There could be multiple reasons why the laminate boards may move and shift over time. It could be the result of humidity, may be caused due to some technical errors at the time of installation, or it could even be due to the high moisture content in the floorboards. Thankfully, you do not have to undertake major renovation projects like removing the entire floor to remedy the situation.
If your laminate floor is moving and shifting, you can fix it by closing any gaps between the floorboards. Ensure that the subfloor is even during installation, and there is no moisture retention in the floor area. Using wood glue to make sure that the floorboards do not fall apart is recommended.
Laminates are widely used today because they can mimic hardwood without having the hassles of maintenance with the wooden floors. In many places, laminates are used for creating a floating floor where the laminate panels do not stick to the subfloor, and sometimes, these panels move and shift, which is not desirable in a floorboard. Keep on reading to find out some easy ways to remedy these problems.
Can You Fix Laminate Floor That Is Moving and Shifting?
Laminate floors are relatively easy to install compared to hardwood floors. The perspective of maintenance and upkeep are easier to take care of. Fixing floating floors have increasingly become a DIY project across many households. They take it up as a weekend project, but the real issue comes in if the floor starts to become unstable.
While it may seem scary to walk on a moving and shifting floor, it does not mean that this problem is without a solution. You can fix your laminate flooring that is moving and shifting. Much like the installation process, a DIY project, the fixing of the moving laminate floors can also be taken up as a weekend DIY project.
Should You Fix Laminate Floor That Is Moving and Shifting?
You should fix laminate flooring that is moving and shifting. More often than not, the reason for the moving and shifting of your laminate floorboards is because it may not have been installed properly.
Usually, a tongue and groove feature is used as an installation method, making the need for nailing down each of the laminates redundant. Also, when installing the laminate, sometimes the subfloor may be uneven, causing the floorboards to move and shift.
In many other cases, the moisture content present in the wood is also one of the major reasons behind the moving and shifting of the laminate floorboards. The rising humidity makes the wood absorb more moisture from the surroundings leading to damage in the laminate flooring.
How to Fix Laminate Floor That Is Moving and Shifting
Here are a few methods you can use and implement to prevent and fix the laminate floor from moving or shifting.
Fixing Gaps in Floorboards to Prevent Laminate Floorboards From Moving and Shifting
This method is used to fix gaps resulting from the movement of laminate floorboards. To fix a moving laminate floor, you will need the following tools handy:
- Tapping block
- Wood glue
To fix the moving floorboard, follow these easy steps:
- Figure out the direction in which the movement has occurred. To do this, you will need to take a close look at the joint that has shifted or moved. You will notice the deviation, which will give you an idea of the direction in which the board has moved.
- Once you determine the direction in which the board has moved, you will have to remove the skirting board that lies in the same direction.
- With the help of your hammer and a chisel, begin to detach the skirting board gradually.
- After removing it successfully, you will see the exact location where the laminated floorboard shifted.
- The tapping block will be required at this stage along with the hammer. You will have to place the board back in place with the help of these two tools and close the gap where the movement or shift has occurred.
- As an added measure, you can also use wood glue and apply some of it in the board’s gap to ensure that the floorboards will not fall apart again. Wood glue will help hold the floorboards in place, thus reducing any excess wear and tear and eliminating any chances of gaping holes in the floorboard and consequent moisture retention.
This video will show another method that demonstrates how to fix gaps in laminate flooring that are moving and shifting:
Fixing Uneven Subfloor to Prevent Laminate Floorboards From Moving and Shifting
In this method, if an uneven subfloor causes the movement or shifting of the laminate floorboard, then the steps to correct that error is explained. To fix an uneven subfloor so that the laminate floorboards do not move or shift, you will need:
- 4-foot level
- Chalk or masking tape
- Tapping block
- Building papers
- Flat Saw
Adhere to the following steps to fix your floorboards from moving and shifting:
- Do a level check using the commonly found 4-foot level. This should highlight the low-lying areas on the subfloor.
- You will need to demarcate these areas either with chalk or masking tape.
- The areas you have marked out as dips on the floor should be brought to a level with the floor. To do this, you will need to add layers of fillers in the form of building papers.
- Once you have added the building papers, use the 4-foot level to ensure that the floor is now level at all places.
- Next, place a piece of laminate floorboards against the door jamb and cut through the area with the help of a flat saw or a hammer and chisel until it fits under the door jamb. Floorboards are less likely to move and shift if they are slipped underneath door jambs rather than merely being cut to size.
- Then go on installing the remaining floorboards as you would normally do using a tapping block and keeping the floorboards 3/8th of an inch away from the wall to allow expansion.
The Easy Mask 35-inch x 140-feet Brown Builders Paper is easily available online and can be used for this project.
Pre-Emptive Measures to Be Taken at the Time of Installing
There are a few steps that you can take at the time of installation to avoid any moving or shifting of the laminate floorboards. These steps include:
- Lay a polyethylene foam on top of the subfloor and only then begin installing the laminate floorboards.
- Ensure that there is no overlapping when you are laying the polyethylene foam as that may lead to the floor becoming uneven, and it will not help when you are laying the laminate flooring.
- Use tape to secure the foam in place before you start laying the laminate floorboards. Having the underlayment securely in place will ensure that there is enough friction when installing the laminate panels and ensuring that there is no movement during installation.
Fixing a laminate floor that has moved or shifted is not a very hard task, and more often than not, it can be taken up as a DIY weekend project. However, prevention is always better than cure. The extra attention that you give at the time of laying the laminate floorboards will go a long way in ensuring that the boards do not move or shift over time.