What makes laminated floors a popular type of flooring material is their durability and style that resembles real wood flooring. But no matter how prudent you are in maintaining its quality, accidental spills, floor scratches, water damage, and natural wear-and-tear can still happen.
If you have pieces that have become unlocked from one another, they can be quickly repaired without the need for special tools.
See if you can snap the pieces together using a screwdriver or a butter knife to help pry the adjacent pieces up to snap them all together. From there, tap each adjacent piece tight to the one before with a rubber mallet and work your way back from the original loose piece to the wall, tapping each subsequent piece tight to its predecessor until you reach the wall. If you can’t snap the pieces together in this fashion, find the nearest parallel wall to the offending piece.
Remove the baseboard at the nearest parallel wall to expose the gap between the last row of laminate flooring and the wall itself. If the baseboard has been caulked against the wall, carefully cut the caulking with a razor blade to separate the baseboard from the wall. Gently pry the piece away from the wall with a screwdriver or cat’s claw pry bar. Save the piece, as well as the finish nails, to reinstall later.
WORK YOUR WAY BACK
For best results, use your pry bar to help lift out the first row — unless you can remove the pieces by hand. Disassemble the pieces and either number them or carefully place them to reassemble later. Unsnap all of the pieces in the first row, then work your way down the second row, then the third and so on until you reach the row that has your loose piece. Relock it in place with the others. If the locking mechanism is broken or damaged, use a construction adhesive or laminate glue to hold the piece in place, or replace it with a new one.
REVERSE THE PROCESS
After you fix the loose piece, begin the reverse process, which is the same as installing the laminate for the first time. Snap the pieces together along their length as well as at each end and tap them firmly against each other with a rubber mallet. Ensure that each piece is firmly locked in place before working on the adjacent piece. Work your way row by row back to the wall and then reinstall your baseboard.