When looking for the best affordable flooring options, laminate flooring definitely comes first. It is extremely durable, easy to maintain, resists scratches, gives a hardwood finish look, and can withstand all the wear and tear. The only thing that laminate flooring is afraid of is water. They are not water-resistant, and it causes swelling of floors, and would probably leave you with the only option of repairing the swollen boards. If you didn’t know how then you’re in the right place. We’ve got you covered.
This article about how to repair swollen laminating floors takes you through how swelling of the floor happens, how to prevent it, and how to repair it? You’ll have all of your questions answered. So, let’s get started.
Why Does Swelling Of Laminate Flooring Happen?
There are so many reasons that can make your floors swell. Let’s take a look at how it happens.
Changes in temperatures, high moisture, and humidity are the main reasons for the swelling. Even if your floor is waterproof, high moisture will bring dampness to floors, making them swell. Leakage of pipes under the floor can also cause bubbling up of floors. Avoid using laminate flooring in rooms near kitchens and bathrooms so that the floors don’t get in contact with water easily.
Letting water spills stay on the floor for a long time, cleaning with a wet mop, or steam cleaning can also be the reasons for swelling. So remember to be careful with water around your laminate floors. Disrupting the house’s ventilation system, lack of installation of an effective moisture barrier are two other reasons for high moisture damage.
Lack of Gaps
Due to temperature changes, the planks expand. This must be remembered during the installation process and be allowed enough gap between them. If not, the planks start lifting, and as a result, the laminate starts bubbling up. Poor installation, too, is another major reason for swelling.
Board density, stiffness, proper installation determines the durability of the floor. So buying your laminate planks from a trusted manufacturer plays a major role in its sustainability. The sheets you buy must be hard enough to handle high pressure and shouldn’t break easily. Sheets with weak joints can’t handle much pressure and break easily.
How to Repair the Swollen Laminate Flooring?
The best way to repair your swollen floors is to replace the swollen board.
When you get down to repair your swollen boards, inspect the board beforehand. Find out where the swelling is and why that happened. Walk on your floor and find the bubbles. If your floor is bubbled on one board, then the board must be definitely changed. If bubbles are present between the boards, it is due to a lack of expansion gaps.
Once you’ve figured out the reason, you’ll have to remove the wall molding near the damaged board with air bubbles. Start removing the mold carefully with a screwdriver and hammer, and be careful not to break anything. Then start removing the laminate flooring one by one to get to the damaged floorboard.
Slide the damaged board from the board’s locking mechanism and remove it gently. If you knew that the swelling was due to a lack of gap between the boards, you could easily ease the floor’s tension. The gap between the boards, if it is less than ¼ inch, you’ll have to increase it to a range between ¼ – ½ inches. Now, to increase it, cut the board close to the wall with exact measurements.
When you are done cutting the boards, buy similar boards that you need beforehand from the same manufacturer so that the color and design don’t stand out. Now you’ll have to replace the newly bought boards in place of the old ones carefully. While you’re replacing the swollen boards, you can also take the liberty to replace the other worn-out or damaged boards so that you’re giving your floor a whole new makeover.
While replacing all the other boards, remember to provide it with enough expansion and contraction gaps so that this swelling problem doesn’t occur again.
After you’re done fixing your floors, slight swelling might happen as the floors are glued down. This swelling will resolve itself within a period of 3-4 weeks, and then you’re good to go.
How Can We Prevent Our Laminate Floor From Swelling?
Now that you know how to repair your floors let’s go through a few preventive measures you can follow-
- Never allow water to stay on the floor for a long time. Mop the spills as soon as you identify them.
- As the floors can’t handle moisture, avoid wet mopping of floors at all costs.
- Try to maintain the humidity level between 35-65 percent to avoid floor damages. Users can use a dehumidifier to keep the level stable.
- During hot, summer days you can always use an air conditioner to keep the humidity level down.
- While installing laminate floors, make sure you leave ¼ – ½ inch between boards to avoid swelling when it expands.
- When you choose to clean the floor, make sure you always use the cleaning products recommended for laminate flooring.
- To make the flooring withstand moisture, you can use a moisture barrier.
- When things get out of your hand, feel free to call for professional help.
Swollen floors might happen due to many reasons, so a few tips and tricks to prevent that might come in handy. Try to follow all of these and prevent your laminate floors from swelling. We hope this article about how to repair swollen laminate floors would have helped you gain some knowledge for getting your floors fixed. So, all the best!