Long term effectiveness/durability of laminate replacement when cut out


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Old 04-30-15, 08:47 AM
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Long term effectiveness/durability of laminate replacement when cut out

Hi all.

We just closed on a new construction home. As we were moving in, I noticed there was a single plank that has a high spot (popped nail from subfloor, plaster from drywall that didn't get scrapped, etc). The plank actually has a small spider web crack (barely visible). When you step on the area it obviously flexes more then in other areas. There's also a thud sound - but that might be the subfloor or things in the floor joists (water lines, hvac, etc...I still need to secure some of that as it moves around way too much).

The warranty guy came out and based on it's place in the floor (middle of the room of course), their solution is to cut it out and glue in a replacement (by removing 3 edges of the new plank, just keeping one of the edges).

Looking online it looks like this is a fairly common repair. Obviously taking up the floor is better, but doesn't appear to be an option for us (proximity to kitchen cabinets/island/etc). However my question is around what the long term implications are for this repair.

Here are my questions.
1. Does the plank ever pop back out seeing as only 1 edge is "locked" in?
2. Does the glue stay flexible to move with the "floating" floor?
3. Are there issues with the expansion/shrinkage that comes with the seasons?
4. Are there things you can do to attach it to other planks in addition to glue? For example some sort of strips you put underneath that spans both boards?
5. What maintenance is required? Do you ever have to reglue it down every few years?

Essentially I'm trying to decide if I should have it repaired or leave it as is. In other words will the repair (unknown) be worse then the current annoyance (known).

If it matters, here's the laminate. The only thing I think to consider if this has the "grooves" between planks:
Restorations Chateau Dusk Laminate Flooring by Mannington

Thanks for reading.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 09:42 AM
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Never going to work on a laminite floor.
It can not be glued or nailed down.
Post a real picture of your floor where the damage is, no close up.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 09:46 AM
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I'll grab a picture when I get home tonight.

Here's the repair instructions that talk about cutting out / gluing in replacement (they're similar on multiple sites I found. Just search laminate plank replacement):
How to Replace a Laminate Floor Board in the Middle of a Floor | Home Guides | SF Gate
 
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Old 04-30-15, 10:04 AM
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The proper fix is to unzip the flooring and correct what ever is underneath that board. Then relay all the boards. As they are already cut to fit, numbering them would make re-installation easier. Laminate is a floating floor, you don't nail or glue it down. By its nature it needs to expand and contract and be free to move or it may cup and buckle if bound up. So, I disagree with the author of the restoration article. If this was a solid nail down floor, yes, that would be a way to correct, but not for laminate. Your warranty should cover this.

You also need to investigate the "thud" sound. It is not caused by things in the joists. It is a nail in the subfloor most likely or issues with the laminate due to the raised piece.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 11:07 AM
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I'm going to go out on my shaky limb and state that what you described is exactly the method described for repairing my laminate floor.

My laminate, installed about 2001 or 2002 was the top of the line from Wilsonart. It did NOT click together but each and every seam was glued to its neighbor. It has almost no resemblance to the laminate flooring sold today. At the time the installed cost was a few cents per square foot more than field-finished solid oak, the advantage being that you had a finished floor without the three to five days waiting period to apply a traditional Swedish finish. Now some thirteen years later my laminate looks as good as it did when first laid.

Your Mannington is probably of the same era and probably of similar quality. I would not be overly concerned about the patch.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 11:14 AM
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Hey Furd,

Thanks for the response. My floor is brand new and was installed roughly a month ago (during construction).

It is tongue and groove and snaps together. The repair method is to cut off 3 of the 4 edges.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 11:23 AM
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Then I retract my statement about how it will probably be fine. I don't know what reputation Mannington has with their current products but I DO know that laminate flooring has gotten cheaper (not necessarily less expensive) since I had my floor installed. Today is all about ease of assembly and low cost rather than on longevity. Definitely there are better and worse grades of laminate and the better ones should last longer but I doubt that ANY laminate flooring sold today is equivalent to the high-end products sold fifteen years ago.

Most of the regulars on this forum dislike laminate flooring with a passion and it is mostly because of the $1.99 a square foot crap that is sold by the big box mega-mart homecenters. That dislike is well earned as those cheap floors simply do not last. Then again, it seems that a lot of people change their flooring on a fairly regular basis these days.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 12:22 PM
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I called Mannington to get their input (I guess I should've done this to begin with...).

Interestingly enough, their approach is exactly what the warranty department listed. They even have a video that shows the process:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=208&v=k1ndYQ3_2y0

The laminate flooring has a 15 year warranty associated with it - which this repair does not void (obviously). So I'm a little less concerned.

I'll still take a picture and put it up tonight.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 01:15 PM
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Disclaimer:
Most of the regulars on this forum dislike laminate flooring with a passion
Repairing a click lock floor with glue will not last long. I do not like laminate, especially the stuff Furd mentions in his post. I have laid 10mm backing attached laminate and not had problems with it, but the cheaper it goes, the cheaper it goes. The click lock, once it is broken or cut off will never fit properly, regardless of the glue used to hold it together.

You are looking at a floor on a new house, where the warranty people want to do a lackluster repair on a product not meant to be repaired. Trading rotten apples for rotten apples, IMO. Have the floor unzipped and re-laid and have the pop fixed while they are at it. The warranty is paid for, let them worry about what it costs to do it right.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 01:39 PM
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Having watched the video, it may be an acceptable solution in that the laminate is not glued TO THE FLOOR but to each other. As you cut off 3 sides of the replacement plank, and you only glue back in 2 sides, you have one end left as floating. There is the possibility that that end could open up down the road. Some laminates are very loose and slide against each other with foot traffic. I can't judge yours from afar, but have seen (on rare occasion) floors that would slip out of place and suddenly you see a cut edge up against the wall poking out from the shoe molding. Keep in mind that this may do nothing to address the "thud" that may have something to do with your subfloor.

Guesses as to what is under there? I'm gonna guess a very small rock.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 01:58 PM
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czizzi,
The laminate in the video is identical to mine (from a structural standpoint) - just a different color. It's seems pretty thick. Also, I think the idea is they put glue on all 3 sides - they just didn't show it in the video. I've also seen guides online where they leave one of the short ends in place, they just trim a few inches off it from the corner so they have room to wiggle it in.

As far as what's under the plank - my guess is either drywall plaster, a popped nail, or as you mentioned a rock. The peak is very isolated - and is marked with the crown in the plank. The repair would include resolving the subfloor issues in that spot. As far as the thud sound - it could be related to the peak or be unrelated (general subfloor problems).

chandler,
I would love to have them disassemble the floor and relay it, but the problem is this is the accepted form of repair, by both the builder and the flooring manufacturer. I don't know that I could force them to repair it any other way. I guess I could do it myself (either literally or hiring someone), but I can't imagine that would be cheap.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 06:32 PM
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Ok. Here are pictures.

Close up
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In context (my camera picked up the crack, but I guess with it scaled down you can't see it. It's the plank in the middle of the picture).
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Looking at this again, I have a wall that's pretty much in line with the damaged plank. If I removed the baseboard near the fridge and pulled out two columns of planks (marked in red), would that work? That wouldn't be too many to bad, right?
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Thanks again for all your replies. It's nice to have a forum to bounce ideas off people that know way more then I do.

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 07:09 PM
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I wish it was that easy, but you have to unzip from the nearest wall that has the tongue and groove facing in the correct position. Installation puts the tongue into the groove side as you move forward. So you have to unzip so when you install, it is tongue leading into the groove.

I think the idea is they put glue on all 3 sides - they just didn't show it in the video.
No, if you understand the click lock, you have a tongue and groove. On the replacement plank, the plan is to remove tongue and groove from 3 sides. but only the marry to the groove side is possible with glue. So groove is only present on 2 sides of the existing floor. They get glue and the 3rd side, replacement plank had the groove cut off so it floats free.

ps, No question that needs to be fixed. Exactly as I assumed the picture would be.
 
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Old 04-30-15, 11:01 PM
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Looking at a few HVAC registers, it looks like the groove side is next to that particular wall. I'm not sure if that helps or not.
 
 

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