slip sliding away.
September 19, 2009 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I've installed laminate flooring about a year ago, and individual pieces are sliding around.

I don't know if this is because the ridges on the short ends have broken, or whether it's a change in weather, or crud has slipped into the spaces.

Shameful confession: I have not installed the baseboards or transitions yet. Will they help reduce slippage?

Can I glue the sliding pieces together? I have seen recommendations for "blue fusion" a pv 2 glue.

This only happens in two high traffic spots.
posted by mecran01 to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Most laminate "floating" floors lock together as part of their design or are nailed/glued together but not to the underlayment. The flooring likely came with installation instructions that will cover this...
posted by iamabot at 1:13 PM on September 19, 2009

Response by poster: It locked together initially; now select pieces are unlocking and sliding about. I'm asking if glueing them to each other (not to the subflooring) will correct this problem and which glue would be most effective.
posted by mecran01 at 1:52 PM on September 19, 2009

Anecdotal response. When this happened to my laminate floor installed by an amateur, I could see that if I went around the edges and had something jammed in between the end/edge of the panels and the wall, the pieces wouldn't be able to slide. Since your baseboards aren't on yet, you could easily look into this. I was able to slide the pieces over easily and jam something in the end.

How large are these spaces you have? Mine were as big as a centimetre or two in spots!
posted by Listener at 2:20 PM on September 19, 2009

Sorry Listener, but the gap around the edges of your floor is supposed to be there -- it allows the flooring to expand/contract with seasonal moisture changes -- otherwise it may buckle or distort. Same as with "real wood" flooring, and is one of the reasons baseboard exists.

mecran01: Yellow wood glue should be fine, but it's possible that you might get some swelling as the moisture from the glue is absorbed by the flooring. It probably wouldn't hurt to check with the manufacturer of your flooring for their recommendation.
posted by misterbrandt at 2:42 PM on September 19, 2009

You might want to check to see that you thoroughly locked the pieces together; they can look put together with a very small crack that indicates they're not quite locked in. I put some in before, and had to use a scrap piece placed against the edge to whack them into the fully-locked position.
posted by Red Loop at 4:55 PM on September 19, 2009

Any laminate flooring I've worked with has had tongue and groove on both the 'long' side and the 'short' side; if they're both properly in place it shouldn't be possible for a single piece in a run to slide about. An entire run of boards (one row) might shift if it is lifted past the install angle, and that can happen on end pieces if the baseboard wasn't in place. So this suggests to me the joins aren't completely locked in place.

I found the only thing to rectify that was to take the floor back (i.e., remove it) to where the loose boards are and redo the joins. A nuisance but it fixes the problem. Another thing to check is that your pattern of boards has at least 12-18" of stagger between the ends of full boards, from run to run.

I was told by the Home Depot folks in our city that I shouldn't glue them in place, that it wouldn't need glue anyway, and that broken tongue and groove is also a big cause of improper joins. They said to allow for 10-15% wastage as the tongues on most laminate is so fragile.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:42 PM on September 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice. On at least one piece the short end groove ridge has broken off. We bought a surplus case so I can put in some new pieces. Also, that 15% waste figure sounds about right. I was dismayed to see how weak the laminate was when force was applied in any way to the groove ridges. I was just hoping I wouldn't have to pull flooring because putting it in was such a prolonged ordeal. If I had to do it over again I would have opted for some sort of engineered "real" wood with some sort of permanent finish and a pneumatic nail gun.
posted by mecran01 at 6:09 PM on September 19, 2009

Response by poster: And to everyone who mentioned it, of course you're right, I do need to call the manufacturer.
posted by mecran01 at 6:33 PM on September 19, 2009

It sounds to me like installation error. The joints may not have been fully locked together which would result in them pulling apart.

The majority of laminate flooring is designed with a snap or click together joint and does not require any glue. That being said, glue, such at Blue Fusion, can increase the joint strength. There is one manufacturer that still recommends using glue in certain situations because it increases the joint strength, but their joint is designed for gluing.

As previously mentioned, the gap around the perimeter is necessary for proper expansion/contraction of the flooring throughout the year with changes in temperature and humidity.
posted by nickthetourist at 11:14 PM on September 19, 2009

I know you don't want to pull up your floor, but when we put in our floating floor we put glue along the tongue/groove joins before clicking them together. This is what the manufacturer recommended, and we didn't glue it to the floor, just to each other.

There are some small cracks along joins where it was impossible to get the right leverage or whatever to close them up (along the short edges of the boards only); but individual boards aren't moving.

Nthing that you need the gap around the edge of the room, this is why it's called "floating floor" it floats around and doesn't buckle.
posted by titanium_geek at 11:57 PM on September 19, 2009

Response by poster: I've replaced a few pieces, and I'm going to use Blue Fuzion, as it is a relatively moisture-free glue designed for this purpose. The baseboards and transitions are going to be in place in the next day or two, so I'll report back and let all of you that are breathlessly waiting if that helped. Thanks.
posted by mecran01 at 9:00 AM on December 31, 2009

Response by poster: On second thought, I'm going to try Elmer's ProBond.
posted by mecran01 at 11:48 AM on January 25, 2010

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