Laminate Flooring Buckling

6 Replies

I had laminate flooring installed by a company and it's now buckling because they did not leave enough space from a wall and some doorways. The company is refusing to back their work and won't come out to fix. I don't want to get stuck paying for a all new floor to be installed and I can't find anyone to come fix it thus far. Is there a easy way or tool to use that I can trim the places that are to tight without having to take the floor apart?

@Damien Clark  If asking nicely just won't work, you can report them to the BBB or the local Registrar of Contractors if they're licensed.  From a quick google search, it looks like General Contractors are not required to be licensed in Maryland.  But if they do electrical, plumbing etc they may be licensed.  I think this should be a last resort.  The threat of reporting them may be enough to motivate them.  

Regarding the DYI - Trimming laminate flooring in-place is quite tricky.  If you post pics, I may be able to help.  It will probably require a multi-tool.  Google "makita multi-tool" to see one.  

Was the flooring exposed to water after the install?  That would cause buckling and wouldn't be covered by warranty.

Good luck!

This just happened to me. Some of the laminate floor buckled and it will be a pain to remove and reinstall. What my worker did is to nail down some finish nails, and it seems to be fine for now. Worst case, it might be worth to cut off some boards and use direct nail down to fix to the subfloor. Cover the holes with some wood filler.

@Damien Clark  were these installers licensed? And, did you purchase the materials from a reputable place?

If you did, and a claim needs to be started, you should NOT mess with the flooring. Most likely an independent inspector will come out and survey the floor, and then give his recommendations on who's at fault and possible remedies. 

Also, it would be logical that the prowess of the installer (or lack thereof) is evident all over the entire floor. Just because it's not buckling in one area, yet, doesn't mean it won't be shortly. Best way to find out will be when the baseboards are removed by the inspector.

Good luck!

It looks like he was not licensed. He just has a LLC. I purchased the laminate from a store and just paid him to install it..

Originally posted by @Damien Clark:

I had laminate flooring installed by a company and it's now buckling because they did not leave enough space from a wall and some doorways. 

How did you assess this?  Is there a base shoe? -- if so, did you remove all of it, or at least in multiple random places?  If it's tight to the wall everywhere, then yes, that's likely the culprit of the buckling.

As for cutting the gap...   First -- how much flooring are we talking about?  Is it everywhere in the house / apartment, or a single room...?    The multi-tools are great, and for some of the tight work around tricky ins and outs, they're about all you've got.  The hitch is that while they make a nice cut, they are relatively sloooooow....I would not want to cut along every wall in every room in an entire house with one.  See ya next spring. 

 There are some other options like a toe kick saw that are like a small circular saw of sorts and cut flush right up to a wall -- so if you needed a 1/4" gap, you'd measure the saw kerf and use a temporary spacer strip sized to the thickness of the difference.  If the kerf was 1/8", you'd use a 1/8" strip.  This may be a rentable tool.   

@David Tomich GC's in Maryland absolutely have to be licensed

Regarding the flooring issue, not sure there's an easy solution other than removing and re-installing correctly

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