How to Fix Laminate Floor Bubbles

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Laminate flooring is an affordable alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. It can be easy to install and look eye-catching, but it also shares many of the downsides of hardwood flooring.

What can go wrong with one can go wrong with the other, and in the case of laminate flooring the effects tend to be much worse.

The most common issue is separation or gaps. This is why lots of people want to know how to fix laminate floor bubbles since the process differs a bit from that of fixing hardwood flooring.

It may be different, but don't worry, it's not that difficult.

This article will take you through the necessary steps to determine the root of the problem and take care of it.

How to Fix Laminate Floor Bubbles

floor bubbles

Laminate flooring is an affordable alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. It can be easy to install and look eye-catching, but it also shares many of the downsides of hardwood flooring.

What can go wrong with one can go wrong with the other, and in the case of laminate flooring the effects tend to be much worse.

The most common issue is separation or gaps. This is why lots of people want to know how to fix laminate floor bubbles since the process differs a bit from that of fixing hardwood flooring. It may be different, but don't worry, it's not that difficult.

This article will take you through the necessary steps to determine the root of the problem and take care of it.

What Causes Bubbles?

Before we get into how to fix laminate floor bubbles, let's explain what causes them and why they're so common in some areas. Bubbles happen when too much moisture gets in contact with laminate flooring.

Bubbles can also be caused by direct water infiltration. You don't need a flood to get bubbles! it's enough to repeatedly let spills go unattended.

If you live in a high-humidity area, you might also experience bubbling or buckling of the laminated plates. This is something you have less control over. It will also affect hardwood floors, just not as quickly.

How to Fix Laminate Floor Bubbles

The first thing you should know is that you won't be able to keep parts of your old flooring. Wherever the problem is, you will generally need to replace the flooring to really fix it.

A word of caution: If you have too much damage from moisture or water infiltration, you may need to replace your entire laminate floor in the room. This is one of the downsides of having laminate flooring rather than hardwood flooring.

Once the damage reaches a certain level, it's almost impossible to patch up. Remember that it's important to determine what caused the bubbles in the first place before you proceed to fixing the problem.

Here are the steps you need to follow to fix floor bubbles:

  1. Remove the moldings
    For this, you might need a screwdriver, hammer or even a crowbar. You can also replace your entire molding just to be on the safe side.

  2. Remove the laminate pieces with the bubbles
    Glued or nailed laminate needs to be pried out. If you have laminate flooring with a snap and lock system, the process will be easier. This is also a good time to check for moisture over the concrete or plywood subfloor.

  3. Recheck the locking system

  4. Try reinstalling the same planks and see if it looks better

  5. Make sure the floor is sealed to avoid further water infiltration

  6. If not, replace them with new ones, just make sure they look the same
    In the case of glued laminate flooring, you should wipe off excess adhesive. This can make its way between the cracks and promote expansion.

  7. Leave an expansion gap of up to half an inch from the wall

  8. If all else fails, replace your entire laminate flooring with something of a higher quality. As previously stated, sometimes the damage can be too extensive to rely on a quick fix.

How to Prevent Bubbles

Leveling the floor using spiked roller

Remember that moisture affects laminate flooring just as much as water infiltration. If you live in an area with over 60% humidity, there isn't too much you can do to prevent bubbles from occurring.

The first precautionary step you can take is to allow your floor enough time to settle after installing it. An extension gap of a quarter to half an inch is recommended as the laminate will contract and expand over time.

If you've installed the flooring on a concrete subfloor you should make sure that it was done over a moisture barrier.

If you have an AC unit, don't keep it off to cut down on your power bill. Running your AC during the summer is an easy way to reduce the humidity levels in the house.

Final Verdict

Now that you know how to fix laminate floor bubbles and how to prevent them, you should be able to keep your floors looking better for a longer time.

Even when the situation is out of your hands (if you live in a high-humidity area or get flooded) and nothing is salvageable, you will at least know your options.

If you do end up replacing the entire flooring, try leaving a bigger gap around walls, pillars and corners. You should also try using a high-quality moisture sealer for your concrete and perhaps even a sealer for the laminate flooring.

It will take longer to install this way, but you'll have a better chance of avoiding bubbles in the future.


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