How to repair wood laminate water damage

Written by kay miranda
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How to repair wood laminate water damage
Minor water damage can be repaired. (Floor image by Einar Bog from Fotolia.com)

Wood laminate is a durable floor option that provides homeowners with a less expensive alternative to wood that is easy to clean and maintain. Wood laminate is made by layering wood through a high pressure treatment to create the floor material. Because the layers are not one homogeneous material, wood laminate is highly susceptible to water damage. When water swells the board, it cannot shrink back to the proper size. Repairing wood laminate that has been damaged from water may be difficult depending on the amount of damage.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Putty knife
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Measuring tape
  • Matching laminate planks
  • Safety goggles
  • Saw
  • Utility knife
  • Laminate filler
  • Towel
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the baseboard at the wall closest to the water-damaged boards. Use a putty knife to pull the boards off, exposing the edge of the laminate floor.

  2. 2

    Insert the putty knife in between the seams of each plank, giving just enough pressure to separate a plank from the plank next to it. Pull off as many boards as you need to in order to reach the damaged area.

  3. 3

    Look for signs of mould. If the water damage is the result of a chronic problem, mould may begin to grow under the floor. Clean the substrate with trisodium phosphate to kill minor mould or mildew growth.

  4. 4

    Measure the damage on the laminate boards and cut them out. Measure and cut replacement boards to fit in the sections removed.

  5. 5

    Reinstall the laminate boards. Apply laminate filler at the seams where you replaced damaged sections. Wipe up excess and allow it to dry.

  6. 6

    Replace the baseboards with a hammer and finishing nails.

Tips and warnings

  • Laminate floors last longer when preventive care is taken. Clean up spills immediately. Use floor mats in high traffic areas. Resolve underlying moisture issues prior to reinstalling your laminate floor.
  • Use safety goggles when removing laminate or sawing boards. Flying pieces are a danger.
  • Store trisodium phosphate out of reach of children and animals.

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