Why is my Laminate Floor Lifting?
Recent advances in laminate flooring have led to an extremely strong, durable and affordable flooring solution. Laminate flooring now mimics solid wood to the point that it can be hard to tell the difference between a top of the range laminate and it’s solid wood cousins! If wood isn’t your bag, you can also get laminates in tile and stone effects that look identical to their real stone and tile counterparts, without getting frostbite on your toes on those cold mornings…
But, from time to time laminate flooring has been known to lift, this can happen right after the floor has been laid or even after several years of use. This can be down to incorrect installation or inadequate care and maintenance. Your laminate floor might also begin to squeak or creak, but there are ways and means to take care of this too, don’t worry. If you’re issue is more to do with strange noises than a lifting floor, you can either hire the Ghostbusters, or check out our blog on My Floors Are Creaking, What Do I Do?
So, Why Is My Floor Lifting?
There are a number of reasons as to why your laminate flooring might be lifting. A creak can soon turn into a lift if not attended to, so don’t let those noises go unchecked. If you’re already in the process of lift off, here’s a few reasons why it might be happening.
- Uneven Subfloors – First things first, before you install a new laminate floor, make sure yo check your subfloor to ensure that it is good to go. An uneven subfloor will ultimately result in the laminate becoming uneven, which will cause stress on the boards, making them move and lift. This isn’t the kind of stress that can be solved by a glass of wine or a long warm bath, either. If your subfloor is only slightly uneven, a quality underlay could be used to level out the subfloor and reduce minor imperfections, but of course, you’ll have to lift the floor at this point to fix the issue.
- Lack of Expansion Gaps – an expansion gap is the small gap which is left around the perimeter of the room when installing a laminate, engineered or solid wood floor. This allows the floor to expand and contract freely in response to moisture or temperature change without damaging the floor. A lack of an adequate expansion gap will mean that moisture or temperate changes could cause the floor to swell beyond the expansion room you’ve left for it. That’ll lead to lift off before long.
- Moisture – Wood floor products are responsive to moisture change and will expand when exposed to excess moisture levels. This will cause the planks to swell and buckle. This can be prevented by correctly installing a Damp Proof Membrane underlay, ensure that the subfloor is dry and cleaning up any spillages as and when they happen. If you’ve got a concrete subfloor, you’ll need a damp proof membrane on your underlay, as concrete readily leaks moisture and will cause swelling.
- Incorrect Usage – always ensure that you check that the laminate which you are buying is suitable for the intended use. For example, not all laminate flooring is suitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens due to high moisture levels. Other laminates are not suitable for use over underfloor heating so it is always recommended that you check this out beforehand with the supplier.
If you’re worried about moisture ahead of an installation, you should consider getting a water resistant laminate. Our Hydro Guard range of top notch laminates are suitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens. Below is our Hydro Guard White Smoked Oak Laminate floor, and it’s clear to see that you don’t have to skimp on quality or style to get a water resistant laminate floor.
If you’re thinking of a laminate floor for a room such as a bathroom or kitchen, either go for a Hydro Guard or switch to a vinyl instead. One of the top culprits of a floor lifting is excess water and moisture and no matter how careful you are, these are nigh on possible to avoid in a bathroom or kitchen.
It’s also possible that your fitter could be to blame. If this was an external party, you might want to consider that the installation was performed incorrectly. If it was installed by yourself or a friend or family member with no installation experience then there’s a chance you already know where the blame lies. Go and have a word with Uncle John, or with yourself.
Other than the reasons stated above, your laminate could be lifting due to poor workmanship where the floor has not been installed correctly. Another issue could be the quality of the product, laminate flooring is ranked with an Abrasion Class (AC) rating depending on quality ranging from a poor AC1 to a high quality AC5. You’ll want to err on the side of AC4 or AC5 ratings (AC3 is fine too depending on the traffic in the room) and avoid AC1 and AC2 rated floors. As with everything, you get what you pay for, and you don’t want to skimp on something as big as your brand new floor.
Here at Discount Flooring Depot we only stock and sell laminate with an AC3 rating or above, because we are the bees knees. Check out our range over on our website.
Or have a look around our blog for more top notch flooring advice and news.