If your flooring swells, then you need to know how to repair swollen laminate flooring. Laminate floor is a durable floor that has the look of a hardwood but it is easily exposed to discoloration or scratches.
It can tolerate heavy traffic; it is the best for busy homes. Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for many homeowners, but one of its cons is that it is not resistant to water.
Most floor coverings are resistant to water, such as porcelain tile or ceramic, luxury vinyl plank and especially sheets vinyl flooring. Water and laminate flooring do not mix.
Small spills that are cleaned up immediately will not damage your laminate floor, but other factors such as constant high humidity, appliance condensation leaks, damp sub-floor, large spill or water leaks that penetrate into the crack between the laminate planks can damage your flooring.
When laminate floor gets soaked with liquid, the laminate planks will bend, buckle or give underweight.
How to Repair Swollen Laminate Flooring
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- First, inspect carefully the area that is swollen. Walk on the floor to examine any bubble present. If the bubbles are in one board, it means the board is already damaged and needs to be taken away. If you discover a bubble at the center of the flooring seam during inspection, it is an indication that there is no adequate expansion gap, forcing the boards to squeeze and swell on seams.
- Remove the wall molding near the damaged laminate board with air bubbles.
- Carefully remove the mold with a screwdriver and hammer to avoid wrecking the laminate floor molding. After removing the wall mold, remove the laminate board one by one until you get to the damaged board.
- Slide the laminate floorboard with care from the locking mechanism, with the connecting board. If the bubbling resulted from inadequate expansion gap, you just have to fix the floor by easing the board’s tension.
- Check the space between the wall and board at ensure it is about quarter to half of an inch. Fix it by cutting the board close to the wall.
- Replace the damaged laminate floor with a new matching laminate floorboard. Put the tongue of the board into the groove of the next board.
- In the event of the peaked board, you just need to place a weigh on top of the peaked board after creating adequate space. This would allow the floor to settle without any other intervention.
- Put back the other undamaged floorboards in their initial place. Check your floor carefully to make sure there are sufficient expansion and contraction gaps on your laminate floor.
- Make sure the newly installed plank board corresponds with the other planks to avoid color mismatch on your flooring.
- After gluing, the joints of the floorboards may swell a little as the water in the glue is absorbed. This is not permanent and often resolves itself in 21 to 28 days. If your laminate flooring was glued down, the source of swelling might not be created by moisture.
Causes of Swollen Laminate Flooring
Bubbling on laminate flooring can be resulting from too much tension between the laminate planks. Due to temperature changes, the laminate floor will contract and expand.
In case there are no expansion gaps left, the laminate floor will turn out swelling up, bubbling, at worst buckling. Sticking the molding tightly to the floor may result in bubbling.
Large area installations need small gaps or expansion joints between the joining sections of laminate boards. Due to greatly large continuous installation, air bubble will form on your laminate boards.
Pipe leaks and large water spills that are not attended to immediately they occur will lead to a swollen laminate floor.
If you install laminate floor over wood and concrete subfloors, make sure you do not ignore good ventilation of your house and water evaporation.
A laminate floor installed without an effective moisture barrier can cause your floor to bubble. High moisture content is harmful to any engineered or solid flooring.
High moisture content will create continuous dampness that can lead to bubbling, especially when it gets to the laminate core.
An increase in moisture content will definitely make your laminate floor swell even if your floor is waterproof.
Poor installation process of laminate boards gives space for water damage. Before installing your laminate floor, make sure your room moisture content is at a normal level; verify that it is properly installed.
Preventing Your Laminate Floor From Swelling
- Make sure you leave quarter to half of an inch expansion and contraction space not to create laminate swelling problems down a week or month.
- Use a moisture barrier if you are installing on a cement subfloor.
- Acclimatize your flooring for two days in the room you are installing the laminate floor.
- Avoid stagnant water on your laminate floor too long.
- Run your air conditioner in the summer to keep humidity down in your home.
- Ensure you clean spills quickly after they happen.
- Do not wash your laminate flooring with soap, water, oil-soaps or any other type of liquid cleaner or wet mop your laminate floor as this will not allow your floor to last longer. Instead, dry mop your laminate floor.
- Use only recommended cleaning methods and products to avoid leaving behind a slippery floor or cause other floor damages after mopping.
- You can use dehumidifiers to maintain constantly, a 35% to 65% relative humidity level.
- Try to consult wood floor professionals about your laminate flooring repairs and problems.
Swollen laminate flooring is sometimes inevitable, so you must know how to repair swollen laminate flooring.
Control spills, humidity levels and cleaning procedures, so that you can maintain a healthy laminate flooring. How well have you managed your laminate flooring?