Home » How to fix buckling laminate flooring? [It’s Easy]

How to fix buckling laminate flooring? [It’s Easy]

This page contains affiliate links, As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases (with no extra cost to you). Learn more

Hardwood floors are one thing people use to make a house feel like a home. They are durable, classic, and easy to clean. They often help a home sell faster and at a higher price. Many people love the look of wall to wall wood, but it can be pricey to install if your home does not already have wood flooring.

So how do you get that beautiful look without emptying your bank account?

Easily. To get the look without the cost, laminate boards are a great option. As a bonus, laminate floorboards are not easily scratched or damaged. This makes laminate flooring a great option for families with kids or pets. However, be careful to clean up any wet spills off the floor quickly.

Unfortunately,with humidity, extreme temperature changes, and poor construction or installation your laminate may buckle and need repair. Fortunately, this is also easier and less costly than repairing hardwood floor.

How to fix buckling laminate flooring?

With a basic knowledge of DIY skills and a little time, you should be able to complete this task over a single weekend.

Make sure you read my Laminate flooring buying guide, where I explained everything you need to know when buying this durable and amazon floors.

What Causes Buckling Laminate flooring?

There are few factors that causes buckling laminate flooring. Follow few easy rules this problem won’t happen again.

Let’s name most obvious.

Water Damage

Laminate floor may buckle or lift for several reasons. Moisture or water damage are most common. This can happen from the moisture in the air, moisture seeping up from below, or standing water on the surface.

Low Quality Construction

Another cause is poor construction. Laminate boards need a rigid balancing layer to distribute the pressure used in construction. Low quality glue-less laminates may also start to separate, allowing moisture to seep underneath the floors.

Poor Installation

A underlayment with moisture barrier should have been installed under your laminate flooring, if you have problems with moisture. If the laminate was not installed properly, or the floor was not properly flattened, buckling can also occur.

No Expansion Gap

Laminate flooring may expand and contract when the temperature changes. An expansion gap around the edges allows room for the laminate floor to expand without lifting or buckling.

No Expansion Gap with laminate flooring

Thankfully, buckling laminate is a problem that you can fix with basic home improvement skills. Make sure to determine and address the cause, though, or your flooring may incur new damage after the repair.

How to Fix a buckling Laminate Flooring?

Below steps will help you fix you buckled laminate floor in no time.

Step 1- Determine and repair the cause

Your laminate floor is most certainly buckling from one of two basic reasons: water damage or not enough space for expansion.

Take care of these issues before you replace the flooring.

Water Damage

  1. If you have an appliance leaking water all over the room, replace it immediately, then fix your floorboards. But sometimes the problem is less obvious.
  2. If your laminate is in the basement, make sure you have no leaks or flooding. If this is a problem, replace your floor with vinyl instead of laminate.
  3. If your subfloor is cement, make sure you use a moisture barrier beneath your flooring. Moisture can seep through cement and your new floor may become damaged.
  4. If the floor boards are in a room prone to moisture, like the kitchen or bathroom, use a water-resistant glue to help prevent buckling. Protect your flooring by placing rugs in any high contact area after you replace the buckled boards.

No Room for Expansion

There should be a small gap, around the perimeter of the room, between laminate flooring and the wall. Temperature and humidity can cause the boards to expand.

  1. Put felt pads under heavy furniture to best distribute the weight.
  2. Remove the laminate flooring under cabinets. Cut the floor and put it back in place with an expansion gap between the laminate and cabinet edges.
Step 2- Replace the damaged laminate flooring board and put the other boards back into place

Step 2- Replace the damaged board and put the other boards back into place

To repair your laminate floor, you may need to replace a few damaged boards or start fresh with installation of all new floorboards.

Either way, you will need to remove all moldings or baseboards, then all of the floorboards from the wall to the damaged planks, even if they are in good shape.

  1. Start at the wall and pry up all boards until you get to the damaged one.
  2. If the damaged boards are far from the wall, you can cut out the damaged floorboards with a circular saw.
  3. After the old boards are removed, you can snap the new board back into place by matching the tongue to the groove in the old board.
  4. In some cases, you will need to remove the last row of boards, cut a bit shorter, and put the planks back into place.
  5. Finally, use finishing nails to put the molding back into place.

How to Prevent laminate floors to buckle?

We can prevent buckling on laminate floors by following below rules:

Use quality product

The best fix for a problem is to avoid it entirely. By using high quality laminate, you may be able to avoid a costly repair later.

Appropriate installation

The subfloor must be completely flat before laying laminate flooring. If the subfloor is concrete, you also run the risk of humidity seeping up through the floor. Water resistant glue or a moisture barrier can help alleviate this problem.

When the floor is laid, it is also important to allow a gap around the edges, as laminate will swell with changes in temperature.

Proper cleaning

Wipe up spills immediately. Do not use wet mops or steam on any area with laminate flooring. If you don’t want to repair your laminate flooring, try to keep it dry.

Is it normal for laminate flooring to move?

Laminate flooring is floating floor so it is typical to mose. It also swells with humidity and changes in temperature so you may see small gaps between the floor boards, or between walls and the floor.

Should I replace my laminate flooring with something else?

Laminate is a beautiful, affordable, and durable alternate to wood flooring, but it is does have some downfalls. One in particular is the risk of water damage. In basements, laundry rooms, and other areas where prolonged exposure to moisture is likely, your better options are ceramic or porcelain tile, stone, vinyl, or concrete.

Should I even try to fix my laminate flooring myself?

If you have some experience with home improvement projects and a full day to dedicate to the job, this is a reasonable DIY project. You might have to remove a large area of flooring, and piece it back, board by board though.
Plan ahead so you know you will have time to dedicate to the work this will take. If you do it right, the first time, your flooring should last awhile so you can focus on improving your home, instead of making repairs.