Laminate flooring is a popular option for many homeowners due to its affordability and alluring appearance. However, side spaces can occur due to various reasons such as improper installation, humidity changes or subfloor issues. These gaps can be unseemly and may lead to other issues if not addressed.
Fortunately, there are several methods to repair laminate flooring side gaps, including using wood adhesive, weighted objects or replacing the damaged slabs. It’s also essential to prevent side openings in the future by maintaining consistent humidity levels and using proper installation techniques. Addressing side spaces in laminate flooring is crucial to avoid further damage and maintain the integrity of the floor.
Causes of Laminate Flooring Side Gaps
Laminate flooring side gaps can occur due to various reasons, such as improper installation, humidity changes or subfloor issues. All flooring is supposed to move a little bit, particularly wood-based flooring, which needs to acclimatize to the room, as the wood can expand and contract depending on the temperature and humidity.
Gaps in laminate flooring are typically caused by varying humidity or sun landing on the same area over and over (heating/cooling). A misaligned substructure is often the cause of most laminate flooring issues, particularly laminate flooring separation. When the flooring was installed, the substructure should have been examined to ensure it was clear, dry and flat.
Any unevenness underneath will eventually begin to show up as spaces. According to, temperature changes, irregular floor base or something else can cause openings between laminate planks. Understanding the cause of the side openings can help determine the best solution.
Methods to Fix Laminate Flooring Side Gaps
Here are the three methods to repair laminate flooring side gaps:
1. Wood Glue Method:
The wood adhesive method is ideal for fixing minor spaces at the short extremities of laminate flooring planks. To use this technique, apply a heavy application of wood adhesive to the tongue of the board that’s come loose. It’s essential to clear the crevice before administering the adhesive to ensure a secure bond.
However, this method should only be used to close up very small gaps, as attempting to fill medium-sized and larger gaps with wood adhesive, sealant or similar substances will only result in gaps growing larger and those restorative substances flaking or cracking out of the gaps.
2. Weighted Object Method:
The weighted object procedure is appropriate for larger distances. To use this procedure, position a weighted object on the opening to close it. Be cautious not to damage the flooring. Using two pairs of gap fixers positioned on either end of the gap can also be effective.
Note that longitudinal spaces in laminate flooring may be caused by deformed planks or an irregular substructure, in which case you may need to replace the boards or in some cases even replace the entire floor. Hold a straightedge along the length of a problem plank to make sure the edges are straight and haven’t warped. If the plank groans or sounds when you tread on it, the substructure isn’t level.
As you work on subsequent gaps, stand on or place a weighty object (like 4-5 bricks) on the plank adjacent to the gap that’s nearer to the centre of the floor, keeping it stationary and pulling the other plank toward it rather than pulling both planks together, which may result in unintentional gaps.
3. Replacement Method:
The replacement technique is ideal for severe spaces or deformed floors. To use this method, replace the damaged planks and ensure the new planks match the existing flooring. Checking for straight edges and using a straightedge along the length of a problem plank can help identify warped planks that may need replacement.
The majority of the people here fail to realize that if you do it just for this one section chances are you will open up a breach in another section further down the line. Do not super glue it, laminate click-together flooring is intended to “float” and will fracture if glued together under extreme pressures or climate changes.
Use some double-sided tape to secure down a piece of timber on one of the planks. Now you can drive it in to close the margin. Repeat down the line if required.
Preventing Laminate Flooring Side Gaps
To prevent side gaps in laminate flooring, it’s crucial to maintain consistent humidity levels and use proper installation techniques. Here are some strategies to prevent openings in laminate flooring:
1. Maintain Consistent Humidity Levels:
- High humidity and accidents can cause laminate floor boards to swell and contract, making spaces inevitable.
- Only use moist mops (not saturated) and clear up any spillage promptly using a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Use floor mats and rugs in areas prone to spills.
2. Use Proper Installation Techniques:
- Ensure the substrate is spotless, dry and flat before installing the laminate flooring.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, including acclimating the flooring to the room’s temperature and humidity.
- Use spacers to maintain the correct expansion distance between the flooring and walls.
In short, laminate flooring side gaps can occur due to numerous reasons such as improper installation, humidity shifts or subfloor issues. To repair small gaps, the wood adhesive method can be used, while larger gaps can be closed using weighted objects. For severe gaps or deformed timbers, replacement is the best solution.
To prevent side spaces in the future, householders should maintain consistent humidity levels and use proper installation techniques. It’s crucial to resolve side spaces in laminate flooring to avoid further damage and maintain the quality of the floor. By following these tips, homeowners can prevent side spaces in their laminate flooring and avoid costly repairs in the future.