My flooring is showing gaps. Replace vs. repair: What's my best option?

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  #1  
Old 01-11-15, 07:34 PM
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Exclamation My flooring is showing gaps. Replace vs. repair: What's my best option?

Hi guys,

We're selling our tiny townhouse this year, and want to make sure it looks its best.

But there's a problem. Gaps have appeared in the laminate flooring on one corner of our hallway, next to the t-moulding. It's unclear if it's due to warping due to water exposure (or cats feeding area is close buy), or it might've shifted due to constant foot traffic.

Here's what it looks like now. Area of concern is circled in red:


Here's one of the worst gaps:


Another view. The laminate flooring appears in be in 3-panel wide 'tiles':


So, here are my questions:
  • Should I repair, or replace this flooring?
  • If I wanted to repair it, what are my best options?
  • If I wanted to replace it completely, what are the odds that I'll be able to find a matching colour and sizing? And how can I make new laminate 'blend-in' seamlessly?
  • What's the best way to remove one of these laminate panels without damaging my baseboard and neighbouring tiles? I'd like to have a sample with me for when I go to the store.

Thanks, everyone.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-11-15, 07:44 PM
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If I'm seeing it right, it appears to be across a doorway between two rooms - with different woods. I would consider running a threshold across it to hide the gap and mark the transition between rooms.
 
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Old 01-11-15, 09:23 PM
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Looks like the floor was installed wrong, as well as the transition strip.
Flooring should have been ran to the middle of the opening.
Should have been a Tee moulding covering both the carpet and the flooring, not just butting up againt it.
 
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Old 01-12-15, 03:52 AM
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Did the t-molding once cover the edge? or was it always like this. To me, the molding has shifted toward the carpet and needs to be repositioned to where it straddles the laminate as well as the carpet.
 
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Old 01-12-15, 03:53 AM
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I agree with Woody that installing a threshold would be the simplest fix.
 
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Old 01-12-15, 04:51 AM
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The flooring is doing what it is designed to do. Float! The others are correct, the flooring was installed incorrectly. You can get an extra wide threshold to cover that problem Just be sure not to fasten the flooring when attaching the threshold.
 
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Old 01-12-15, 06:45 AM
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Hi Norm201. I think that's a great suggestion. But what does it mean to "fasten" the flooring?

And what's the difference between t-moulding and a threshold?

Thanks for all of the responses, by the way!
 
  #8  
Old 01-12-15, 07:08 AM
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Laminate flooring can not be glued or nailed down in anyway, it's a floating floor.
It has to float to allow for expansion and contraction.
A Tee moulding is just that, it's in the shape of a Tee so the middle of the Tee where it snaps into the fastening strip holds it up off of the flooring just enough so the flooring can expand and contract.
The transition strip you have there looks like one made for transiting from a hard surface to another built up hard flooring, Picture one floor being linoleum and the next room has been tiled.
Look at the way your other transition strip looks, that one looks like it may have been installed correctly.
A true threshold would not work without alterations, it would have to fastened to the flooring which would stop it from moving.
 
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Old 01-12-15, 07:11 AM
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T-molding actually looks like the letter "T" if viewed from the end profile. It is designed to bridge the gap between two floor surfaces. A threshold is defined as "a strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room". You may have a reducer that is currently under the door, which is used to connect floors of differing heights.

Which is yours? Did the floor go underneath it at one time?
 
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Old 01-12-15, 07:35 AM
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I tend to use both terms interchangeably. But there is a difference as Cizzzi and Joe define the difference.
 
  #11  
Old 01-16-15, 02:06 PM
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So, I removed the baseboard trim. And it looks like the laminate flooring has been sliding, which is why the gaps are appearing.

I tried forcing them back a few inches with rubber shoes, but no dice. I also tried to wedge a prybar into the crevice, then pull it back. But even the smallest prybar I have is too large and won't fit.

Can you guys think of a tool that's small enough to fit into this gap, so I can pull the flooring back? Does a mini prybar exist?

 
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Old 01-16-15, 02:25 PM
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You don't want to move the floor. Let it move on it's own. It's meant to float.You need to get larger threshold/T-molding or whatever you want to call it and cover the entrance area that shows a gap at the edge. Unless you have gaps in the middle of the floor, don't try to move it.
 
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Old 01-16-15, 02:46 PM
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If the run is long, you may not be able to move it. This tool makes it easier. Just hook the small end on the laminate and hit the tall end with a hammer, carefully. Roberts Pro Pull Bar for Laminate and Wood Floors-10-18-8 - The Home Depot
 
  #14  
Old 01-16-15, 03:29 PM
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Dig to get your pry bars in there, you will leave a mark in the drywall, but the base molding will cover. This is what I was trying to decipher when I kept asking if the molding "used to fit" and cover everything. Make sure that you are not applying any weight to the floor when trying to move it. Sit off to the side, several rows away from the ones you want to move. I have moved rows before, just be careful and deliberate and don't force. Also, lift the transitional molding on the other side before you move anything to allow it to slide back into place.
 
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