How to Fix Bubbles in Laminate Flooring

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Hammer

  • Laminate flooring

  • Rotary saw


When buying a replacement board, get several in case another is needed someday so you'll have a matching-colored board on hand.


Do not wet mop laminate floors. Water can cause board warping or buckling, which leads to bubbles. If damage is from moisture, track down and eliminate the source, or repairs will only be temporary.

Laminate provides a durable flooring solution for any room, giving a homeowner an inexpensive alternative to traditional stone, ceramic or hardwood floors, while still creating the same look. While most laminate floors can last decades with the proper maintenance, sometimes problems develop. One common one is bubbles in the flooring, which mar the smooth look of the laminate surface. Bubbling in the surface generally has one of two causes, moisture or tension, but both can be repaired with a little effort if you quickly level the surface to restore a smooth unblemished floor.

Replacing Damaged Floorboard

Step 1

Inspect the area that's bubbling. If the bubble is limited to a single board, then the board itself has become damaged because layers in the board have lost their cohesion, buckling or warping most likely because of moisture. This requires you to remove the damaged board and replace it with a new one.

Step 2

Remove the wall molding nearest the floorboard with a screwdriver or hammer, taking care to leave the molding undamaged for replacing the board.

Step 3

Remove the floorboards leading from the wall to the damaged one. The floorboards are locked together and you'll first have to lift the board abutting the wall from that edge and slide it out of its locking mechanism with the connecting board.

Step 4

Replace the damaged floorboard with a new one, sliding it into place by inserting the tongue of the board into the groove of the board next to the open space. Return the rest of the undamaged floorboards to thier places leading back to the wall.

Step 5

Replace the wall molding.

Replacing Peaked Flooring

Step 1

Inspect the bubbled floorboards. If the inspection shows a large bubble centered on a seam between floorboards, then the floor is peaking. Peaking is when the floor has been installed without enough space left at the walls for expansion, causing the boards to squeeze together and rise at a joined seam. To fix it you must relieve the tension in the floor.

Step 2

Remove the molding nearest the floorboard, putting it aside for later.

Step 3

Check that the gap between the floorboard edge and the wall is at least a quarter to a half an inch to allow for expansion of the floorboards.

Step 4

Cut the floorboard nearest the wall to create more space for expansion using a rotary saw.

Step 5

Press down on the peaked area and note whether the floorboards settle into place without the peak. If not, place a weight onto the peaked area until it settles.

references & resources

Larry Simmons

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.