This article is about how to fix laminate flooring gaps. There are certain situations in which either due to poor installation or changes in temperature and humidity, the laminate planks move from their position or change their volume, creating joint gaps. Beside the unattractive appearance, the gaps between the laminate boards might damage in time the floor and lead to delamination or chipping. Therefore, we recommend you to follow our guidelines as to prepare the floor surface thoroughly and to lay the laminate flooring in a professional manner. Generally speaking, there are several factors which might create the laminate flooring gaps, so we recommend you to pay attention to our article, as to prevent a poor installation.
It is essential to acclimatise the laminate boards before installing them. This is one of the main causes of gaps between the laminate planks. Therefore, we recommend you to deposit the laminate packs in the room, for at least 48 hours before starting the installation process. There are many diy-ers which are eager to install the laminate flooring and neglect the preparation steps, and ending up with gaps in the flooring.
The sub-floor must be perfectly level. The laminate flooring manufacturers require a level surface, otherwise they cannot guarantee a proper laminate flooring. Therefore, we recommend you to use a 4′ spirit level, as to check the surface and pour auto-leveling screed if necessary. In addition, use a large scraper to remove the bumps and other residues on the floor.
Fixing Laminate Flooring Gaps
If the gaps are too large or you just don’t have a proper access to the ends of the laminate flooring ends, you have two alternatives: filling he gaps with wood filler or removing the planks with issues and installing them again.
Remove the planks with problems and check if they are in a good condition. Check the boards attentively, especially the tongue and the grooves. If the planks are in a good condition, you can use them, making sure you connect them properly. On the other hand, if the planks are damaged, you should use new ones, otherwise you will face the same issues over the long run.
Install uderlayment for the laminate flooring, as to protect the room against losses of heat, to improve the sub-floor irregularities and to reduce sounds transmitted to the below room. The underlayment comes either in rolls or boards of different thicknesses, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a product to satisfy your needs.
It is essential to connect the laminate boards properly, otherwise there will appear gaps between the joints. Clean the tongue and the groove of all laminate boards, making sure you remove the dust and residues. In addition, make sure you install the laminate flooring in a perfect straight line and stop if you notice the slightest misalignment, as these flaws will only amplify as you continue the project. On the other hand, do not install laminate planks that are cracked, curved or have any other damage.
If the gaps are larger than 1/10”, then you might have a problem with the air humidity. The laminate flooring boards react to air humidity and temperature, therefore you have to acclimatize them prior to the installation and maintain a constant humidity in the room. In order to fix the laminate flooring gaps, you could bond the laminate planks together, by applying glue in their grooves. Nevertheless, make sure you don’t glue the laminate boards to the sub-floor. Remember that if you follow this approach, you won’t be able to remove the laminate floor without damaging it.
How to fix laminate flooring gaps
The gaps between the laminate planks create a poor appearance and might damage the flooring, if you don’t take action quickly. Nevertheless, there are situation in which the gaps are just to large to be able to fix them without reinstalling the laminate planks.
One of the easiest solutions for this problem is to use a boot with adherent sole, and to try to hide the laminate flooring gaps by hitting several times the boards. If the gaps don’t shrink you don’t have any solution other than either filling the gaps with colored paste (with a syringe), using a pull bar or re-installing the flooring after you level the base surface.
In our case, this solution proved to be successful, as the problem was not caused by poor installation, but by a change in air humidity. As there are many situations in which we cannot control the humidity and the temperature, using a boot is an easy fix for any home owner.
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