How to Repair a Floating Floor

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Floating floors are a modern answer to traditional wood floors, except they aren't nailed or glued to the subfloor. Instead, they snap together and sit unattached, pinned down by the floor trim around the edges of the room. When floating floor boards are damaged, you generally can't refinish them, because they are wood veneer rather than solid wood. The solution is to replace the damaged boards, by taking apart the floor from the closest parallel edge and then re-assembling it like a puzzle.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Flatbar
  • Replacement laminate floor boards (same style and size as the damaged boards)
  • Trim nails
  • Remove all the floor trim around the perimeter of the flooring, using a hammer and flat bar. Don't break the trim as you take it out. Set it aside. You should see a gap of about half an inch between the edges of the floor and the wall all around, exposed by the removal of the trim.

  • Determine which edge of the floor is closest to the damaged area and running parallel to the boards. Separate the first course of boards along that edge, by pushing the boards toward the gap by the wall until they loosen from the adjacent boards.

  • Continue separating the boards one by one, along the wall first, and then working back in courses toward the damaged area. As you separate each board, leave it lying in place where it was, but loosely.

  • Proceed until you reach the damaged area. Pull those boards out completely. Set replacement boards in place where the damaged boards were, locking them to the adjacent boards by their tongue and groove edges.

  • Re-assemble the floor course by course, working in reverse order of how you took it apart. Continue until the whole floor is back together.

  • Use your hammer and trim nails to re-install the floor trim.

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