Laminate flooring allows you to enjoy wood-flooring without actually having wood; it is environment friendly, affordable, and, most of all, aesthetic. Perhaps, they are a threat to wood flooring, according to NWFA’s 2019 Industry Outlook survey.
While it may be like wood, it isn’t wood; meaning it can get scratches, dents, floor gaps, and damage from moisture. We have some ways to prevent that from happening, but what if your laminate floors are already damaged? Are there any solutions to that? Yes, there are.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of laminate floor repair is $800. You do not have to hire a professional every time; you can repair yourself. I’ve included DIY methods below if you want to know how to repair laminate flooring.
Ways to repair laminate flooring
You can repair your laminate flooring in many different ways. However, most of them require additional planks or some equipment that is easily accessible at the hardware or a home improvement store.
Additionally, I’ll provide you with many solutions to different issues a laminate floor owner can face. Be ready to DIY.
- 1 Repair Scratched Laminate
- 2 How to Repair Buckled Laminate
- 3 How to Repair Water Damaged/Swollen Laminate Planks
- 4 How to Repair Laminate Peeling/Chipping
- 5 How to Repair Laminate Peaking
- 6 How to Repair Laminate Dents
- 7 How to Repair Laminate Soft Spots
- 8 How to Repair Laminate Floor Gaps
- 9 How to Replace Laminate Plank
- 10 Taking Care of Laminate Flooring
- 11 Conclusion
Repair Scratched Laminate
Scratches are one of the common issues found in laminate floorings. Well, repairing a scratched laminate is very basic, unless it’s been damaged a lot. Here are the ways you can use to repair your scratched laminate floor.
You can use a wax pencil to fill in minor scratches; it’s just like coloring a book. Select a color that matches your laminate flooring. You might get those at a home improvement store or a stationary.
Over the scratch, use short strokes back and forth. Once you’re done, rub it with a soft and dry cloth to buff the edges.
Note: Rub the wax pencil back and forth over the scratch and at a right angle.
If the scratches are not minor and slightly hollowed, a repair putty will get it fixed. Unlike a wax pencil, it will not be a disguise but a long-term solution. The manufacturer of your laminate flooring will have those, or you could surf online for it.
- Take out some putty
- Rub the putty on to the scratched area with a putty knife
- Scrape off the excess putty with a putty knife to flatten and level it
- Let it dry for 24 hours.
Note: You should always wipe off any extra putty while it’s still soft. Once they stick to the floor, it’s hard to remove them.
If using a repair putty does not help, a repair kit would come in handy. Take a sample of your laminate flooring to any home improvement store and ask for a repair kit. Find the closest match you can.
Basically, the repair kit comes with various tools that can help you fix the laminate floor perfectly.
- Firstly, use the applicator to remove splinters of damaged section.
- Secondly, use the burn-in stricks to fill the scratch. To match the laminate floor color, mix different shades of burn-in sticks.
- If it’s needed, you may use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the area after the repairs, level it with the rest of the floor.
- Thridly,when sanding is done, wipe the area clean with a damp mop/cloth to remove any dust or dirt from making bubbles. Some kits may tell you to apply acetone to the area, if so, make sure you have proper ventilation.
- The kit will most-probably have a varnish, apply that as well.
- Let it dry for 24 hours
How to Repair Buckled Laminate
A buckled laminate is when two of your laminate planks expand with no space, forming a tent-like structure. This can happen due to changes in the atmosphere and moisture, making the laminate expand when there is no space to expand.
Unfortunately, the only way to repair a buckled laminate is to replace the planks with a new one.
Check the below laminate replacement guide to know the plank replacement steps.
How to Repair Water Damaged/Swollen Laminate Planks
Laminate planks damaged by water or moisture, causing them to swell, need replacing. To prevent further damage to the new planks, address the source of water damage.
The affected areas will show discoloration, bubbling, and bending. Due to humidity, laminate floors can enlarge or shrink; always leave a gap between the wall and the floor.
If laminate flooring has been damaged by water, there is only one solution: replace it.
To replace planks, follow the below replacement guide.
Few points to remember while replacing laminate planks.
- Always keep spare laminate planks on hand. While replacing laminate planks, you will be able to match the floor color.
- If there are any leaks, make sure to stop them before repairing the laminate floor. This will prevent any further damages.
How to Repair Laminate Peeling/Chipping
Laminate floors can sometimes start peeling off or chipping off. This can occur due to small accidents like dropping a sharp object on the group, stilettos, or furniture being moved around.
There are two methods to fix the peeling and chipping of laminate floors.
Wood filler is a great help whenever it comes to repairing materials like hardwood or laminate flooring. They can help coat or fill in gaps. They come in different colors and qualities; pick the one that can get as close to the color of your floor.
If you cannot find a wood filler that matches the color of your floor, you can mix two wood fillers to achieve your desired color.
- Find and purchase a wood filler the colour of the laminate flooring, buy a cleaning solvent as well.
- Scratch and remove splinters using a knife.
- Apply the cleaning solvent onto the peeled or chipped area.
- Apply the wood filler with a putty knife .
- Before the wood filler starts to dry, put the shallow layer over it and press it gently.
- Clean off excess putty with the putty knife.
How to Repair Laminate Peaking
A peaking laminate can occur when there’s no space left for laminate expansion. Peaking is the initial stage of buckling. Two planks expand together to a point they peak; this is similar to buckling. There is a way to deal with this without replacing the planks.
- Remove the surrounding planks
- Remove the peaking planks
- Cut off the corner of the plank that needs expansion space, you can later fill the remaining space with some wood filler.
- Put back the planks and you’re done.
Note: Keep 0.5-1 inch of space between baseboards and laminate planks. A gap like this will cover laminate expansion due to weather.
How to Repair Laminate Dents
Dents can be caused by a drop of some heavy object or moving furniture around. These dents ruin the look of your laminate flooring; thankfully, there is a rather odd solution that woodworkers have been using for years to fix it.
It’s called steaming. Wood fibers get compressed when they are dented; steaming it will return it to normal.
- Pour a drop of water upon the dent
- Take a damp cotton cloth, fold it four times and keep it upon the dent. Ensure that the cloth should be around 1 inch square.
- Place the tip of the iron on the cloth and move it over in a circular motion till the steam begins rising.
- Apply a moderate amount of force when you’re moving the iron on the cloth. Do this for about 3 minutes till you see the steam dissipate.
- Remove the iron and the cloth, the dent may have disappeared or reduced. Repeating this process 3-4 times will help get rid of it.
- Lastly, the finish of the dented area may turn slightly white, to remove that, use some danish oil stain that matches the colour of the laminate.
Steaming isn’t all that difficult, but if the dent is deep and there are scratches around it, use a repair kit.
- Scrape off the bulging dent (If the dent isn’t bulging upwards, continue the steps below)
- Apply repair putty/wood filler on the dent
- Use the putty knife to flatten it to level
- Apply a coat of acetone for further protection if you have it
- Let it dry
How to Repair Laminate Soft Spots
Do you have some spots that are soft in your laminate? They are caused by uneven leveling or improper installation of the underlayment. These spots can go away by injecting foam spray into them.
Using foam spray is a good idea to avoid extensive work, such as replacing the plank or underlayment itself, which will have to be leveled to avoid more soft spots. This method is very effective.
- Take an air installation needle extension and plug it into the can of spray foam (the kind that used for filling cracks)
- Put masking tape on the laminate to protect it from the foam.
- Drill a tiny hole in the middle of the soft spot and inject it with the spray foam. You will need multiple injection sites if the area is large
- If there is any excess foam, remove it and cover the hole with duct tape.
- Once done, use a matching wood filler or putty to color fill the holes
How to Repair Laminate Floor Gaps
Laminate floor gaps are often caused by poor installation; they may not be glued properly and end up looking like a jigsaw puzzle. There’s an easy way to fix it with a floor gap fixer or wood glue. Even better, you can use both of them together in the correct application for a permanent solution.
Floor Gap Fixer
This is a tool made specifically for laminate floors. It’s quite easy to use.
Dampen the displaced plank
Slightly damp the surface of the displaced plank; will give you a better grip with the floor gap fixer. Do not wet it too much.
Place the floor gap fixer on the plank with the gaps
Place the floor gap fixer on the plank that has gaps. Before doing that, remove the adhesive strip that is on the floor gap fixer.
Apply pressure on the floor gap fixer for the suction to hold on
Applying pressure on the floor gap will give you a better grip as you are about to smack it with a mallet.
Tap one end of the floor gap fixer with a mallet
Smacking the end of the floor gap fixer will displace the plank into the desired spot. This will close the gap between the planks.
Pull the floor gap fixer off at an angle.
Remember to pull the floor gap fixer up; pulling sideways can cause damage or displace the plank again.
Note: Following the first gap, you will probably notice that another gap has developed between the subsequent planks on the line. Keep fixing the gaps between the laminates until they reach the wall.
The adhesive on the floor gap fixer will pull the plank in your desired direction and close the gap. There are two critical rules to follow;
- Be careful not to strike too hard: This might damage your underlayment or floor gap fixer. It can also remove the grip of the floor gap fixer.
- Pull up the fixer to remove it: Avoid yanking the floor gap fixer sideway as it might displace the fixed plank. Pull it up instead.
How to Replace Laminate Plank
If the plank is damaged beyond repair, it would be in your best interest to get them replaced.
Removing and replacing the laminate flooring may seem like hard work, but it is worth the effort. Laminate floors are quite easy to install as well as replacing — one more reason it’s popular.
Here are the steps to remove a laminate plank if you’re not sure how.
To Remove a Laminate Plank
- Start from the wall closest to the damaged plank
- Remove the quarter wall and baseboards by using the pry-bar
- If any transition strips are present, pull them out or unscrew them
- Use the end of the pry bar on a corner of the plank, wiggle it till you can hold it and pull it out.
To Replace Your Damaged Plank
Remove the baseboard:
Baseboards are those things at the wall corner; they hold the end of the laminate flooring. To replace or remove the laminate flooring, your first step is to remove the baseboard. This can be done with a pry bar. You might even find some screws down there holding the laminate planks in place; take them off so you can remove the laminate planks.
Remove the damaged plank.
Remove the laminate planks once done with the baseboard is a simple task; use a pry bar to pull it off. You may have to wiggle it in place for it to come off. Continue doing this until you reach the desired planks. Then, remove the damaged plank once you are done removing the surrounding planks.
Replace the damaged plank
Installing the new plank is as easy as replacing the damaged one. Just put it in place and lock it with your laminate plank locking mechanism if there is any.
Reinstall the surrounding planks and baseboard
Put back the surrounding planks in the base and re-screw them if needed. Finally, reinstall the baseboard by putting it back in place.
Taking Care of Laminate Flooring
Here are a few tips on how to take care of your laminate flooring.
Avoid using abrasive tools on your laminate floor. They can damage the flooring coat. Heavy tools can also end up displacing or damaging the planks. Additionally, don’t use acidic cleaners.
Make sure you clean up the stains as soon as possible. If stains are left on the floor, they may damage the flooring. Acetone can be used to remove oil, ink, and color stains. Also, always dry the area after you have removed stains.
Don’t let water spills sit on the surface too long. A wet laminate floor is a big no-no. Many laminate floors are water-resistant, but prolonged contact with water can damage them. Water and moisture can cause the laminate plank to swell and bubble.
A steam mop can be ideal for laminate flooring provided you are using it correctly, don’t let the steam sit on one plank for a long time. Regularly move the steam mop around the floor. You shouldn’t leave the mop sitting on the floor too long to prevent the floor from degrading.
Use furniture pads. Furniture pads are available online or at home improvement stores, use one, so your furniture ends do not damage the planks.
We have provided you with solutions to every possible problem a laminate floor owner could come across. You can find many more solutions online, or you could browse our website for more queries related to laminate flooring.
From repairing scratched laminate floors to floor gaps, you now know how to repair your laminate floor. Oftentimes, calling a professional may be the best choice, but why go for that when you use our easy DIY guides.
Remember the essentials when you own a laminate flooring;
- A repair kit
- Wood filler
- Floor gap fixer
- Extra planks
If you have these, you can practically fix any issue with the right application.