Can you replace sections of laminate flooring?

Written by myra smith | 13/05/2017
Can you replace sections of laminate flooring?
A common type laminate flooring simply clicks together and can be replaced easily. (Getty Images)

Manufactured laminate flooring has a hard plastic coating on the surface. Dropping sharp objects or dragging furniture across the flooring can gouge it. Laminate flooring installed by the click-together method or glued joints requires different methods to replace. Replacing a section of damaged laminate flooring requires following steps that pertain to the original instalment method.

Minor damage

Repair laminate flooring that has minor scratches or gouges with repair kits available from flooring dealers. These kits usually contain an acrylic or latex putty and wax pencils or crayons that are colour matched to the floor. If the damage is severe or repairs give an unsatisfactory appearance, the removal and replacement of the section of laminate is required.

Click together laminate

Remove click-together laminate by beginning at the wall nearest the damaged piece of flooring and remove the baseboard or quarter-round from the edge of the floor. Lift the first piece of flooring at an angle to remove the tongue from the groove section of the next row of laminate. Continue disassembling the floor similar to the way you would disassemble a jigsaw puzzle. Lay the removed pieces of flooring aside in the order removed or label the backside; this will make reinstalling the flooring quicker. Continue removing the flooring until the damaged piece is accessible.

Cut a new piece of the laminate flooring and click into place. Reassemble the remaining flooring into place. Nail the baseboard or quarter-round.

Glued laminate

Glued laminate is more difficult to remove and replace and will require replacement of the underlay film (if any) that is beneath the damaged piece of flooring.

Mark the damaged section of laminate 3.75 cm (1 1/2 inches) from the sides and ends. Mark a line on the laminate along both sides and the ends on the 3.75 cm (1 1/2-inch) mark. Use a circular saw set to the thickness of the laminate and cut out the centre section of the laminate along the marked lines. Use a pry bar to remove the cut-out section. Work the remaining edges loose from the adjacent flooring with pliers. Use care not to damage the tongues and grooves on the adjacent flooring.

Use a wood chisel to remove any remaining glue on the edges of the laminate. Work carefully to avoid damage.

Remove the bottom edges of the groove on the replacement laminate with a circular saw; do not remove the tongue section on the long side. Remove the tongue on the rear end of the laminate.

Apply glue to the groove sections of the replacement laminate and work into place. Wipe any glue off the surface of the laminate. Weigh down the replacement section with heavy books until the glue is dry.

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