Could be rotten spots in the subfloor, places the subfloor has pulled away from the floor joists, or (I hope) an improperly installed laminate floor … Walk around and look for areas of the sub-floor that has some movements and secure them down to the floor joist with a 2-inch decking screw. Water should be used minimally in laminate floor cleaning. HDF subjected to water, will swell and fall apart. Does Laminate Flooring Need to Acclimate? Expansion gap is easy, take off the baseboard/trim and see if you’ve got at least a quarter inch or so between the laminate and the wall. The swelling can translate back to the laminate flooring, making it feel soft and spongy. Make sure they were not compromised, otherwise you would have to replace them as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qfwenfjjwQ, Laminate flooring repair to fix soft spot for uneven underlayment (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qfwenfjjwQ), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2shbFtJ4KZw, How to Repair a Laminate Wood Floor Soft Spot : Flooring Projects (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2shbFtJ4KZw). So a cursory look would be enough to see moisture damage. You can test your saggy areas against other parts of the floor. As mentioned above, laminate flooring that feels spongy, squishy, or soft can be caused by any one, or combinations, of the reasons below. These are the really great light duty floors (50 years of life) which you should find easy to repair. Attach an air inflation needle as an extension onto a can of spray foam. If the underlayment was not laid flat or parts of it are overlapping with another part of the underlayment, this will cause an uneven base and may also cause soft spots in your laminate. An underlayment can be a cause of a soft spot or spongy area on your laminate if you’ve used the wrong type or if it was installed incorrectly. Laminate flooring requires a flat and an even sub-floor for its proper installation. The soft spot was probably caused by a dip in the concrete subfloor, which the installer failed to fix before the wood floor installation. ... A lot of times builders will miss the floorjoist when installing the plywood which causes sqeaks and a soft feeling on the floor. The peaking might not settle right away and you may have to place weights over it until it does. Locate where the soft spots are and put down a layer of masking or painter’s tape to protect the surface of the laminate. If you have access to the floor joists and the sub-floor from below, you can inject the expanding foam from below instead. Bought a house a few weeks ago that has a number of soft spots in the laminate floors. Posted by 4 years ago. Damages that involve sub-floors and floor joists is recommended that it be checked by a consultant and worked on by professionals. You might find that your laminate floors feel soft and squishy (for lack of a … Don’t use unusual cleaning products like soap, oil-soap detergent, or shampoo. High and low spots that are barely detectable by the eye can cause the floor boards that are spanning over the low spots to sag. My plan was to go into the crawlspace while my fiance stands on the spots and see if I can see flex in the subfloor. It might only be 1/16" or less but it is enough that you will notice it as you walk over it. An expansion gap is normally provided where the laminate edge meets the wall. If you have a question on this or any other type of cleaning solution, please call us at 1-800-520-0961. While these white spots on hardwood floor can make you feel your floor has been permanently damaged. First off, how do I diagnose? There are a few soft spots in the floor, one is in the kitchen one is in the hallway and the other in the bathroom, if I were to lay down 3/4″ ply wood over the old floor my only concern would be the floor being noticeably higher around things such as the toilet, cabinets/ counter. However, I'm nervous about pulling off the baseboards if I don't have to. Because floating floors are made of connected boards, not planks single installed, a level sub-floor is very important for the integrity of the flooring. If you install laminate over an uneven sub-floor, with it being generally thin, any imperfections on the sub-floor may telegraph to the laminate flooring and may even cause those soft spots to happen. Laminate flooring will snap and pop as you walk on it if it’s bridging across hollow spots under the flooring. How to diagnose soft spots in laminate floor? This wears the wood out very quickly. If it is termite damage, the laminate planks that got affected are completely unusable and you have no choice but to replace them. It has held up amazing to wear and tear. Soft spots in a laminate floor can be caused by an uneven sub-floor or improper installation of flooring underlayment. Laminate floor soft spots/buckling. You might find that your laminate floors feel soft and squishy (for lack of a … Another possibility was subfloor damage from pet urine or potted plants (etc) and they installed the laminate without patching or filling the voids. These are the really great light duty floors (50 years of life) which you should find easy to repair. Soft spots can also lead to the edges receiving more wear an tear than they should. Abrasive scrubbers include steel wool, scrubbing pads, and scrubbing sponges. The low areas in the sub-floor result in excessive movement called "Deflection". It may not be moisture. Whichever the cause of the water damage is, you should address it first before you reinstall a new laminate to prevent another water damage from happening again. You will then apply a thinset mortar to the low areas of the sub-floor until it levels with the rest. Soft spots can also lead to the edges receiving more wear an tear than they should. It may take more than one attempt to remove a problem stain. Like any other flooring installation, laminate flooring requires preparation before the actual installation. I've been an architect for more than 20 years and I've created this site to share my knowledge and experiences gained through my practice. The sub-floor is tongue and groove wood and there were floorboards that have some movements in them when walked upon which were not secured properly before the laminate installation. Work in small sections so that the water does not dry on the floor and cause additional spotting. The spacing of the expansion joints may differ from product to product so you should always refer to the standards of the manufacturer. Apply chosen laminate floor product by spreading it over the floor with a microfiber cloth. For sure, agreed that would confirm if that's the case. In big rooms or areas where a laminate flooring is to be installed, an expansion gap or joint should also be provided every 27′ or 8m in both directions of the floor. ), you'll likely see that there is a gap between the flooring and the joist. Remove and buff following the manufacturer’s instructions on the package. You’ll know if an uneven sub-floor is the possible cause of the soft spots or spongy areas of your laminate if the laminate flooring is newly installed and one or a combination of the conditions below are true: There are three methods you can try to address an uneven sub-floor causing those soft spots on your laminate floor. Wipe the floor clean. These soft spots in the laminate floor can be fixed using an air inflation needle or a syringe that is used to blow up sports balls on a can of spray foam. You're walking across your hardwood floor and you feel it sink under your feet in one spot. It can also be caused by a floor or subfloor that is not level. Dip a microfiber mop in the solution, wring out the excess water, then use it to scrub the floors. Unlike the rest of the house, the subfloor in the kitchen is rough with lots of gouges and a couple of small soft spots. Remove and buff following the manufacturer’s instructions on the package. Laminate flooring will snap and pop as you walk on it if it’s bridging across hollow spots under the flooring. Remove any excess foam and then cover the small hole with duct tape until the foam sets. Use a soft cloth with acetone to get rid of these marks. There are a few soft spots in the floor, one is in the kitchen one is in the hallway and the other in the bathroom, if I were to lay down 3/4″ ply wood over the old floor my only concern would be the floor being noticeably higher around things such as the toilet, cabinets/ counter. Get a strutural contractor to inspect the floor area and make suggestions. Once you’ve identified the root cause of the spongy or squishy area on your laminate, it would be easier to figure out how to deal with the problem. A huge pet peeve of mine is walking across a laminate floor that looks like stone and wood and having soft spots. This will help prevent the expanding foam from pushing up too much. A huge pet peeve of mine is walking across a laminate floor that looks like stone and wood and having soft spots. This is a sign of either rot in the flooring or even worse in the supporting joists. You can learn more about acclimation in this article. It is also provided where the laminate edge meets the edge of another flooring. Just add a sheet of plywood over the soft spots on your laminate and then add some weight over it. Don’t use unusual cleaning products like soap, oil-soap detergent, or shampoo. Investigating for water leaks If there is a hollow spot under the floor, you might be able drill a small hole at a joint and inject some epoxy or similar under the floor to fill the gap. How to diagnose soft spots in laminate floor? Soft and spongy spots in laminate flooring can be caused by the uneven sub-floor or an improper installation of the flooring underlayment. The third method is for when you have tongue and groove floorboards used as a sub-floor that was not securely fixed. So, before expansion joints and tearing off your moulding, test for moisture, the potential deflection due to sub floor (deflection could still be expansion joints, but easy things first). Whatever the case may be, you first need to identify the root cause of the dipping or spongy portion of the floor to be able to address it appropriately. Wipe the floor again with yet another clean cloth to remove any mayonnaise residue from the floor. So, if you can find a leak, you have gone a long way. When those spots are stepped on they sag, and it feels very unsettling. As laminate is not usually good at spanning dips in the underfloor, you will have a deflection in the area of sponginess. Since the weather changed (hot humid summer to cool fall weather) the buckle has disappeared. ... laminate, ceramic or marble flooring. This is an ultimate resource of building and finishing materials, equipment and furnishings, and other things related to the design and construction industry. The problem with laminate floors is that too much water seeps into the cracks between the planks and can cause swelling and damage that is irreversible. Also, make sure that your laminate flooring is not fixed or nailed down anywhere on the floor as this could prevent it from moving freely and will also cause bubbling or planks peaking. There must be some way to improve the low spot without taking up the whole floor. I have a laminate "click" type laminte floor that has some dips that I belive exceed the spec (the floor dips a couple of mils in the worst spots). A sub floor generally lays on top of floor joists or floor trusses and will normally be laid perpendicular to the joist or trusses: it should be considered structural in nature, not cosmetic. For most areas of laminate flooring in your home, a dry or dust mop may be all that is needed for regular cleaning. Doing proper preparation will ensure a good installation in the end. 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