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Hershey's Mom
Gaps in laminate floor

We had our walk-out basement finished a little over a year ago. Unfortunately, our contractor "did not accept" any punchlist items, as his work is always perfect. :rolleyes:

We knew from the moment we saw the single-plank laminate flooring that there were gaps between the ends of some of the "boards". There are probably 5 or 6 1/8"-1/4" gaps, which unfortunately are at the bottom of the stairs and quite noticable. I'm afraid to even wash the floor in that area because I don't want the laminate to begin peeling up at either side of the gap. Is there any way to tighten up these spaces to eliminate the gaps where they are noticeable? I realize there will be gaps somewhere, but I'd rather have them under furniture than somewhere as obvious as where they are.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Re: Gaps in laminate floor

i have laminate in my house too, and it was put in by the previous owners. there are numerous places where it's less than perfect. waaaaaaay less. i've about just had it and i'm ready to rip it up and put in hardwood planks. the only way i've thought i could fix it was to just replace the messed up areas. i'm becoming less of a fan of laminate the longer i have it.

Hershey's Mom
Re: Gaps in laminate floor

Well, I guess it's nice to know it's not just me. I really wanted bamboo floors, but as it's in a basement, it was going to be far too expensive to install furring (or is it firring?) strips on which hardwood or bamboo could have been nailed.

Might there be a tool or something I could slip into the gaps and then tap it to get the most obvious gaps to close up? It just seems that since it is meant to be a floating floor, there should be some way to move the strips a bit. I could then hide the gaps under the book case or a chair that are nearby. In the meantime, I've just been very carefully washing this section with a paper towel and totally avoiding the gaps.

In retrospective, I should have chosen a different flooring (not sure what), but as it's only about 1.5 years old, it's going to need to last a while longer at least.

Re: Gaps in laminate floor

pictures sure would help. do you mean at the ends of the planks "between planks" where they're butted together? Or against the walls.
Against the walls would be easy to fix but you need to describe it better or add some photos.

Re: Gaps in laminate floor

If I understand your description correctly, you MIGHT be able to close the gap. You need to access the end of that strip of laminate at the wall, probably on each side. That would probably mean taking off the baseboard/1/4 round molding.

There should be a gap at the wall that you could get a flat bar between the end of the strip of flooring and the wall. The idea is one person on each side at the same time prying against the end of the strip of flooring to force it together. You will probably need a piece of plywood against the wall to keep from damaging the drywall. The person prying against the end of the flooring also needs to apply some pressure downward on the strip of flooring to make sure you only pry "inward" and not "upward".

We were semi-successful in doing this at our church's parsonage. A couple gaps closed up nicely, but one of the gaps we were not able to close up. For whatever reason that strip of flooring wouldn't budge and we were afraid of buckling the flooring by applying too much pressure at each end. Vacuum out the gap thoroughly before prying since any dirt will keep from getting a tight joint. Good luck.

Hershey's Mom
Re: Gaps in laminate floor

I hope this picture works. These are the types of gaps we have. All single "boards" and the gaps are at the ends of the boards.

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