How to Repair Wet Laminate Flooring

Basically to repair wet laminate flooring means that the wet laminate needs to be removed and replaced with new laminate flooring. Hopefully you have some left over from the original installation, or it can still be purchased. I recommend that when ordering laminate flooring for your home, its best to order extra according to how much of your home your going to do. Example: If your just doing one room, you may not need too much extra in case of damage. But if your doing your whole home there is a lot more area that could potentially get damaged. So having 4 extra boxes of laminate left when doing your entire home is good. Whereas having a partial box from doing one room would be ok.

It may be difficult to calculate how much you may need until you remove the damaged laminate. You may not realize that the top of the laminate can look ok but it is wet underneath.

These days the laminate flooring just clicks together, which makes it easy to take apart. Its like taking a big puzzle apart and putting it back together.

This can be difficult sometimes depending on where the wet laminate is located, such as in a hallway with a lot of doorways compared to water that may have leaked under a wall onto the living room floor.

Before taking the laminate flooring apart, you may need to remove transitions, baseboard and/or quarter round.


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Here is some water damaged laminate,how to repair laminate flooring

Here in this photo you can see how water under the laminate flooring affects the top. The joints tend to peak up where they meet.

In this particular case this flooring is Home Depots Traffic Master , Estate Cherry. 7mm 10 year warranty and as of March of 2012 cost about .99 cents per square foot.

How to Repair Wet Laminate Flooring

Water damaged laminate flooring,remove transitions and quarter round first.

Before taking up the wet laminate flooring you will need to remove the transitions and quarter round or base board. In this case I only had to remove the quarter round.

You may be able to save the transitions and reuse them. When taking them up be gentle. Try to get something thin like a paint scraper under the edge to get it started.

Water damaged laminate flooring,remove transitions and quarter round first.

After removing the transitions and quarter round, start taking up the laminate at the wall or doorway.

Here in this photo you can see the reflection of the washer and dryer. The floor is still wet. I let the floor dry out for a while before laying the new laminate.

Since the laminate is wet you can use a pry bar to start the removal. You need to be careful when doing this as the laminate may break. The edges of the top layer are really sharp and will cut you. It would be wise to wear some gloves.

Once you get to the dry area you will need to be easy taking the planks apart. The dry planks can be reused so you don't want to damage any. The easiest way to remove each plank is to lift up along the long edge and wiggle the plank back an forth while pulling away from the end joint.

Inspect each plank as you remove it for damage. If one end happens to be damaged, mark that end with a pencil. You may be able to use the good end somewhere else.



Water damaged laminate flooring,removal from hallway into living room.

Here you can see how much of the flooring had to come up, all the way down the living room wall because of the staggered joints.

I ended up taking about 3/4 of the kitchen floor up to the left. The water covered a large part of the floor. Luckily my client had four boxes left over from the original installation. He just bought some new underlayment and one transition. If you can repair wet laminate flooring yourself, you can save some money.

Water damaged laminate flooring,reinstalled looks like a new floor.

After you get all the wet laminate up, start installing the new laminate as if your laying a new floor. Use the dry boards you removed, checking them for any damage that may have occurred when removing them.

Here is the finished floor with the quarter round and transitions installed. This Home Depot laminate flooring is not something I wood recommend as a quality product. This wet laminate was done in a rental unit. The end joints were not always flush when I reinstalled it. I guess you get what you pay for.

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