I have two damaged boards of laminate flooring in the kitchen. They're the click-flooring type of boards. Do I have to take up all the laminate from the wall to the damaged sections in order to click it together? What will it cost for replacements?
Richard W. ~ Seattle, Washington
Assuming that your laminate floors are a floating system of click together boards which are not glued down to the subfloor, there are two effective ways to replace the damaged boards in your kitchen floor. If the boards to be replaced are close to an adjacent and parallel wall, then all you need to do is unclick rows of laminate boards until you reach the ones that are damaged. To do this, first you will have to remove the base board trim. Once you have reached the damaged boards, replace them with new laminate pieces, and then click the rest of the floor back together and re-install the baseboard trim.
If the damaged boards are in the center of a large field of flooring, and you really don't want to disassemble that much floor, there is another option. Without damaging the adjacent floor boards, you will need to cut and remove the damaged boards, and then glue replacement boards back in their place. To do this you will use a router or saw to remove the center of one of the damaged boards. The piece of board that remains after you have cut out the center will then have to be further cut into pieces and removed, leaving an empty space in the flooring for the replacement board. Before installing the replacement board, you will need to cut off the bottom portion of the grooved side of the board. This way the grooved side of the replacement board can lay flush on top of the tongue side of the adjacent board. Because this is not a clicked together joint between the two floor boards, you will need to glue the replacement board to the subfloor. Take your time, and work carefully!