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KKM
Laminate flooring problem
KKM

Category:
Carpentry
Question:
laminate flooring developed gaps
Full Description:
We installed a laminate floor in our kitchen. It was fine all summer and now in winter has developed some gaps in the seams. One is located in the hallway by the basement door. Another is in a doorway to a mudroom. Is there any way to tighten these up without removing the entire floor?

A. Spruce
Re: Laminate flooring problem
A. Spruce

Depends on the cause of the seam separation and the type of laminate it is. If the tongue/groove has broken or the materials have swollen or otherwise been compromised, there's no repair but to replace the affected pieces. You will also need to determine WHY it happened and rectify that issue or you'll be doing more repairs in the future.

As for pulling things back together, assuming there is no collateral damage, you can use strap clamps and draw it together from the edges.

dj1
Re: Laminate flooring problem
dj1

The most likely reason for the "new gaps" is movement of planks. Laminate floor is laid with about 1/4" gap to the walls, and if the first/end planks are not secured, some planks start shifting under the pressure of heavy traffic. A lot depends on the type of laminate you have and its thickness.

To fix this, use a laminate floor tool (avail at the stores) and a hammer. But hold on! - you need to know how to bang it, or you'll see your beautiful laminate floor turn into dust.

A word about removing planks and re-installing them: Since laminate tongue and grooves are actually a paper by product glued together (Lumber Liquidators law suits?), once you disassemble the planks, you will never be able to fit them back again to perfection.

In conclusion: If the gaps don't get wider over time or bother you, learn to live with them, otherwise, replace the floor (good for our struggling economy).

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