How to repair bulging laminate floors

Updated February 21, 2017

One big advantage of laminate floors over traditional hardwood floors is that laminate is usually installed without nails or glue. The laminate boards just clip together by their tongue-and-groove edges, and are held down by the floor trim around the edges of the room. This means that a bulging or otherwise damaged laminate board or group of boards can be replaced by simply taking apart the floor to that point, replacing the boards, and putting the floor back together. See your home improvement store for replacement boards of the same brand as the floor.

Tap your prybar with your hammer to remove the floor trim from the closest parallel wall to the damage (meaning, the closest wall that runs in the same direction as the floorboards). Remove the trim carefully, so you can put it back in later. Do the same for the trim on the two walls perpendicular to the direction of the floorboards.

Separate the first course of flooring (nearest the parallel wall) by pushing the boards toward the wall, into the small gap that was left there during installation and was previously covered up by the floor trim. Leave the loose boards right where they were when you took them out, in the same position from each other.

Pull apart the next courses of floorboard, leaving the boards sitting loose on the floor in the same positions as they were. Continue until you get to the damaged boards.

Take out the damaged boards. Put your replacement boards in their place.

Re-assemble the floor back together in reverse order from how you took it apart, clipping the boards together course by course, working back toward the wall where you started from.

Re-install the floor trim.


If you can remove the trim without fully extracting the nails, but just tapping them out enough so the pointed ends are flush with the back of the trim pieces, you can reuse the same nails when you reinstall the trim.

Things You'll Need

  • Prybar
  • Hammer
  • Replacement laminate floor boards
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