Home Improvement

How to Fix Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is affordable, comes in many colours, and is durable. However, it’s not damage-proof , as you might guess. Every once in a while, it can sustain damage from a falling object or high moisture levels. In most cases, you can fix it yourself, depending on the type and size of the problem.

So, if you:

  • Dropped an object with a sharp corner on your laminate and it made a small hole;
  • Wonder what to fill the hole with;
  • Have buckling of your boards from high moisture levels;

Then read along and learn how to fix laminate flooring.

How to fix a chip or scratch in laminate flooring

It’s very easy to scratch your laminate floor. All it takes is one slide of a table or chair. Children’s and pets’ toys can also leave terrible marks on the laminate surface after a long day of playing. Small damages, such as chips and scratches, are fortunately easy to fix. To restore your scratched laminate flooring, all you will need is a repair kit that matches the colour of your floor.

  1. First of all, clean the damaged area. Even if you clean the floors every day, clean this spot now. Wipe with a damp cloth and let the surface dry completely before the next step.
  2. Wax pencil or marker – Colour any scratches with the repair marker. After you finish the first coat, leave it to dry for 30 minutes to an hour. After it dries, you might have to add more coats until the colour matches with the rest of the surface.
  3. Repair putty – Fill in any chips with repair putty. Spread the putty over the chip with a special putty knife. Smooth out the area with the knife, so it’s levelled with the rest of the ground. Let it dry for an hour.
  4. Remove any excess marker or putty by wiping around the repaired area with a dry cloth. If you used putty to fill in a chip, clean the area around it before it dries. Afterwards, it will be impossible. You might want to use a solvent meant for cleaning laminate flooring if you need something stronger.

If none of these two methods work out and the damage is still visible , then you’ll need to replace the damaged board.

Laminate flooring doesn’t need glue or nails so it will be easy to replace small parts of it. That’s why it’s always recommended you save several boards of the laminate after fitting. Hopefully, you’ve found some of your boards by now. With that out of the way:

Replace a scratched board in the middle of the flooring

Remove any items around the damaged area, so there would be no obstructions whilst you work.

  1. Mark the damaged board and place masking tape on its contours.
  2. Saw off the groves of the new board with a plunge saw.
  3. Cut your broken board in two parts by following its length. Use a circular saw and go as close as possible to the edges.
  4. At the ends make incisions at an angle.
  5. Remove the two cut parts of the board with a chisel.
  6. Vacuum the sawdust.
  7. Apply glue to the edges of the surrounding boards.
  8. Grab the replacement board and click it into the side where there’s no glue. Make sure it’s firmly in its place.
  9. Spread about 40 kilograms of weight over the new board.
  10. Leave it like this for a few hours, until the glue dries.

Need more flooring services? Go to our dedicated page.

Replace a scratched board near the edges

In this case you will not need a power saw, but instead a crowbar. You will need it to…

  1. Remove the skirting boards from the wall.
  2. Lift the laminate boards starting with those closest to the wall.
  3. Replace the damaged board and snap the new one into place.
  4. Return the rest of the boards in their original position. Work in reverse order.
  5. Refit the skirting boards.

How to fix swollen laminate flooring

It’s entirely possible to find that some of your boards have swelled or bucked over time. There can be two reasons for this. Either there’s no expansion gap between the boards, or the moisture in the room is too high. Leaks of any kind can also contribute. You need to replace the entire flooring, either way. Here is how to do it.

  1. Determine the source of the problem and, if possible, fix it.
  2. Remove the baseboard near the area of the buckling.
  3. Start from the wall by removing the boards and work your way to the damaged area.
  4. Replace the actual damaged boards.
  5. Put the rest back of the boards by clicking them into place.
  6. Replace the baseboard if needed, otherwise put the old one back in place.

It’s still better to eliminate the possibility of your floorboards buckling than to have to replace them entirely. Here is how to do that:

  1. Acclimatize – this process is always done before the actual installation. You need to leave the boards in the room where they will be installed. The room needs to have a constant temperature, so the boards will contract and expand naturally as much as possible. Leave them there 2-3 days. Afterwards, they’ll be ready for fitting.
  2. Leave an expansion gap – you always need to leave at least 25 millimetres of space between the boards and walls for smaller rooms and 5 millimetres for larger rooms. It’s easier to get it right if you use plywood scraps as a guide during the installation phase.
  3. Reduce moisture in the room – moisture levels in any home should be between 35% and 65%. If they are higher, consider another kind of flooring option for this particular room.
  4. Install underlayment – this will protect the floors from the rough concrete surface of the floor and will provide additional protection against moisture.

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Hire a professional for the job

If the damage to your floor is too great, or you just don’t have enough free time to perform the repair yourself, consider professional laminate floor repairs. Fantastic Services works with fully equipped and highly experienced technicians. They will restore your floor in such a way that it will look completely natural after they are done. Repairing your floor is much more eco-friendly and cost-effective than replacing it from scratch. Our service also comes with a 5-year workmanship guarantee. Call us today for a quote!

Takeaways

  • Clean the damaged area before you start any type of repair work ;
  • If you have a scratch, try to erase it with a special repair marker;
  • For chips, try repairing putty;
  • Warped boards need to be replaced with new ones, but before that, you need to find why they became buckled in the first place.

Image source: Shutterstock / fukume

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