When properly prepared and installed, laminate wooden floorboards form some of the most resilient and reliable options for flooring in a home or business. Laminate flooring is relatively low maintenance and resists staining and fading. However, any moisture exposure from below or above the flooring can result in warping and buckling, creating safety hazards and ruining the look of your flooring installation. Most of the time, a warped laminate flooring installation will need to be replaced, but you can try to dry out the boards to help reduce the warping.
Clean the laminate floor thoroughly with a dry mop or duster. Do not expose the warped surface to moisture, as it is moisture that caused the problem to begin with.
Set flat, heavy objects on the warped surface and run a furnace, space heater or dehumidifier in the room to help dry out the floors. Drying can require days or weeks, but removing all of the moisture is the only way to correct warping. As the floor dries, the warping should be greatly reduced. If the floor is warped but dry, consider replacing the warped sections of the floor.
Remove the baseboards or quarter round to verify there is at least a 1/4-inch of space betwween the wall and the edge of the floor to allow for expansion and contraction of the floor. If there is no room for expansion, cutting the floor is required. Use an oscillating tool equipped with a 3/4-inch wood and metal flush cut blade accessory to trim the perimeter of the floor to allow for the expansion. This expansion space will allow the laminate to expand and contract with slight moisture changes, which will prevent future warping.
Tips & Warnings
- Drying out the boards with weights can temporarily fix the problem, but warping is a sign of moisture exposure. You must cure the moisture problem or else the boards will simply warp again. Many times, this involves removing the old floor and replacing it; when you do, be sure to use a waterproof underlayment or pressure equalizer below the laminate to prevent similar problems in the future.
- Never wet mop a laminate floor. Moisture exposure from above can cause warping similar to the problems caused from moisture below.
- Drying a warped floor without weight applied to the surface will cause it to dry in its warped condition, making repair nearly impossible.
- Wear protective eye wear when operating power tools.
Things You'll Need:
- Dry mop or duster
- Oscillating tool
- 3/4-inch wood and metal flush cut blade accessory
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