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We have laminate flooring in our kitchen/lounge and over the winter (which are cold and damp here in New Zealand) the flooring has begun to rise up in a couple of places. It was fitted by the previous owner and it appeared that they had left enough gap around the edge for expansion, but it turns out they didn't. Is there a solution to fix this without having to take most of it up and shorten/reshape a lot of bits?

One option we've had suggested is to get a dehumidifier in there to take the moisture out, but that doesn't seem like a long-term fix!

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Depending on the layout, you might be able to fix this without taking up any of the flooring. Here in the US at least, laminate flooring is usually installed in a floating manner, where the individual laminate boards are not attached to the subfloor at all and the entire floor is free to expand and contract (assuming it's not bound up at the edges). The expansion gap around the perimeter of the room is hidden under a baseboard and some variety of quarter-round or shoe molding.

If your floor is buckling because its expansion gap isn't big enough, you should be able to remove that shoe molding and baseboard and cut the edges to increase the gap without pulling up the flooring. I'd recommend an oscillating multifunction tool for this as it will let you cut very close to the wall, unlike a circular saw. Here's a cheap one from Harbor Freight.

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An answer to a question about squeaky floors recommended Squeeeeek No More screws. You screw them in until a certain depth and then break the head off, so the top wood is fixed to the bottom wood (it probably won't work with a concrete floor, like we usually have here in Europe), without a visible screw head (you fill the small hole with wood filler). I don't know whether it works with laminate flooring, and whether you can get it in New Zealand, but you can always ask them.

This will of course remove the freedom of the movement of the wood, I don't know whether that is a good idea or not.

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Not a good plan - the laminate will fail when it wants to expand or contract and finds it can't. –  Jeremy McGee Jul 29 '10 at 20:03
    
One of the key things with laminate flooring is that it's "floating" (i.e. not attached down), so I don't like this idea... –  x3ja Aug 2 '10 at 20:55
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I fear there'll be no easy answer. Are your baseboards/skirting boards fixed to the wall above the flooring? If so you may be able to remove them and fix them slightly higher so the flooring can slide underneath.

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