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I had a company come in and clean my carpets recently, and while they were in the house they managed to chip a part of my laminate flooring.

picture of the chip with a dime for reference

I went down to the local home improvement megamart, and they suggested a putty designed for this purpose, but they didn't have a putty that was close to the color of the floor. Most of the putty colors were very light compared to the color of the wood.

They've also got some "pens" that I believe are for hiding damage to stained wood, and some of these are considerably darker. However, the chip is deep enough that it would be pretty noticeable if I just colored over it.

What should I do to repair the floor in such a way that it's the least noticeable afterwards? Bear in mind that I'm somewhat of a novice, so detailed advice would be appreciated.

  • 2
    I would call the cleaners office and have them pay for the repair. – mikes Mar 18 '12 at 22:55
  • @mikes, they first denied that it had been damaged ("it was like that when we got here") and then denied responsibility ("must've been someone else"). I don't really have the energy to fight them on it; they're just not going to be invited back. – agent86 Mar 19 '12 at 1:50
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    Try the "pens" first and see how it looks. Your eye is drawn to the mark because it stands out. If you don't like the results, follow @Steven's advice and go for a replacement board. – Jon Raynor Mar 19 '12 at 15:03
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That looks like the chip is in the transition piece and not the floor boards. For the best results, just replace the entire piece. It doesn't look like it matches exactly anyways, so just try to find something very close. If you know where the floors came from you might get really lucky and end up with the identical part.

It is either glued in place, friction fitted to a track or nailed (this can't determined from the pic). Either way, you need to carefuly pry it up, being careful not to damage the floor. Install the new one as-instructed or buy some construction adhesive and glue it back down and put a few phone books on it until it dries. Make sure to wipe up any excess glue with a damp rag before it dries. It was likely cut to fit so you will need to cut the new piece. If you don't have a saw to do this, take a measurement (measure twice, cut once!) with to where you are buying it and see if they will cut it for you.

The other methods you mentioned are suitable alternatives. If the color is matched well, it won't be very noticeable when standing. Crawling, maybe.

  • 1
    What holds the transition piece in place? How would I remove it and secure the replacement? I'm not sure if we can get a replacement board, but I'll check. It was installed by a previous owner. – agent86 Mar 19 '12 at 1:51
  • @agent86 I added more info to the answer – Steven Mar 19 '12 at 20:21
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The transition piece is most likely held in place by an aluminum track as described in Steven's answer. If you can pry the transition piece up carefully you can still use the track to hold the replacement transition piece. If, on the other hand, it is glued or nailed you will still have to carefully remove it by prying it up, most likely in pieces. If it was nailed or glued, and you can get a transition piece and a truck together. Then follow the instructions to reinstall it.

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Go to a home improvement or flooring store and get a transition board Pry the damaged board out and use as a template for fit and color. Cut to size and glue in.

  • 1
    Welcome to Home Improvement. The site is a knowledge base of solutions, so the intent is that each answer provide a solution that has not already been contributed. Walt's answer 5 yrs after Steven's didn't really add anything to Steven's answer, and received no upvotes. Your answer provides the same information for the 3rd time, which is likely why it attracted a downvote. – fixer1234 Feb 16 '18 at 23:14

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