Jean N
Jean N
  • Hometalker
  • Blaine, WA
Asked on Dec 3, 2012

My laminate floor bows...how can we fix this?

Jean NFloorNerdKMS Woodworks
+9

Answered

This is happening mostly in high traffic area. Our laminate is newly put in, but before we move on to the other room, we'd like to correct this problem.
12 answers
  • Jean N
    on Dec 3, 2012

    I also wanted to add that there IS foam underneath the laminate.

  • 3po3
    on Dec 3, 2012

    We had this happen in a couple of homes down in the New Orleans area, where we were rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. It was mostly because we didn't know what we were doing (we learned fast), and because the subfloor got wet. A couple of questions: Has it been really wet since you installed this flooring? Also, did you or the installer leave gaps at the ends of the boards for expansion?

  • Jean N
    on Dec 3, 2012

    Steve, no water has touched the floor. And yes, there are gaps at both ends for expansion

  • 3po3
    on Dec 3, 2012

    Even if water wasn't above the floor you might have a problem if the subfloor was wet. But the foam barrier should have prevented that. I don't have any other ideas or suggestions. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

  • Jean N
    on Dec 3, 2012

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question!

  • Jean, you said you have gaps at each end, what about the sides that parallel the flooring. Few things can cause buckling of the laminate. All have to do with moisture. 1. Not allowed to acclimate to the humidity level within the house. If the material was in a dryer climate for storage and then brought into a house with higher humidity it will expand as it absorbs the moisture level within the home. If the material was stored in the house for any length of time then that is not it. 2. You did not say what the floor was set upon. Cement slab? over other finished rooms? What about a basement or crawl space area? This leads to the 2nd reason for this occurrence. Moisture from below. Even though you installed a foam barrier, was it also a moisture barrier as well. Lower cost foam does not stop humidity from traveling up from below. What is the moisture level on the room or areas below the current floor that has this issue? 3. The amount of bowing? Are you saying your floor is lifting up and when you walk on it goes back down laying flat? OR is the floor moving under foot from an already level location. If the floor is moving after it was laying flat, the type of foam pad could be the issue. If the floor has raised, then the issue is expansion due to moisture/humidity and the floor has not slid possibly due to furniture weight placed upon it, or the pad not being placed with the proper side up. The padding on many floor systems must be installed proper side up. It is not uncommon to do it wrong. So the side that does not allow slippage is not against the floor as it should be.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 3, 2012

    I think you might be experiencing "buckling" or peaking. Bow is usually referred as a curve along the length of a board. The most common cause is where the edges of the room do not allow for proper expansion. Wider and longer runs require a bit more breathing room as the individual expansion of each board is accumulative. How much space did you leave along the perimeter? I also noticed you reside in the pacific NW...Which has very extreme humidity swings. Was this floor laid in the dry summer?...are you are now into the wet rainy season? do you have a dehumidifier in your home?

  • Jean N
    on Dec 3, 2012

    KMS...yes it's raining cats and dogs. The floor was just laid out last week. There are 1/4th inch gaps between the laminate and the wall. I hadn't thought about using a dehumidifier. I'll give it a try. I appreciate all your comments....am wishing we got a professional to do the job than hiring a handy man to do the job. alas, the salary of a pastor and a part time job doesn't allow for a professional...we'll do the best wecan...

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 4, 2012

    Furniture can also impede the ability of a floor to expand when needed...I have seen this where large heavy bookcase were installed along opposite walls. This effectively binds the room. if possible can you inspect the "gap" to see if it is still present?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 4, 2012

    Furniture can also impede the ability of a floor to expand when needed...I have seen this where large heavy bookcase were installed along opposite walls. This effectively binds the room. if possible can you inspect the "gap" to see if it is still present?

  • FloorNerd
    on Dec 7, 2012

    You can only run laminate so long with out using a transition strip and seams staggered 12' apart.

  • Jean N
    on Dec 7, 2012

    The installer plans on taking out 7 rows of laminate, and pouring a leveller mix on the floor to level it off a bit. I think it will work. Thanks for your suggestions.

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