Laminate flooring, the chameleon of interiors, offers the allure of hardwood without the hefty price tag.

Yet, even the sturdiest imitations have their kryptonite, and mishaps—whether a devilish stiletto dent or an overflowing dishwasher—can leave you staring at a marred expanse that once gleamed impeccably.

Here’s the deal: I’m unveiling the cloak of uncertainty around how to repair laminate flooring.

From discerning the minute beginnings of water damage to wielding a repair kit like a pro, this guide promises to arm you with practical strategies to restore your floors to their near-original splendor. You’ll navigate through:

  • Spotting and Assessing Damage: Learn to identify the signs of wear like scratches and bubbling.
  • Hands-On Fixes: Step-by-step on handling minor repairsfilling gaps, and soothing scratches.
  • Professional Tips for Tougher Jobs: When to call in the cavalry if the damage scopes beyond DIY.

By the close, not only will you grasp when and how to intervene, you’ll master maintaining the enduring beauty of your laminate with regular cleaning and preventative measures. Here’s to extending the life and luster of your floors!

How to repair laminate flooring

Repairing laminate flooring can be a DIY-friendly task, depending on the extent of the damage. Here are the general steps and tips for different types of repairs:

Minor Scratches and Chips

  • Use a laminate floor repair kit to cover small scratches.
  • For deeper scratches, use a universal repair kit with putty and fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the area.
  • Apply a coat of varnish to the filled area to match the original finish.

Replacing Damaged Boards

  • Remove molding and pry out damaged boards, replacing them with new ones.
  • Snap the new boards into place by putting the tongue of the new board into the groove of the existing board.
  • Use finishing nails to reattach the molding.

Preventing Damage

  • Regular cleaning and using felt adhesive pads for furniture can help prevent damage to your laminate flooring.

Repairing Swollen or Separating Flooring

  • Use a laminate repair kit to repair swollen or separating flooring.
  • Ensure the floor is thoroughly dry before starting any repairs.

Scratched laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is great for crowded public places. Places such as a local firm, gym, children’s daycare. One of the main characteristics of the laminate floor is its high durability.

Yet, it can still get damaged. If you, for example, move your furniture to clean, and you don’t have protective pads. Or if you drop a plate and it hits the floor with a sharp edge.

Accidents happen. After some time, the laminate floor will look worn and ugly. Luckily, there are ways to deal with this and make laminate look as good as new.

  1. If you’re dealing with minor scratches, this can be solved with a simple use of markers, wax pencils, crayons. Of course, in a matching shade of color. Spread the color over the scratch and use a piece of soft cloth to blend the color. You can buy a repair kit, made excatly for dealing with these kinds of damages.
  2. But if you have to deal with deeper scratches, use the repair putty. You can buy this from the same manufacturer as the one you bought floors from. Or at a home improvement store. You will get a repair kit containing a pre-colored mix or a putty and a putty knife.

Use the putty knife to spread the mixture all over the damaged spot and to fill in all the gaps. When you’re done, wipe the excessive putty and dust. Get some fine-grit sandpaper, in case you may need to sand the area. Wipe the area again.

In the next phase, you’ll need varnish. Many repair kits have it included. Be sure to open the window and wear a mask so you don’t breathe in the varnish fumes. Apply the varnish using a small brush over the treated area. Use sandpaper for the finishing touch after the varnish dries.

Sometimes neither putty nor wax can fix the damage. If the scratches are too deep, it is best you replace the damaged laminate planks.

Water-damaged laminate flooring

One of the great characteristics of laminate floors is it is water-resistant. This makes it a good flooring choice for the bathroom and kitchen too. But again, there are certain limits as it isn’t waterproof.

Spilling a small amount of any kind of liquid is not a problem, just wipe it right away. But, in case of a flood and if the floor sunk in water for a longer period, laminate boards can puff up and break. There is no other way to fix this except to replace the damaged planks.

  • Inspect the floor to find the damaged plank nearest to the wall.
  • Use the putty knife to remove the molding. It will make it easier to reach the damaged area.
  • Pry up the planks, one by one, starting from the wall to reach the damaged ones. Replace them with the new planks. Remove the tongue of one plank from the groove of the next one. This will unlock the laminate planks connected to the damaged ones.
  • Pull the damaged boards and place and lock the new ones. Be sure they locked and move slowly to the wall. Use finishing nails to put the molding and baseboards back in their place.

Buckling and lifting laminate flooring

Moisture, improper installation or high temperatures may cause laminate boards to lift. You should take into account the expansion and contraction of the boards. If you don’t, boards might not have any room, and they will buckle.

  • When installing the laminate floor, you must leave some extra space around the perimeter. If there isn’t any, boards will press and push the walls to adapt to your room. No free space – they’ll buckle.

To deal with this, try using a putty knife or chisel and the hammer to take off the baseboards or molding. This should lower the pressure against the walls and settle the planks back.

  • Having the expansion gap in mind is one of the crucial things to do. If this was a step you skipped, try not to repeat the mistake.

First, carefully remove the moldings close to the damaged planks so you could reach and replace them with the new ones. Don’t throw away extra planks when doing the installation for the first time. These might be the situations you’ll need those remaining plates.

If you’re using the new ones, they should adapt to the level of humidity in your home first, just like the old ones. Check if the color and pattern of the new boards matching with the old ones. Check the thickness and the locking system too.

Carefully place and lock new boards moving toward the molding and the wall. And don’t forget the expansion gap!

Cupping laminate flooring

Cupping refers to laminate floors that are not perfectly flat anymore. The surface looks wavy as the edges of the planks are somewhat raised toward the middle of the plank.

Relative humidity that may be too high in a room can cause cupping to happen. Laminate can also absorb the excess moisture from the subfloor. Excessive mopping or if there is anything wet left long enough on the floor can boost the moisture level.

  • You must be careful to keep anything wet off the floor. Look for any possible pipe leaks or appliances, ventilation systems… The floor has to dry fully. It has to balance out with the level of humidity in the room. After it dries, you can do the sanding to make sure the floor is completely flat.
  • If cupping happens, you have to replace the damaged planks in most cases.
  • If the problem is excessive subfloor moisture, you will probably have to replace all the boards. This affects the fixing to the sub-floor. Try to take all the measures so this doesn’t happen as it will take a lot of work to fix it.

Laminate floors are a cheap and yet decorative solution for many different spaces. True, you can fix minor damages all by yourself. You don’t have to be a certified professional to do it. Even replacing a couple of damaged boards is not that hard.

Yet, have in mind some of the guidelines and tips so you wouldn’t have to fix anything any time soon. But even if you do have to, don’t worry. With proper tools and a few tips, you will restore the flooring to look as good as new.

FAQ On How To Repair Laminate Flooring

What signs indicate laminate flooring needs repair?

Laminate that’s lifting at the edges, displaying stains, or has unsightly scratches likely needs some attention. These visual cues are critical; they signify underlying issues like moisture damage or heavy wear.

Can small scratches in laminate flooring be easily fixed?

Absolutely. Small scratches can generally be camouflaged with a matching laminate scratch repair kit. For a quick fix, these kits blend seamlessly with your floor’s original sheen and color, making minor imperfections virtually disappear.

What are the steps to replace a damaged laminate plank?

First, remove the baseboard closest to the damaged plank to access the flooring edge. Carefully lift the planks until reaching the compromised one. Replace it with a new plank and reassemble the laminate back towards the wall. Finish by reattaching the baseboard.

How do you fix peaking in laminate flooring?

Peaking, where planks push against each other and lift, is a spacing issue. To resolve, remove the molding and trim around the affected area, then cut a bit off the edge of the planks to provide more expansion space.

Is it possible to repair water-damaged laminate flooring?

While minor water damage can be sometimes addressed by drying out the planks, severe swelling or warping requires replacement. It’s imperative to replace any plank that’s lost structural integrity.

What tools are necessary for basic laminate flooring repairs?

For basic fixes, arm yourself with a few essentials: a hammerchiseltape measure, and replacement planks or tiles. A laminate filler can also be handy for smoothing out minor imperfections.

How can I prevent my laminate flooring from getting damaged?

Regular care is key. Use furniture pads to avoid scratches, clean up spills promptly to avert water damage, and place mats at entryways to catch grit. Regularly sweeping extends the life of your flooring significantly.

When should I call a professional for laminate flooring repair?

If damage spans several planks or involves complex issues like subfloor moisture problems, it’s wise to call a professional. They’re not only quicker but ensure the job is done right, safeguarding your floor’s future durability.

Can laminate flooring be repaired without removing it?

Minor issues like scratches or small gaps can be fixed without plank removal. Use a laminate repair paste or putty for filling and a color-matched marker to conceal repairs.

How long does a typical laminate floor repair take?

For small fixes, such as patching scratches or replacing a single board, the repair can be done in less than an hour. Major repairs, involving multiple planks, might require a few hours, depending on the extent of the damage and flooring layout.


Navigating through the intricacies of how to repair laminate flooring shines a spotlight on maintaining the sleek appearance and longevity of your investment. As traversed, from deciphering early signs of wear—such as warping or scratching—to executing a seamless plank replacement or addressing bubbling issues, the guidelines provided equip you with vital know-how.

In conclusion, cherish your floors by wielding this newfound knowledge; employ regular maintenance, swiftly handle accidents, and don’t shy from professional assistance when repairs scale beyond DIY. Whether it’s implementing preventative measures or mastering the use of a repair kit, each step fortifies your ability to preserve the charm and functionality of your laminate flooring for years to come. Embrace the journey of home improvement with confidence and creativity, ensuring your floors remain a testament to both resilience and beauty.

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