Fixing a prefabricated floating wood floor


Old 07-30-16, 07:03 PM
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Fixing a prefabricated floating wood floor

Hi, this is my first time posting. I had a question regarding how I might potentially fix a wood floor in one of the rooms in a house I recently purchased.

Here’s the lowdown. The house as a whole has a hodge podge of different wood floorings laid in different rooms, some hardwood and some prefabricated, likely installed at different times throughout the the lifetime of the house. In one of the rooms there is what appears to be a fairly new prefabricated wood floor with 3/8” thick, 5” wide click-n-lock boards. I know it’s 3/8” because I removed a sideboard along a wall and checked. It’s a floating floor, which I confirmed by removing the last board laid in one of the corners. There’s plywood underneath the floor and a concrete slab beneath that (the room is part of a two-room addition from the 1980s).

The problem is, while in one half of the room the floor is solid, in the other half, the floor has a lot of give in certain places. I guess spongy would be a decent way to describe it. My guess is that if I pulled up the floor on that side of the room I would discover some fairly inventive, yet ineffective effort to level the floor on top of the plywood. (I was told the floor was once slate, which was later replaced with the current prefab wood). If I walk on the floor in bare feet, the spongy spots are quite discernable, but even with shoes on, now that I know they are there, I notice them.

I guess my overarching question is, what can I do to make the entirety of the floor feel as solid as it feels on the one side of the room, short of pulling up the whole floor and starting over? Can the boards be pinned or nailed down at this point in an attempt to eliminate the give in the boards? Or would I just be turning a small annoyance into something even more annoying?

I suppose I am afraid to hear that there is no easy fix other than redoing the floor if it is not potentially level to begin with. The floor looks new and looks good, so I would hope to not have to pull it all up and risk my potentially redoing it in a way that made it look worse.

Any advice or approaches as to how I might fix the floor would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 07-30-16, 07:26 PM
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I think the word you want is engineered floor or laminate floor, not prefabricated.

No way to tell why it's spongy without tearing it up, sorry no crystal ball or magic wand for that. And no, you don't pin a floating floor.

You might check all the perimeters to ensure the floor has the correct spacing around everything... I suppose it might be possible that if it doesn't have room to expand, some areas may want to buckle creating a spongy feel. But probably has more to do with the subfloor not being flat... or not glued/screwed... or if it's on sleepers, they could be loose or springy.
Old 07-31-16, 04:00 AM
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In addition to Brant's comments, plywood directly applied to concrete is not a good choice. You may be experiencing a water damaged area of plywood which has disintegrated to a degree causing the flex. I would check the perimeters first and if the tolerances won't allow expansion cut the flooring back using a multimaster type tool along the offending walls.
Old 07-31-16, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for the tips, Brant and Chandler. This definitely provides me with direction as to how I might assess the problem at the very least. Your help is greatly appreciated!
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