Common Laminate Flooring Problems and How to Fix Them usefuldiy
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4 Common Laminate Flooring Problems and How to Fix Them

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners across the country, as it is durable and relatively inexpensive. Laminate flooring can be easily installed in most average-sized rooms within one or two days without professional help. Because of its popularity, there are multiple brands from which to choose. Most have similar warranties attached to them. Here are some of the most common laminate flooring problems and how to fix them.

4 Common Laminate Flooring Problems and How to Fix Them

Floor Peaking

Peaking occurs when the upper layer of face-nailing boards is raised or lifted. It can be caused by variances in humidity levels between rooms, excess moisture on the flooring surface, installation errors, poor quality nails used during installation, and even walls that are not perfectly straight.

Possible Solutions

To remedy peaking, you have a few options depending on the severity of the problem. The first option is to use a small power planer to bring up the surface level of your laminate flooring to match where it was before peaking occurred. If this does not solve the issue, try fixing down your laminate flooring, as this problem mostly occurs with floating floors. Note that fixing down laminate flooring means that you can’t move your furniture back into its original location, so fixing down may not be right for everyone. However, if you are fixing down your laminate flooring, keep in mind that the process can take up to 8 hours because of humidity issues and other factors. That said, fixing down your laminate flooring brings the surface back to where it was before, but also creates a much more stable environment for walking on.

Lapping Boards

Similar to peaking, lapping boards are when the upper layer of face-nailing boards is raised or lifted. However, lapping boards occur when the difference between the upper and lower layer is larger than usual. This can be caused by variances in humidity levels between rooms, excess moisture on the flooring surface, installation errors, poor quality nails used during installation, and even walls that are not perfectly straight.

Possible Solutions

Identify which boards are lifting, and determine whether they are lapping boards or peaking. Lapping boards can be sanded down with a power planer, but this will ruin your laminate flooring surface. If the problem is still not solved after sanding, use liquid nails to glue down your laminate flooring. Make sure you keep some sliders nearby if furniture needs to be moved, as it can get very heavy.

Insufficient Expansion Space

4 Common Laminate Flooring Problems and How to Fix Them

Insufficient expansion space happens when there is not enough room between the walls and laminate flooring for your come-along to expand. This problem is caused by baseboards that are installed over the edges that face-nailing boards are attached to.

Possible Solutions

If your floorboards are lapping instead of peaking, you can use a metal straight edge and power planer to bring the surface level back down. If the problem is still not solved after sanding, use liquid nails or construction adhesive along where your baseboard meets laminate flooring to keep your come-along from causing damage.

Laying your flooring so that it overlaps slightly instead of butting up against the other side is another option. Laminate floors should be installed with a 1/8-inch space between planks to ensure proper ventilation and prevent moisture from interfering with the seams. If you want a shorter transition strip, make sure you have cleaned out the miter saw and dialed the angle into exactly 90 degrees. Make sure you use a high-quality blade rather than one of those included with the kit for best results. If you want longer transitions, make multiple cuts of varying length on either side of your first cut to create the transition strip that you want.

Locking Joints Not Seating

When locking joints do not seat, it means that the fit beads cannot lock together correctly, creating a weak point in the flooring. This can be caused by variances in humidity levels between rooms, excess moisture on the flooring surface, installation errors, poor quality nails used during installation, and even walls that are not perfectly straight. If the locking joints do not seat correctly, it can cause buckling or areas where your laminate flooring is raised above the surface of other pieces.

Possible Solutions

If you notice any gaps between locking joints on your laminate flooring, you can use a metal straight edge and power planer to bring the surface level back down. If the problem is still not solved after sanding, use construction adhesive or liquid nails along where your baseboard meets laminate flooring to keep your come-along from causing damage.

Although laminate flooring has many benefits, it is not always problem-free. Depending on where you live, humidity can be an issue. If the moisture content in your home becomes too high, this can cause problems with your laminate flooring. Therefore, it is important to keep your rooms well ventilated and avoid having too many wet cleaning products in the home.

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