Issues with wood laminate floor


Old 08-27-08, 12:01 PM
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Issues with wood laminate floor

We just bought a home and the original owner nailed the floor to the ground. It now bows in some areas... very bad installation. Im looking for a quick fix until I get more priority items taken care of. The nails are located near the base boards. Is there a way to pull the nails without hurting the laminate? I have tried and seem to be hurting the floor. Any thoughts would be nice. Thanks!
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Old 08-27-08, 02:39 PM
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You sure it's laminate? Laminate is usually floated and not nailed.

There are no quick fixes that I know of. It sounds like you have moisture damages to the planks, and the only way to cure that is to rip up the floor and replace.
Old 08-28-08, 05:20 AM
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That is the problem (he nailed it to the subfloor) and is why it is bowing. I need to remove the nails that are close to the base boards. If you have any thoughts on to remove them, that would be appreciated. I continue to damage the laminate floor everytime I try to take a nail out. Thanks!
Old 08-28-08, 05:53 PM
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your not going to get them out without doing some kind of damage.
Old 08-29-08, 05:58 PM
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I would remove the baseboard and try to get a pry bar under the edge of the boards that are nailed. Depending on the type of nails used, if you can raise the board just a little, then hit it back down, the nail may stay up above the surface where you can grab it.

If you don't have a small enough pry bar to get under the boards, make one out of a piece of flat metal or an old screw driver.

Good luck
Old 08-29-08, 06:09 PM
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You are driving in the dark here. You do not know the manufacturer. You do not indicate type of installation other than 'nails.' You have no knowledge of the history of the installation.
We do not know if this is a floating, glue down, or nail down product. We do not know the substrate. We have no knowledge of the moisture level of the substrate at installation, its moisture level, or the amount of time the flooring product was allowed to acclimate (adjust to temp and humidity of installation area).
We know no more than you. You say that you have been trying to pull nails out. It is not unusual to have surface nails near baseboards. The holes are usually pre-drilled and finishing nails installed for solid hardwood. For solid hardwood, there is a recommend 3/4" expansion gap recommended along perimenter.
As we do not know for sure what type of flooring product, installation method, installation history, acclimation history, moisture content of subfloor or moisture issues of jobsite, or allowed expansion gap, we are all driving in the dark.
Based on description of 'nails' and 'bows in some areas,' it tends to be conclusive that there is a solid hardwood, nail-down floor and there are possible moisture issues. Moisture issues can be a wet crawl space or basement, high humidity, failure to acclimate, failure to do moisture test of subfloor prior to installation, failure to provide adequate expansion gap ( wood tends to expand and gap and expansion can cause bow).
1. Pull quarter round/baseboard molding and check to see if proper expansion gap was allowed.
2. Check humidity of interior. It should be maintained year round at 35-55%. Test with hygrometer (sold where thermometers are sold). If humidity is high, reduce with dehumidifiers. Run bath vent/fan units while bathing/showering and 20+ minutes after to reduce humidity and run kitchen vent/fan during and after cooking to reduce humidity.
3. Crawl space should be dry and well ventilated and soil covered with 8 mil minimum polyethylene, overlapped, taped, and run up sides of foundation and attached and sealed with silicone caulk. If over a basement, it should be dry, well-ventilated and humidity 35-55%. If humidity is high, run dehumidifiers.
Re: your question re: nail removal. You can take a hammer and a nail set and drive the nail through the board and lift the board off the nail. Then, you can pull or drive through the nail into subfloor. It is best to address all moisture issues before attempting to pull flooring. Get humidity under control and address moisture issues.
For instance, on the exterior of the home, make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and carrying excess water away from structure. Make sure downspouts direct water far from foundation. Splash guards/block don't get it. Downspouts should be addressed to drains that carry water out into yard into storm drains or dry wells. Make sure soil around structure slopes away from foundation and carries runoff away from structure and not toward foundation where it can enter crawl space or basement.
Be a detective. Address the issues before you start pulling up flooring. There are moisture issues afoot here. Check humidity levels and address those sources.

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