Assessing the Cause of the Lifting
If you have laminate floors in your home or office, it’s essential to maintain them to ensure they stay attractive and functional. One of the most recurrent problems that laminate flooring owners face is lifting. Lifting occurs when the laminate planks separate from the subfloor, creating an uneven surface, which causes the flooring to “bubble.” The good news is it’s possible to fix lift, and the first step towards fixing laminate floors that are lifting is identifying the root cause of the problem. There are several causes of lifting, and understanding them will enable you to pick the appropriate solution. Here are some common causes of laminate floors lifting:
Excessive moisture is a leading cause of laminate floors lifting. When moisture infiltrates the flooring, the boards become warped, and eventually, they separate from the subfloor, causing the flooring to lift. Several factors can contribute to moisture infiltration, from water spills, humidity, inadequate drainage, leakages, and environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures.
Another reason why laminate flooring may lift is due to a lousy installation process. When the laminate boards aren’t correctly installed, they may fail to grip the subfloor and become loose. For instance, if there are gaps between the planks, it may allow air to get through, creating a vacuum and causing the boards to lift. Additionally, if the installers didn’t acclimate the laminate boards appropriately or didn’t leave enough expansion space, it could cause the boards to buckle or lift.
Poor Quality Flooring Material
The quality of the laminate floor planks will significantly determine its durability and resistance to lifting. If the material is low-quality, it’s likely to lift, crack, or degrade quickly. Therefore, it’s crucial to buy high-quality laminate flooring from reputable dealers to avoid the issue of lifting, among other problems.
Heavy Traffic and Dropping Heavy Objects
Laminate flooring is durable, but it’s not impervious to heavy traffic or dropping heavy objects. When heavy items repeatedly drop on the laminate floors, the boards become damaged, and eventually, they lift. Additionally, when heavy furniture is placed or moved on laminate floors, it creates indentations and causes a shift in the flooring’s balance. Over time, the constant shifting of the floors will result in lifting.
If your building or home is built on a foundation that’s unstable, it can cause the flooring, including laminate floors, to lift. Foundation settling occurs when the subfloor begins to settle or shift due to soil movement, weather conditions, inadequate structural supporting, or age. As the subfloor begins to move, it creates a gap that causes the laminate floors to lift.
As you can see, many factors can cause laminate floors lifting. Fortunately, most of these problems are fixable. However, to fix the floors correctly, you need first to identify the root cause. Once you’ve done this, you can then decide on the most appropriate corrective measure.
Gather Materials and Tools You Will Need
Fixing laminate flooring that is lifting can be an easy task if you have the right tools and materials on hand. Here’s a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need:
Laminate flooring: If the damaged area is too large to repair, you need to replace the entire section with new laminate flooring that matches the rest of your floor. Plan accordingly and purchase the same laminate flooring as the one you installed originally.
Masking tape: This will come in handy as you work. You can use it to label your tools or materials, or to hold planks in place while you work.
Construction adhesive: You can use this to fasten the edges of the laminate flooring to the subfloor. This is especially necessary when you have small areas that are lifting.
Wood glue: You’ll need this if you are fixing laminate flooring that has a tongue-and-groove locking system. It’s also great for fixing minor chips or cracks.
Plastic putty knife: This tool is versatile and will come in handy several times during the entire process.
Touch-up paint: This is optional, but if your laminate flooring has a textured or embossed surface, you may need to use touch-up paint to cover up minor chips or scratches.
Utility knife: The utility knife will help you cut through the damaged areas of your laminate flooring. You can also use it to make precise cuts when you need to replace a plank.
Chisel: This is an essential tool for removing any excess glue or construction adhesive on the subfloor after cutting out the damaged area. You can also use it to wedge up the laminate plank if it’s still attached.
Screwdriver: You’ll need a screwdriver to remove any baseboards or quarter round that may be in the way.
Hacksaw: This will make your life easier if you need to cut off the tongue or groove from the laminate plank. You can also use it to cut the replacement plank to size.
Drill: A drill will come in handy if you need to install new screws or nails into the subfloor before gluing the new plank in place.
Now that you know what materials and tools are needed it will be easier for you to go out and get everything you require so that you can get your laminate flooring fixed. It will save you from making multiple trips to the hardware store and will speed up the process. Remember to take your time when fixing your laminate flooring, and use caution so you don’t cause any further damage. By using the right materials and tools, you’ll be able to restore your laminate flooring quickly and effortlessly!
Removing the Affected Boards
If your laminate floor has boards lifting, the first step to fixing them is to remove the affected boards. It’s essential to identify the source of the problem and take the necessary steps to correct it to prevent further damage. Laminate floors are designed with a locking mechanism that makes it possible to install and remove the boards without professional help. Follow the steps below to remove the affected boards:
Step 1: Identify the Source of the Problem
Before you remove any boards, you must identify the source of the problem. Laminate floors may lift due to a variety of reasons, including water damage, poor installation, subfloor issues, high humidity, and excessive weight. Check the affected area carefully to identify any signs of damage or moisture, such as cracks, warps, or discoloration. If you suspect water damage, it’s essential to find the source and fix it before you remove the boards.
Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools
You’ll need some tools to remove the affected boards, including a tape measure, a hammer, a pry bar, and a circular saw. You may also require a chisel, pliers, or a utility knife, depending on the situation. Make sure you have all the necessary tools ready before you start the process.
Step 3: Remove the First Row of Boards
Start by removing the first row of boards in the affected area. Use a circular saw to cut the boards lengthwise along the center joint, and then use a pry bar and hammer to remove the boards one by one. You may also need to use a chisel or pliers to remove any stubborn pieces. Once you have removed the first row, you’ll be able to access the second row more easily.
Step 4: Remove the Second Row of Boards
Removing the second row of boards is similar to the first one. Use a circular saw to cut the boards lengthwise along the center joint, and then use a pry bar and hammer to remove each board. Be careful not to damage the surrounding boards or the locking mechanism. Once you have removed all the affected boards, you’ll be able to assess the subfloor and determine if it needs any repairs or replacements.
Step 5: Replace the Affected Boards
After fixing the source of the problem and repairing the subfloor if necessary, you can replace the affected boards. You’ll need to ensure that the replacement boards match the existing ones in terms of color, texture, and size. Use the locking mechanism to snap the boards back into place, starting with the last row and working your way towards the wall. Use a tapping block and a hammer to ensure that the boards are snugly in place.
Removing the affected boards is a crucial step in fixing laminate flooring that is lifting. Following the steps outlined above will help you remove the boards safely and efficiently, preventing further damage to your flooring. While it’s possible to remove and replace the boards on your own, it’s always advisable to seek professional help if you’re unsure or if the damage is severe.
Reinstalling the Boards
If your laminate flooring is lifting or has become loose, you may need to replace or reinstall some of the boards. This can be a fairly simple process, but it does require some tools and a bit of patience.
The first step is to remove the damaged boards. This may require some careful prying with a crowbar or other tool. Be careful not to damage the surrounding boards, as you will want to reuse them. Once you have removed the damaged boards, inspect the subflooring for any damage or issues that need to be addressed before installing the new boards.
Next, measure the area where the damaged boards were removed, including any gaps that may have been created between the surrounding boards. You will need to purchase replacement boards that match the style and color of the existing flooring. It’s always a good idea to purchase a few extra boards in case you need them in the future.
The new boards will need to be cut to size to fit into the gaps. Use a saw to cut the boards to the correct length and width. It may be necessary to trim the boards on the ends or sides, depending on their orientation in the flooring. Test-fit the new boards into the gaps to make sure they fit properly.
Before installing the new boards, remove any adhesive residue or debris from the subflooring and the back of the surrounding boards. This will help the new boards to adhere properly. Apply a small amount of laminate flooring adhesive to the back of the new boards and carefully insert them into the gaps. Use a tapping block and hammer to gently tap the boards into place, making sure they are flush with the surrounding boards.
Once all of the new boards are in place, allow the adhesive to dry for the recommended amount of time. This may take several hours or overnight. Once the adhesive is dry, use a laminate flooring cleaner to clean the surface of the flooring. Do not use water or any other cleaning products that could damage the surface of the flooring.
Finally, it’s a good idea to use a silicone sealant to seal the edges of the new boards where they meet the surrounding boards. This will help to prevent moisture from getting underneath the flooring and causing further damage. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using silicone sealant.
Overall, reinstalling laminate flooring boards is a fairly simple process that can be done with the right tools and a bit of patience. By following these steps, you can quickly and easily fix any lifting or damaged boards in your laminate flooring, restoring it to its original beauty and functionality.
Letting the Repaired Area Sit and Cleaning Up
After fixing the lifting laminate flooring, give the area enough time to sit before walking on it. This step is essential because it allows the repair agent to dry completely. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the repair agent on how long it takes to dry. In case the instructions are unclear, it is advisable to wait for at least 24 hours before placing any weight on the area repaired. Walking on the area before it dries completely may destroy the bonded flooring, and you may be forced to redo the repair.
During the wait time, ensure that no one walks on the repaired area and place appropriate signs to alert others. Make sure that you don’t place any furniture or heavy objects on the fixed area during the drying period, they may slow down the drying, affecting the quality of the repair.
After letting the repaired area sit well, it’s time to clean up. Laminate flooring is known for its durability and easy maintenance. Ensure that you clean up the area well after fixing it, the repair process can leave some residues or require some clean-up, especially when dealing with adhesives.
You can use a gentle cleaning solution or mild soap and water to clean the repaired area. Hard chemicals or abrasive tools are not recommended as they may damage the flooring. Clean the area with a damp mop or cloth. Avoid wetting the repaired area for more than a few minutes during cleaning, as excess water may seep in and damage the bonded area.
Avoid walking on the cleaned area before it dries completely. Switch on the ceiling fans, open windows, or use a fan to help dry the flooring. Drying time may vary depending on the humidity levels, ensure that the area is thoroughly dry before returning furniture to its place.
Once the area is dry, you can return the furniture back to its place and enjoy your floor’s new look. Regular maintenance, such as sweeping, wiping with a dry cloth, and cleaning up spills as soon as they occur, can increase the laminate floor’s longevity and durability.
With these simple tips, you can quickly repair lifting laminate flooring and maintain it effectively. Taking the necessary precautions, such as not exposing the repaired area to too much moisture or weight before drying, can ensure that your repair lasts long. Give your floor a new look and enjoy all the benefits that come with having pristine floors in your living space.