When Should You Replace Laminate Flooring

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Last updated: April 7, 2023

Laminate flooring is an excellent option if you’re looking for wood-look flooring, and its multi-layered synthetic construction gives the impression of natural wood. But unfortunately, laminate flooring has a finite lifespan.

Laminate flooring is vulnerable to damage from liquids, sharp objects, and sloppy installation. You can decide if it is more cost-effective to fix the problem or do a complete reinstall. This article will cover how and when to replace your laminate flooring.

Table of Contents

Common Damages That May Occur on Your Laminate Flooring


Laminate floors are susceptible to cracking. Unfortunately, for homeowners, this is a common occurrence. However, if it’s not too bad, you can keep the floor longer before replacing it.


Laminate flooring can peel after years of use or peel earlier if water or overheating damages it (if your floors are heated). When laminate flooring peels, it’s nearly impossible to repair it; in this case, replacement is your only option.


Peaking occurs when the floor rises between planks’ junctions. Usually, this is because of a need for more flooring space. If the laminate continues to wear down because of this issue, it will need to be replaced.


Sometimes, the laminate flooring planks can split after some time, and this is a typical result of sudden, severe temperature drops. Before installation, ensure the laminate floorboards have been exposed to the room’s conditions. If gaps appear in your newly installed laminate floor, you need a new one.


Peeling of the corners and edges is a telltale sign of cupping in a laminate floor, and this happens when the subfloor absorbs moisture, or the indoor humidity is too high.

Most cupping boards will require replacement, which is a real bummer. Reducing humidity and drying out the area may help the moisture decrease if you have minor cupping.

Fixing Broken Laminate Floors: Scratched Laminate


Scratched laminate floors can look old and ugly no matter how damaged. The good news is that there are ways to fix these problems and cover up these scratches and dings. You can improve scratched laminate flooring in several ways.

Make Use of A Wax Pencil

We can repair floor scratches with a wax pencil, like coloring. First, find a wax pencil that matches your floor color. These are commonly sold in hardware and home improvement shops.

Rub the wax pencil back and forth to fill the scratch. Use short strokes to avoid spreading the repair. After coloring, use a soft, dry cloth to blend your cosmetic repair and remove discoloration.

Use A Repair Putty

Use repair putty to fix a scratch beyond the depth a wax pencil can reach. You can purchase kits directly from the local hardware store or a flooring manufacturer. Again, try to find a shade close to the floor’s color.

Next, smooth the putty into the nick with a putty knife. Finally, apply the putty to the gouged area by pressing it gently with the side of the blade. You’ll need to fill every nook and cranny, so make sure you’re moving in different directions. Putty should be leveled and allowed to dry for a full day.

Swap Out the Scratched Boards

Putty and wax only go so far. You may need to replace the scratched boards if they are too deep or if there are multiple scratches on a single board.

Laminate floors don’t require nails or glue, making it simple to fix any damaged sections of flooring by simply replacing the affected planks. For this very reason, it is wise to keep an extra package of flooring on hand at all times. To replace damaged planks:

  • Take down the baseboards and molding.
  • Next, take up the floorboards one by one until you reach the ruined section.
  • Put a new plank in place of the old one that got damaged.
  • Re-lay the flooring you lifted to complete the floor.
  • Fix this by installing new trim or baseboards.

Removing the planks may be time-consuming, but it’s well worth it. It’s essential to start from the nearest wall to maximize productivity. You can reinstall the moldings and replace the broken laminate board once you’ve understood how to remove the laminate planks.

You can protect yourself and your floor from damage by following the directions closely. Get an expert’s opinion before doing repairs.

Fixing Broken Laminate Floors: Buckling Laminate Flooring

Laminate floors that buckle typically result from two causes: the lack of an expansion gap or the presence of moisture, which causes the boards to swell and buckle. Laminate boards will buckle or form a tent-like appearance if there is no room for expansion and maintenance. Consider the following advice to avoid the buckles that can occur in laminate flooring:

  • Before installing your new flooring, give the boxes a few days to acclimate to your home’s temperature and humidity.
  • Then, before they are permanently set up, watch if there will be any expansion gaps. Again, it’s an essential process that you can’t skip. Then place these in a temperature-controlled area.
  • Leave an Adequate Expansion Gap. It would be best to leave at least once, and plywood offcuts or spacers can serve as installation guides.

Dry out your house by lowering the humidity. Try maintaining relative humidity around the home between 35% and 65%. Cover the floor with underlayment. Putting down underlayment is the first way of securing your floors.

In addition, your floors will be more secure with an underlayment as a moisture barrier. If you want to keep the flooring system of your laminate safe from water damage, it’s vital to seal the joints in high-moisture areas like the kitchen.

How To Fix Buckling Laminate Floors?

Despite preventive efforts, your laminate floors may still end up buckling. For example, a flood or even a small puddle of water left unattended can cause floors to buckle, and if that occurs, the affected wood will need to be replaced.

Here’s the procedure:

  • The first step in repairing buckling is locating the damaged sections.
  • Next, remove any molding or baseboards close to the buckled floors.
  • The first step in repairing buckling is locating the damaged sections.
  • Next, remove any molding or baseboards close to the buckled floors.
  • We should remove the boards in sections, beginning at the wall and ending at the damaged area.
  • Substitute new boards for the old, ruined ones.
  • Click the remaining boards back into place as in the original installation.
  • Next, put in new molding or baseboards.

Because you can install laminate flooring without glue or nails, you can replace just the sections that need it without having to pay to redo the entire room. If there are extra laminate boards after an installation, save them in case any get damaged.

The Floating Floor Installation Method For Fixing Laminate Flooring

Replacing your laminate floorings at once is unnecessary if only a few individual planks get damaged. However, it’s okay to spend a small fortune on laminate replacement; your only outlay will be to replace the few planks that will inevitably need fixing.

With the floating floor installation method, any damaged planks can be quickly and easily removed, replaced with brand new, scratch-free planks, and the old planks reinstalled in their original locations. The procedure is as follows:

Strip Off the Molding or Baseboards

You’ll need to remove the baseboards or mold around the damaged areas to get to the laminate. But, again, take caution while doing this.

Carefully Take Out the Damaged Section Of Laminate Flooring

To repair a damaged section of laminate flooring, start at a wall and work toward the center of the room. Take caution not to damage the flooring.

Replace The Damaged Boards with Brand-New Boards

Replace the damaged planks with a few new ones or use the extras from the installation. If you decide to replace your flooring, it is essential to acclimate the new planks like you did the old ones. Verify that you made no changes to the model of your flooring, particularly concerning the thickness or locking mechanism, and this is something that manufacturers occasionally do.

Replace The Healthy Planks One at A Time

Piece by piece, reinstall the planks until you reach the far wall. It is optional to use brand-new planks at this stage; however, reinstalling the boards requires patience and attention to the locking mechanisms.

Change The Molding or Baseboard

Once the floor is clean and in good condition, you can replace the baseboards and molding to complete the project. The tongue and groove locking system can quickly replace broken laminate boards. Disassembling and reassembling the affected sections like a jigsaw puzzle can quickly fix floor damage.


While laminate flooring can be a more affordable and aesthetically pleasing alternative to natural wood floors, its surface gets easily scratched and dented. You can use filler products to repair minor chips and abrasions on a laminate floor. By staying keen and knowing when to replace old, damaged flooring, you can save a lot of money instead of reinstalling new laminate on the entire flooring.

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