How to fix laminate flooring that is lifting

Publish Date

May 4, 2022

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Most Floating floor customers frequently ask this question; it is a common issue. How to fix laminate flooring that is lifting? One way to fix laminate flooring that is lifting is to use a flat pry bar and tap the edges of the boards with a hammer because the sub-floor is not balanced, a laminate floor will reposition. Walking on a floating floor is like walking on a vast sheet of flooring; if the sub-floor isn’t flat or grounded, that sheet will bend, creating the impression that the floor is moving.

Flattening out the subfloor in specific situations can solve this problem, but in many cases, the subfloor is in such terrible shape that there’s nothing you can do. Even with floating floors, some movement is expected, and as long as it adheres to industry standards, no one should be alarmed.

A professional shaping the edges of the laminate flooring panels

What Leads To Gaps In Laminate Flooring?

Temperature is one of the most prevalent causes of gaps between laminate floorboards. The floor expands when the temperature rises and contracts when the temperature drops. Therefore, it’s more likely to happen if the laminate planks are fitted before they’ve had a chance to get used to the room’s temperature. In addition, the laminate plank may have been installed incorrectly, resulting in gaps in the interlocking mechanism. Another thing to remember is that uneven subfloors might cause your laminate boards to fall apart, resulting in gaping seams.

Beyond laminate flooring, the floating floor technology may be used to install engineered hardwood flooring, luxury vinyl plank, and solid wood flooring. While floating floors are advantageous due to the comfort and swiftness they can be installed without specialist tools, they have certain disadvantages. For example, cupping and peaking are all difficulties that can arise on a floating floor.

The majority of homeowners are frightened about this possibility. As a result, they install their laminate flooring using the floating floor approach, which means that it is seldom attached to the subfloor. While a floating wood floor is not a type of floor covering in and of itself, it is a method of placing planks, boards, and occasionally tile flooring.

The floating floor installation allows the flooring material to react to variations in the humidity of a space by either expanding or contracting without flexing, depending on the room’s humidity. Click-lock laminate flooring is a tongue-and-groove technology that connects laminate flooring boards at the installation’s borders and ends. Depending on the manufacturer, the form of these grooves may be slightly different.

There are other various reasons for the separation of your laminate floor surface. Some are mentioned below.

Subfloor that is Uneven

When it comes to longitudinal separation or gaps in laminate flooring, an uneven subfloor is the most prevalent cause of the problem. When the laminate floor’s foundation is uneven, lumpy, or rough, this is referred to as a scuff. Subflooring is the foundation or basis of your laminate floor, made of wood or concrete. This is the surface on which the laminate boards will be installed. As a result, if the flooring is rough and uneven or if it has patches in it, the laminate planks will not be able to sit flat against the substrate.

The Laminate Planks Are Not Properly Arranged

Installing laminate planks is like unraveling a puzzle. The planks of your laminate floor will not all fit together, just as not all the pieces of a puzzle do. A snap-and-lock method is used in the manufacture of laminate boards. A click indicates that the planks are securely in place when installed appropriately. As a result, the panels do not come apart.

A professional installing the laminate flooring

Acclimation Time is too short.

You must wait for 3 to 5 days following the installation before using your laminate floor to allow it to acclimatize or adjust to the floor. Therefore, before adding heavy goods or significant ground activity on the laminate floor, you must give the floor time to acclimatize. Otherwise, the laminate planks will split. If this happens, the laminate boards will have gaps in between them.

Temperature and Humidity Changes

Moisture can also cause gaps in laminate flooring. The laminate planks will begin to soak and separate if the floor is exposed to high moisture content for a lengthy period. In this instance, the laminate boards will have lateral or minor gaps at the ends. In addition, laminate flooring can suffer from lateral and longitudinal gaps due to temperature fluctuations. This occurs when the laminate planks contract and expand excessively due to abrupt temperature fluctuations. Due to the laminate’s constant shrinking and expansion, there will ultimately be separation or gaps between the laminate boards.

How to repair and Fix an Uneven Subfloor

Make a level check with a level set, which is easily accessible. The low-lying parts of the subfloor should be highlighted due to this. You can highlight these portions according to your preferences with chalk or masking tape. The places on the floor that have been indicated as pits should be brought to a level with the rest of the floor.

Next, position a piece of the laminate floor against the door frame and cut through the region with a hammer and chisel until it is small enough to go under the door frame. Using floorboards that are slid underneath door frames rather than just being trimmed to size reduces the likelihood of shifting. Then proceed with the rest of the floorboard installation as you usually do, using a tapping block and keeping the floorboards 3/8th of an inch out from the wall to allow for expansion.

How to Repair a Moving Laminate Floor

Follow these simple methods to remedy the squeaking floorboard. First, calculate the movement’s yaw (left or right). Next, you’ll need to inspect the shifted or migrated joint. Finally, you’ll see the deviation, which will give you a sense of the board’s movement direction.

Remove the skirting board in the same direction as the one that has migrated once you’ve identified its new location. Then, gradually remove the skirting board from the floor using a hammer and a chisel.

You’ll see precisely where the laminated floorboard moved after successfully removing it. It’s time to use the hammer and the tapping block now. You’ll need to use these two tools to re-insert the board into its original position to fix the problem. An additional safeguard is using wood glue, which may be applied to the space between the panels to keep them from coming apart again. When the floorboards are glued together, they will be more stable, minimizing the risk of gaps in the floorboard and moisture retention.

Fixing buckling/lifting by removing moisture and reducing an extension gap can be done using a floor gap fixer or wood glue, and flattening your subfloor can address a popping-up problem. Wood putty, wax filler sticks/pencil, and putty or acrylic filler can be used to repair scratches and chips, respectively.

A flooring worker installing the laminate flooring

Despite the fact that laminate flooring is robust, it is susceptible to scratches and scrapes. You can exclusively use a wax pencil or wood putty to fix scratches and blemishes on the surface since you won’t be able to sand it down. Using wax pencils for shallow and narrow scratches is preferable; using wood putty for somewhat deep and broad scratches is preferable. You’ll need wax filler sticks if you have any severe scratches.


Over time, gaps in laminate flooring are more likely to form in high-traffic areas such as the living room and kitchen. To prevent dealing with unattractive gaps, you should immediately fill them in. The exceedingly thin planks should be handled with great care regardless of your method. In addition, laminate flooring is particularly vulnerable to moisture, so you should avoid using a wet mop or towel to clean it.

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