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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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Art July 19, 2018 - 12:13 pm

I have damaged laminate in three different rooms. Its a Pergo floor somewhere between 3-5 years old that was installed by the previous owners. There are no spare planks. A large section of one room’s laminate is pretty badly damaged from a roof leak. Im wondering if I can remove the good laminate planks that are left in the room that had the roof leak and use those planks to replace the damaged laminate in the other rooms, then just install all new laminate in just one room. Im thinking, this way I dont have to worry about exact matching from different batches, etc. Thoughts? Advice?

Alana Kane July 23, 2018 - 11:03 am

Hi Art, thanks for reaching out. Sorry to hear about the damage! Since this laminate is a click lock system, you should be able to uninstall and re-install it in the other rooms. Just be careful not to damage the locking system during uninstall and re-install! If you need some options in the room you’re uninstalling in, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Sherwood Botsford March 23, 2018 - 3:56 pm

I have a divot in one plank. Basically a 1/4″ crater. No idea what caused it.

Anyway, is it reasonable to use a matched 1/2″ brad point drill and a 1/2″ plug cutter and cut plug from an appropriate scrap of plank?

Bestlaminate March 27, 2018 - 1:58 pm

Hi Sherwood, thank you for comment. What kind of flooring are you working with? Typically, this is not an approach we would recommend in this situation. If possible, you should replace the entire plank. If this is a laminate floor, you can purchase a laminate repair kit or wax pencil to fill in the crater you have. If you would like to discuss this in more detail or have any other questions, please give us a call at 1-800-520-0961.

Robert Decker August 23, 2017 - 9:09 am

DIY homeowner here. I installed a PergoMax laminate floor in my basement. I cut out a damaged plank in middle of room. Now, the replacement plank won’t fit…its too tight on the long side. Is this due to expansion (summer months)? Would it be better to replace in the winter mponths (contraction)?

Ashley Tolfo August 25, 2017 - 12:15 pm

Hi Robert – Installing the plank in the winter months would only be a band-aid to the problem, because once it is summer again, the plank will eventually expand and the plank will be too tight again for the area it is installed. Since you mention this is a basement installation, I am wondering if you might need the aid of a humidifier/dehumidifier to help control the expansion and contraction of your floor through the year. I am also wondering if you have central heating and cooling in your home as temperature is another factor that plays a role in the expansion and contraction of flooring. These two issues could be the main cause of your plank warping.

Without seeing a picture of your floor though, I can only speculate as to the actual issue.

Here are some other things that could also be causing the issue:

  • The damaged plank that was not cut out precisely.
  • The new plank was too tight to begin with when it was installed.
  • The humidity in the room was too high/low when the plank was installed.
  • The temperature of the room was too high/low when the plank was installed.
  • The new plank wasn’t glued down sufficiently/installed properly.
  • The new plank was not acclimated for 48 hours in the room it was going to be installed in – before it was installed.
  • The proper expansion gap was not left when the floor was originally installed.

Unfortunately, the only thing we can recommend is to try to replace the plank again making sure to take all of the above factors into consideration, since it’s difficult to pinpoint what the exact cause of the new plank’s warping.

If you need further assistance, please feel free to reply to this comment or send us an email at [email protected].

Cameron March 14, 2017 - 2:38 pm

Can this repair procedure be used for Luxury Vinyl locking planks as well. I have a crack in the middle of the room and would love to be able to replace the plank without removing half of the planks in the room.

Alana Kane March 16, 2017 - 12:40 pm

Hi Cameron – great question! Yes, and with the vinyl planks, it may even be slightly easier. You will most likely be able to use just a utility knife to do the cutting, versus a saw. Good luck with the repair!

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