The unfortunate day has arrived. There was an accident and your laminate floor was damaged. Most likely you won’t want to replace your entire floor to fix a few damaged planks. You are in luck because you can successfully replace laminate flooring planks without destroying your entire floor. We highly recommend hiring a flooring installation and repair professional – but even then, do they know what to do? Here is a step-by-step guide to replacing damaged laminate boards in your home.
Mark the board: Draw a line using a pencil or marker down the damaged board using a ruler to ensure it is straight. The line needs to span the full length of the board.
Get your saw: Set up a circular saw and set the blade to 1/8” more than the thickness of the board. If the subfloor underneath the floor boards is concrete be sure to set the depth equal to the board thickness or you could place yourself in danger.
Start your cut: Use your guiding line to plunge the moving blade of the saw near the mark you made and cut toward the end. Stop cutting when your blade reaches the edge and pull up the saw reversing the direction to cut at the same point from the other end of the board. It can be difficult to finish the end of the board if it is near a wall but you can tap along the cut line with a hammer and chisel to finish the cut.
Get your drill: Drill a ½” hole at the corner of each of the boards. The hole should be about a half an inch from both edges of the board corner. You can then draw a 45° angle from the hole to the cut line that you made in the center of the board.
Use your saw again: Plunge the saw again to the center board and cut towards the 45° line. Stop at the hole in the corner. This will create several triangular pieces that you can easily pry loose.
Get a pry bar: Lift out the pointed ends of the triangular pieces with a crow bar or pry bar and once you have removed all of the triangular pieces you should be able to pry out the center pieces easily.
Installing the Replacement Boards
Prep the board: Prepare the board by cutting off the bottoms of the grooves on one side and one end. You may also need to cut off the tongue section on the other side. Cut the grooves and tongue with a utility knife and make sure to score across the pieces several times to break off any excess.
Get some glue: Use carpenters glue on the tongue sections of the exposed floor boards which are already installed.
Snap in the new board: Snap the intact tongue of the replacement board into the groove of the adjacent board on the floor. You can press down the edges of the board to make sure that it locks in place and then keep the plank weighed down until the glue dries up.
Be sure to wear safety glasses and make sure to use glue sparingly so that you can avoid a messy cleanup effort at the end!