Causes of Common Laminate Flooring Problems

Causes of Common Laminate Flooring Problems

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As an inexpensive alternative to wood or stone, laminate flooring has recently grown in popularity. It requires less professional expertise to install than other flooring types, and it can save time, maintenance, and overhead costs for businesses and homeowners alike. But maintaining a laminate floor comes with its own set of potential problems. This guide provides an overview of common laminate problems, along with possible explanations, and links to sites with helpful repair / maintenance tips.


If you’re looking for information on installing laminate flooring, you can check out the following links:

Creaking, Popping, and Cracking Sounds

Creaking or cracking sounds are usually the result of the laminate flexing under pressure.  A soft crackling noise may be heard occasionally as the laminate presses against the foam layer beneath it. However, if sounds are persistently audible over most of the floor, the laminate may have been incorrectly installed, or a number of precautions may have been overlooked.  The following video provides an example of a noisy laminate floor that may be in need of repair:

Here are some reasons that noises may occur:

  • Lack of proper on-site acclimation: The humidity and temperature of an installation site can drastically change laminate panels, causing them to expand or warp, especially if the panels have not had time to respond to a site’s conditions.
  • No expansion gap: As a preventative measure, a 6-10mm  gap should lie around the perimeter of a room with laminate flooring, allowing for some  expansion due to changes in the indoor climate.
  • Un-level sub-floor: It’s essential that the floor beneath the laminate has been adequately leveled; failure to take this precaution creates weak points in the flooring, forcing certain sections to flex beyond their capacities, and putting undue pressure on the joints between panels.

If you have a persistently noisy laminate floor, there’s a chance that it was not properly installed, and sections of the floor may need to be re-installed or repaired to fix the problem.

Bubbling and Curling

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  • Irregularities:Bubbling and curling are most frequently caused by irregularities in tension, moisture levels, and temperature.  Luckily, this problem can usually be fixed without professional help. You can find a helpful guide for fixing bubbles in laminate flooring here.
  • Problems with panel connections: It’s also possible that sections of the floor were not properly aligned when they were connected, or that something is wedged between two or more panels, causing an uneven surface. You may be able to disassemble a section of the floor yourself, to fix the problem, but it’s still advisable to contact a flooring professional if you did not install the laminate yourself.

For more flooring help, contact us. We serve all of Sonoma County’s flooring needs.

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