Replacing Laminate Flooring

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Assessing the Damage

  • Assessing the damage to your laminate flooring is your first step so you can determine the strategy to use: repair by patching or replacement. Dents, dings, scratches and small cracks are possible to repair; however, cracks longer than a credit card and holes bigger than a quarter are not.

    Decide if the damage affects only one plank or if it affects multiple planks. If the damage is on only one or a couple of planks or a row of planks, it may still be possible to remove the damaged portions and replace them with new ones. If the damage in your laminate flooring is close to the edge or corner, you can just remove or loosen the damaged piece. However, this may render the other pieces to loosen as well, if not done correctly.

    If the damage is widespread or scattered everywhere, it is better to remove all the floor planks and replace with brand-new ones for a better look in the end.

Tools and Materials

  • To replace a damaged laminate flooring plank, you need a ruler, a marker, portable circular saw, flat-head screwdriver or chisel, hammer, replacement piece of laminate plank and wood or carpenter's glue. You also need a couple of heavy items to help set the glue--for example, a set of weights or a stack of heavy books that you will place on each end of the laminate plank. You need a rag to remove dust or debris and to wipe off excess glue that might spill accidentally on nearby planks.

Replacing Laminate

  • Use a marker and ruler to mark the damaged plank. On one end of the laminate plank, draw a diagonal line from one corner to about a fourth of the way, then draw another diagonal line from the opposite side. The two points should meet, providing a triangular shape. Repeat this on the other end of the plank. Then draw a straight line across to connect the two triangles (see the image).

    Next, use a chisel and hammer to remove the laminate plank by following the lines drawn. Punch a hole from each corner of the line intersection. This will produce an opening on each corner for the circular saw to enter through to cut the damaged laminate wood. Make the cut on each line to break the plank in four pieces, comprising two small triangular pieces and two big rectangular pieces. Remove the dirt or debris that results from breaking the piece. Make sure that the opening is free from debris to ensure that the plank will lay down flat.

    Get another piece of laminate plank that matches the color and design of the rest of the floor, and trim it to a size to fit the opening. Apply wood glue on all four sides of the existing floor (perimeter of the opening), and put the plank on top. Place heavy objects to help the plank set in, leaving for 24 hours. Remove any excess dirt and glue with a damp rag.

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