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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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Jennifer owens December 7, 2022 - 3:09 pm

If you have one damaged wood laminate plank does the whole floor have to be replaced?

Rachel Vahcic December 13, 2022 - 8:38 am

Thanks for your question, Jennifer. To replace a damaged laminate plank, you will likely have to remove the floor up until that plank. From there, you replace the damaged plank and reinstall your flooring to the wall.

Jamie August 29, 2022 - 9:55 am

Hi there, I was wondering if you have a line of planks(3 on the same line) that are breaking and cracking can you slide them out(its also raised at threshold/steps up) and slide new back in. Would it be better to start at the wall or can you use the cut out glue down method without interfering with the structural integrity?

Rachel Vahcic September 7, 2022 - 12:13 pm

Thanks for your question, Jamie! It would depend on where your flooring starts. You would want to replace the flooring starting from the wall. We would not suggest cutting anything as that will sacrifice the durability and could lead to further issues. We would also recommend determining the cause of the issue so it doesn’t occur again. If the floor does not have an adequate expansion gap, this issue can occur again if that is not fixed. Best of lucking

MD TANIM January 3, 2020 - 9:57 pm

Thanks for advise

How to effectively and efficiently repair Laminate flooring [Expert's Advice] November 16, 2019 - 3:00 pm

[…] of any minor damages in your laminate flooring can allow you to effectively fix the problem, replace the planks and be well on your way to enjoying your extraordinary laminate flooring in your home. […]

Olivia padilla October 14, 2019 - 11:39 am

My son-in-law laid pergo laminate on part of my living room. Well he did not stagger the boards and glued each board to the floor. This was done yesterday. Is it possible to pull them up and reuse them?

Alana Kane October 14, 2019 - 2:22 pm

Hi Olivia, thanks for the question. This could be a challenge due to the use of the adhesive. You will have a hard time pulling the planks up, depending on how strong the adhesive is. Also, this can leave adhesive residue on the bottom of the planks, leading to an uneven bottom. If you really want to re-do it, I would try removing the first few boards and see how challenging / damaging it ends up being. Do not try this without knowing you have some extra boards!

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