 3 ft by 5 ft area to level the subfloor and then reinstall the laminate. the area is in the middle of the room and i don’t want to take up all the laminate.

Bestlaminate April 22, 2013 - 10:54 am

Hi Regina thank you for your question. It is possible to repair in the middle of the room but you have to start from the wall until you are at the spot where you want to fix. Click Here to learn how to replace laminate!Brittany

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