How to Fix Laminate Flooring Soft Spots that Move Up and Down When Walked On

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Do you have a laminate flooring soft spot that moves up and down? If so you’ll want to keep reading. There are many different causes of why laminate flooring flexes when walked on.

This blog post will teach you all the common causes, how to fix them, and the tools you’ll need.

We’ll also go over how you can prevent this from happening again in the future.

Ready? Let’s jump in.

Is it normal for laminate floor to flex?

Yes, laminate flooring is designed to flex a little bit. It’s normal for it to bend slightly under pressure or when you step on a particular area of the room. The reason why this happens depends on where exactly in your house you have laminate floors installed.

Is there something wrong with my laminate floor if I feel soft spots?

Yes, that means that there are high-pressure areas beneath your feet and they need attention before permanent damage occurs! Soft spots can be caused by many factors which we will go over below. No matter what the cause may be, don’t let it go untreated as long term problems will arise quickly due to constant foot traffic over time!

5 Causes of laminate floor soft spots

There are many reasons as to why you might have a soft spot on your floor. Below is a list of the most common causes and how to fix them.

1. Improper Underlayment Installation

When an underlayment has not been installed properly underneath the laminate flooring, it causes soft spots on your floors. If you see that there’s a difference in height between one area of laminate and another, then this is almost certainly why!

The best way to fix this problem is by using thin set mortar over uneven areas or simply replacing them with new pieces altogether which should be done along with cement backer board.

2. Uneven Sub-floor

If you have a soft spot on your laminate flooring that is caused by an uneven sub-floor, it’s going to be difficult to repair.

The best bet is to remove the entire section of flooring under the area. Then, reinstall new pieces over a perfectly level substrate with cement backer board underneath. You will most likely need the help of a professional to do this.

3. Lack of Expansion Gap

If you have a laminate flooring soft spot that’s bubbling or is causing buckling in different areas of the floor, it cold mean there isn’t an expansion gap between your sub-floor and underlayment. This can happen when using thin set mortar to lay down new pieces over original floors. It also occurs because wood absorbs moisture which causes warping.

To solve this issue, remove all existing tiles/pieces from underneath the area with bubbling or buckling. Create a proper expansion gap by adding cement backer board underneath along with re-installing new pieces on top of them, which should be done alongside installation of ceramic tile.

Be sure to use silicone caulk around each piece at every seam before applying any grout.

4. Water Damage

If your laminate flooring has a soft spot that’s squishy or spongy, it means there is most likely water damage present. You can tell this by checking the sub-floor to see if there are signs of swelling and bubbles underneath any nearby pieces. If so, then you need to take action as fast as possible!

One way deal with this problem would be using an air compressor with moisture removal capabilities alongside dehumidifiers. However, professional restoration services may also be required for severely damaged floors which have been saturated in water over time due to ongoing leaks.

5. Termite Damage

Termites can eat through the core of wood until all strength has been lost in certain areas which causes warping over time. You will want to remove all pieces immediately because this type of infestation spreads very fast!

To prevent further issues, call a professional pest control service ASAP to get rid of any bugs remaining within walls or other parts of your home where they may be hiding.

Why does my laminate floor move when I walk on it?

There are many different reasons why your laminate flooring may be moving when you walk on it. Out of the causes that we went through above, the most common ones would be lack of expansion gap, water damage or an uneven sub-floor that is not level with the rest of the room. Not acclimating laminate before installation can also lead to damage later on.

If there isn’t a proper expansion gap between your underlayment and sub-floor, then you could have soft spots over time which will cause buckling in areas with high traffic like doorways or hallways. You’ll need to repair them by adding cement backer board underneath along with re-installing new pieces on top with thin set mortar afterwards!

It’s also possible for laminate floors bowing upwards because they’re installed too tightly together without any gaps in-between.

Can You Prevent Laminate Floors from Bouncing?

Yes, you can prevent your laminate floors from bouncing by installing it with a cement backer board underneath. It’s the best material to use for this type of project because there is an expansion gap and proper support needed which prevents future issues like buckling or soft spots that may appear over time without using one.

How to prevent future laminate flooring soft spots

Foundation Care

Foundation doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It’s still important to keep an eye out for problems though.

To fix foundation cracks you’ll need to hire a professional.

Prevent Water Damage

This one is obvious but still important. Clean spills ASAP to prevent a small problem turning into a big one later on!


Soft spots in laminate flooring can be caused by many different things. The most common cause is moisture under the boards, which may come from a leaky pipe or condensation that has built up underneath your home’s foundation. Other potential causes for soft spots include improper installation and age-related wear and tear on the floors.

Related Posts: