So my flooring is luxury planks, tongue and groove. Every so often I come to a plank which is very difficult to get to sit up against the next one perfectly, so that no seam is visible. I've tried everything I can think of...taking it out again and re-angling, tapping block, etc. The problem shows up particularly at the end of the room, where the last row needs a pull bar. Even using the bar I still seem to get this annoying little gray seam left visible. Worse, though I didn't notice this at the time, there are a couple of planks like this in the middle of the room that show this gray edge when they catch sunlight. It seems that the slightest tiny misalignment causes this and the manufacturers shouldn't have used gray along the edges of their planks. Is there a way to fix this?

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    Do you mean fix it after the flooring is installed, or while you're installing it? I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect a plank flooring to end up seamless.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 16:47
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    Sometimes warming the area thoroughly with a hair drier will soften things enough that they will adjust. A speck of something can get in the joint and hold it apart, or there can be a ding in the interlocking piece. Warming may help the speck get embedded into the material and out of the way, or the interlocking edge will conform (if the installation is still in progress, it's better to fix it right, though). If all else fails, they sell color-matched caulk. You can work a tiny amount into the gap. Wait to do this, though, as it might fix itself over time, which won't happen if you fill it.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 17:58
  • Here is what I mean by the grey line effect. Sorry for the dust etc still on the floor. As you can see, the line is really unsightly. The other planks in the main room don't have this problem, and I've tried everything I can think of. I'll try the hair dryer trick, but it's already very warm here during the day. imgur.com/a/VcvbJ
    – user70629
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 17:55
  • I don't bother with engineered flooring but know manufacturers sell markers to help cover scratches. MiniWax sells markers in each of their wood stain colours for the same reason. Perhaps such would work? I'd prefer to focus on why the boards aren't fitting snugly. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


Your floor is not flat.

Imagine a indent dimple in the floor.

The room is 20 x 20 feet. The dimple is 1 inch deep and sprawls over the middle 10 feet of the floor.

If I run a tape or a measure wheel from wall to wall over the dimple, it's going to be slightly longer that the same measure at the wall. Not much. For a 1" dent on 10 feet that works out to about 16 thousands of an inch.

Anohter factor is that line of planks will try to wander toward a dimple, and away from a hill. you can demo this by assembling two strips that span the floor. Set them up using a scrap of laminate as a gauge. You won't be able to keep them the same distance apart unless you bend one of the strips.

When you lay hardwood floor you can tweak this with a plane taking a slice off the groove side. With ceramic tile, you can play minor games with the ground line width. or hand the tile to your helper with instructions to shave 1/32" off on one edge to straighten the row. Note: If your floor is this out of flat, do a dry lay first so you get a gut level feel for what will need to be done.

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