How to Fix Laminate Floor Water Damage

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The popularity of laminate flooring has exploded over the last few years. It’s durability, stylish look and functionality are all reasons why many homeowners have chosen this type of flooring.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies though. Sure laminate flooring can withstand minor spills and a bit of moisture but anything more than this and you risk water damage.

Once the materials in the laminate start to absorb the water it becomes supersaturated. This breaks down the composition of the materials. This could be caused by anything from plumbing leaks to spills or wet mopping.

Whatever the cause was, you’ll need to take action to salvage your laminate flooring. In this article, we’ll go over how to identify that your flooring is damaged and also how to repair swollen laminate flooring.

Signs of Laminate Flooring Water Damage

If you see any of the following it could mean your laminate is damaged.

  • Splitting
  • Swollen
  • Bubbling
  • Cracking
  • Buckling
  • Excessive cupping
  • Visible mold
  • Discoloration
  • Soft spots

Unfortunately, most of the issues that we listed above can’t be fixed easily. The good news is that they can be repaired, it will require replacing the floor though.

How to Fix a Laminate Floor That Got Wet?

Contain the Damage

Obviously, if your laminate is still being exposed to water then there’s no point in going through the process of fixing it.

First you must find the source of the water/moisture and deal with it. By dealing with this issue you’ll ensure that your efforts aren’t wasted.

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Check the Locking System to Find Damage

The goal here is to determine which areas of the flooring are destroyed. You’ll want to check for swollen, warped or bubbles on the floor. Mark these affected areas with a sharpie or sticky note. Once this is done you’ll have an idea of how severe the damage is.

Make Sure You Have the Proper Tools

Make a list of all the things that you’ll need in order to do the job. Here’s an example list.

  • Flooring adhesive
  • Safety glasses
  • Putty knife
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Pliers
  • Replacement underlayment

It’s also very important to make sure that the new laminate material that you get matches the existing material.

If you’re unable to find matching planks then it might be better to just replace the entire floor instead.

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Remove the Laminate Up to the Damaged Area

This is the part that most people will get stuck as it’s not easy. We would recommend hiring a professional for this if you’re not a seasoned handyman. If you choose to DIY then follow the steps below.

First, pull up the damaged planks by running a putty knife under the edges. Even if only a small part of the plank is damaged you still need to pull up the entire plank. The reason for this is because each plank is a single unit.

Then pry up the planks and the baseboard so that you can see the bare floor. Look for any signs of mold and mildew on the sub flooring. If the coast is clear, reinstall the planks that you pulled up.

Replace the Damaged Planks

This is another challenging part of the job. You have to make sure that the planks you’re replacing are the same ones that are currently installed.

Unless you happen to have extra planks from when you first installed them it could be very difficult to get the right replacements.

Check with the manufacturer that you bought them from and see if they have a suitable replacement that will look good. Also get rid of the moldings before replacing the flooring.

Reinstall the Laminate

The final step is to reinstall the laminate. Use enough adhesive and put heavy objects on the laminate to hold it down. If it’s installed in an area with water like the bathroom, then make sure it’s completely dry before you use it.



Overall, repairing water damaged laminate flooring isn’t easy. If you decide to fix it yourself then follow the steps in this article to repair it without having to install an entire new floor. If you would like any help then click below to get a quote from professionals in your area.