Solve Warping and Rising Problems in Glueless Laminate Flooring

A wood laminate floor with someone walking on it.
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • $30-60
What You'll Need
Pry bar
Rubber Mallet

If you have glueless laminate flooring installed, there is a chance that it could start to warp and rise up in the middle at some point. This is a common problem and it is associated with a faulty installation technique in most cases. It could also happen if the laminate gets wet. Here are a few things that you can try if you have warping and rising problems in glueless laminate flooring.

Step 1 - Dry It Out

If you recently had a great deal of water on top of the laminate floor, there is a good chance that it is swelling because of the water soaked into the core. If this is the case, you may be able to dry it out and it will return to its normal state. For this process, you should open the doors and windows so that the moisture can escape.

Put several fans around the laminate floor and turn them on high. Leave the fans on and blowing on the laminate floor for about a day. After that, you should see the laminate start to dry out and return to its normal size. If this does not work, move on to the next step of the process.

Step 2 - Creating an Expansion Gap

If the laminate did not absorb water or you were unable to fix it by drying it out, you may need to create an expansion gap around the outside. Many installers that do not understand the process of installing laminate simply put the laminate directly up against the wall when they install it.

When you install laminate, you need to leave approximately a 1/4-inch gap around the outside of the room. Laminate will expand and contract throughout the year and you need to make sure that it has plenty of room to expand. If it does not have enough room, it will start to warp up in the middle. You need to release the pressure and create an expansion gap.

Step 3 - Remove Baseboards

To do this, you will first need to remove the baseboards. Use a pry bar to pry the baseboards off of the wall. You may want to use a piece of cardboard to protect the wall when you are prying.

Step 4 - Cutting the Expansion Gap

Once you have the baseboards up, you will need to cut the expansion gap. If you can get the laminate boards around the edge up off of the floor, you should take the boards off and cut them. If not, you will have to cut them right there on the floor.

In that case, put your saw down into the laminate right along the edge. Make sure that you are getting close enough to the wall that you can cover up the cut with the baseboard when you are done. Cut a little piece of the laminate out and then put the baseboards back on.

Hopefully, this solved your glueless laminate flooring warping and rising problems. Otherwise, it might be time to call a professional.