Tuesday, December 13, 2016
As a rule laminate flooring is tough and durable, however, over time problems can arise. Fortunately, there are quick repairs to correct these laminate flooring defects and restore your floor’s beautiful appearance.
1. Fix Gaps with Vinyl Putty
Gaps in a laminate floor can be caused by an uneven subfloor, improper installation of flooring underlayment, or temperature changes. When dealing with small gaps less than 1/8th of an inch on the end of a plank or along the edge of a plank, the application of vinyl putty can provide an effective fix.
Make sure the shade of putty you choose matches the floor as closely as possible. However, you can mix 2 or even 3 colors together in order to get the desired color.
Start with vinyl putty that’s darker than your floor, then mix with putty of a lighter shade until you achieve the desired hue. Wearing gloves, squeeze out a small amount of the darker putty from the tube onto a paper plate. A small putty knife is a good tool to use for mixing. Add the lighter putty in small increments until you reach the desired shade for your floor repair. If two colors don’t render the right color, try mixing in a third.
If you need help choosing colors, speak with a knowledgeable associate in your local flooring store.
2. Use a Dual Suction Cup Glass Lifter
This awesome and inexpensive tool ($9) can be used to eliminate gaps in laminate flooring, even the larger ones. Use the powerful dual vacuum power of this versatile tool to grip an installed plank, then tap the handle with a rubber hammer. Continue tapping until the gap in the flooring closes. Repeat this process with all gapped planks in the floor, working from one side of the floor to the other.
3. Use Markers and Crayons to Hide Scratches
Here again, closely matching the color of the floor is the key to success with this method. Small scratches can be rendered almost invisible with the appropriate shade of markers, wax pencils, or even crayons. It’s a good idea to ask for advice at your local flooring store. A laminate floor repair kit that includes specialty markers can also be purchased.
For larger, deeper scratches or dents purchase a laminate repair compound kit. This kit uses a pre-colored mixture that you mix and spread over the scratch.
4. Foam Away Spongy Spots
Soft spots in a laminate floor can be caused by an uneven sub-floor or improper installation of flooring underlayment.
For quick repairs of soft spots in your laminate floor use an air inflation needle or a syringe (used to blow up sports balls) on a can of spray foam.
1. Attach an air inflation needle as an extension onto a can of spray foam. Use the kind of foam that’s used for filling cracks. Experiment with this before attempting the final installation.
2. Put down a layer of masking tape to protect the surface of the laminate.
3. Drill a tiny hole in the middle of the soft spot and inject the foam under the planks. You may need to make more than one injection site if the area is large.
4. Remove any excess foam and cover the hole with a piece of duct tape until the foam underneath the boards sets up and becomes firm. This is an effective cure for an uneven subfloor.
5. Fill the holes used for injection sites with matching wood putty.
Laminate flooring is a more affordable alternative to expensive hardwood flooring. While considered durable, sometimes gaps, scratches, or spongy spots appear, but are easy to fix for the average DIYer.
Not sure where to start? Contact one of our flooring experts to request a free flooring estimate when you're ready to upgrade your home's floors.
About the Author
Elizabeth D. has worked as a contractor in the construction of new homes and renovation of older homes for 25 years. She has written DIY articles in the field of home construction and repair for eHow. She has been involved in many DIY projects over the years. Elizabeth is the 'go-to' person in her circle to help improve the design of projects and solve problems with home construction.
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