Laminate Flooring Moves Up and Down

Laminate flooring is not an uncommon type of flooring, which can mimic hardwood. It’s characterized by low maintenance, easy installation, and a long time of use. People use laminate to create a floating floor where the panels fail to stick to the subfloor and at times move up and down, which shouldn’t be in a floorboard.

This article will explore why laminate flooring moves up and down and the possible ways to fix it.

Why Laminate Floor Moves Up and Down?

Before looking for ways to fix a laminate floor that moves up and down, it’s essential to know the different factors responsible for the problem.

Laminate Flooring Moves Up and Down

There are several reasons your laminate boards have been moving up and down. These could be traced to

  • Some technical errors during installation
  • Humidity and high moisture content in the floorboards

In most cases, the cause of laminate flooring moving up and down may be associated with the fact that it is not properly installed. A tongue and grove feature is commonly used in the floor installation process. This makes the need to nail down the laminate redundant. Besides, during the installation of laminate, the subfloor sometimes may be uneven, which consequently makes the floorboards move up and down.

Also, the moisture content in the wood in many other cases may be a major reason the laminate floorboard moves up and down. As the humidity rises, the wood will absorb more moisture, causing damage to the laminate flooring.

It would be best to look for every possible way to fix laminate flooring moving up and down. Thankfully, undertaking a major renovation, such as removing the entire floor to fix the situation, is unnecessary.

How to Fix Laminate Floor Moves Up and Down

In case your laminate floor is moving up and down, there are ways you can get it fixed. In this section, we’ll be unveiling the different methods. But before going ahead, ensure you get some crucial tools such as tapping block, chisel, hammer, and wood glue.

Detailed Steps on How to Fix Laminate Floor that Moves Up and Down

Below are easy steps you can take to overcome the challenge:

  1. Start by knowing the state of the movement. To do this, look closely at the joint where the movement occurs.
  2. After knowing the state of the movement, go ahead to remove the skirting board in such a direction
  3. Detach the skirting board gradually using a chisel and hammer.
  4. You will then need your hammer and the tapping block at this point. Use them to place the board properly and close the gap where the movement has occurred.

Note: In addition to the steps above, you can use wood glue to fix the problem. You need to apply some in the board’s gap to stop the floorboards from moving up and down. Wood glue can help hold the boards in place.

Detailed Steps on How to Fix Uneven Subfloor to Stop Laminate Floorboards Moves Up and Down

This section is for you if an uneven subfloor is the leading cause of the moving up and down of your laminate floorboards. The essential tools you will need to do the job perfectly include a 4-foot level, hammer, chisel, chalk or masking tape, tapping block, building papers, flat saw.

Step by Step Guide

Below are easy steps you can take to overcome the challenge:

  1. To highlight the low-lying areas on the subfloor, try to do a level check using your 4-foot level
  2. Demarcate the areas using masking tape or chalk.
  3. Try to bring the areas you marked out as dips on the floor to a level with the floor. Add layers of fillers in the form of building papers to get this done
  4. After adding the building papers, engage the 4-foot level again to ensure that your floor is leveled adequately at every place.
  5. Then put a piece of laminate floorboards against the door jamb. Try to cut through the area using a flat saw or a hammer and chisel – ensure it fits under the door jamb. If you slip floorboards underneath door jambs, they are less likely to move up and down.
  6. Do the normal installation of the remaining floorboards using a tapping block and ensure that the floorboards are kept 3/8th of an inch away from the wall to give room for expansion.

Tips on how to Avoid Laminate flooring Moves Up and Down

There are pre-emptive measures you can take during the installation of laminate flooring to prevent it from moving up and down. The following are what you can do:

  • Ensure that before you install the laminate floorboards, polyethylene foam is laid on top of the subfloor.
  • Avoid overlapping as you lay the polyethylene foam. This is to avoid a situation where the floor will become uneven, which is unfriendly when laying the laminate flooring.
  • Before you lay the laminate floorboards, ensure that you use tape to secure the foam in place. With underlayment properly secured and put in place, there will be enough friction when the laminate panels are installed. Besides, you should ensure no movement while the installation process is going on.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Kindly review the questions below. Their answers are prepared to provide you with additional information.

 Why does my laminate floor move when I walk on it?

The main reason your floating floor moves when you step on it is that the subfloor is not flat. Walking on a floating floor means walking on a giant sheet of flooring. So, you should expect the sheet to flex, giving the sensation that the floor is moving if the sub-floor is not leveled or flat.

Should you fix the laminate floor that is moving up and down?

Yes, it would be best if you endeavor to repair laminate that moves up and down. On several occasions, the cause of this issue is traced to how the flooring has not been correctly installed. So, in this case, you should find a way to put the laminate floorboards back to normal.

Is a floating floor supposed to move?

If there are no underlying problems, floating floors are not supposed to be moving. There are times homeowners do face this issue. And those that are likely to experience this prefer a floating floor to one that is glued or nailed to the surface of the subfloor.

How do floating floors stay in place?

The installation of floating floors is done using a small gap along the walls, allowing the flooring to contract and expand with seasonal temperature and humidity changes, preventing the floor from buckling. Most times, the baseboard shoe moldings are used to hide the small gaps around the room’s perimeter.

Why is my floating floored lifting?

Buckling or wrapping can be caused by excessive water on the floor’s surface. Due to this, you need to avoid wet mopping on your laminate floor. Besides, edge-warping or buckling is usually caused by dampness or water rising from the subfloor associated with an insufficient moisture barrier.


In a nutshell, we have made it crystal clear that there is a solution to laminate flooring moving up and down. Notwithstanding, the vital step to take is to prevent it from happening. You should ensure you give extra attention while installing the laminate floorboards to ensure that the boards do not move up and down later on.

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