How to fix laminate floor gaps in 8 easy steps

Gaps in laminate floors are not just an aesthetic nightmare, they can also lead to further issues down the line. Here's how to fix them

How to fix laminate floor gaps
(Image credit: The Wood Flooring Co. / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Damian Russell)

Gaps in laminate floors are unsightly and are the ideal place for debris and moisture to accumulate, which can ruin your flooring over time. Thankfully, you can fix such spaces in just a few minutes, with a few basic tools, and without completely rebuilding your flooring. 

It's reasonably common for laminate floors to develop gaps over time due to various factors, from fluctuations in humidity and temperature to improper installation. However, there are solutions you can use to address this issue and restore the beauty of your flooring.

The best way to fix gaps in your laminate floor is by using a simple DIY solution. It involves using a laminate floor repair kit, which can be easily purchased online or at any home improvement store. Here's how to tackle the issue effectively, according to our experts.

How to fix laminate floor gaps

Whether gaps are spread across your floor or localized to a specific area, this technique can be used to move the boards back into place.

1. Identify the cause

A dining room with a statement feather light, green walls and laminate floors

(Image credit: The Wood Flooring Co.)

Laminate floor gaps can occur for several reasons, and before attempting to fix them, it's important to determine the cause to find the best solution.

'The reason behind the gaps can include poor installation, changes in temperature and humidity, warped or damaged boards, or movement of the floorboards,' explains Shlomo Cherniak, owner of Cherniak Handyman Services

If the issue is caused by the movement of the floorboards, skip to step 2. If another of the other reasons apply, consider the tips below before moving on.

If you are unsure of the issue, consult a flooring contractor. They can accurately assess the situation and recommend the most effective solutions for repairing the gaps. Whether it involves repositioning planks, using specialized fillers, or adjusting the subfloor.

Shlomo Cherniak

Shlomo Cherniak is a handyman and founder of Cherinak Home Services in Baltimore. He has over seven years of experience in home improvement, with him and his team specializing in everything from installing laminate flooring to fixing leaky faucets to hanging pictures on the wall.

Dealing with humidity

Laminate floors can expand and contract with changes in humidity. If your gaps are seasonal or due to humidity changes, consider using a humidifier or dehumidifier to maintain consistent indoor humidity levels.

'Additionally, consider installing expansion strips if changes in humidity cause the gaps,' advises Arpit Jain, interior designer at McLine Studios. 'These strips allow the floor to expand and contract naturally without causing gaps and are typically installed in doorways or other transition areas.'

Dealing with poor installation

Check the installation of the laminate flooring. Gaps may occur if the planks were not properly installed or there was insufficient expansion space around the room's perimeter.

'In cases where gaps are extensive or due to poor installation, it may be necessary to reinstall the affected planks,' explains Arpit Jain. 'This ensures a tighter fit and eliminates gaps.

'Addressing laminate floor gaps promptly not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your space but also prevents further damage.'

Damaged or warped planks

If damaged or warped planks cause the gaps, you may need to replace them. Carefully remove the damaged planks and install new ones in their place. Be sure to leave the necessary expansion space around the edges.

2. Get a gap fixer tool

Fixing laminate flooring

(Image credit: Getty Images / E+)

For issues related to the movement of your laminate floorboards, you will need to purchase or create your own gap fixer tool

'Storebought gap fixer tools resemble a handle with suction cups,' explains Shlomo Cherniak. 'You use this tool to grip the laminate planks and slide them back into place.'

'You can make your own gap fixer tool by obtaining a solid piece of wood that is large enough to serve as leverage and applying double-sided tape to one side. When you have prepared the floor, you will stick the other side of the tape to the board you want to move.'

You will also need a mallet and wood glue or filler to complete this task.

Floor Gap Fixer Tool for Laminate Floor Gap Repair
$24.95 from Amazon

Floor Gap Fixer Tool for Laminate Floor Gap Repair
$24.95 from Amazon

This option is preferable to the double-sided tape method because the suction cups allow easy attachment and release from the laminate floor gap, where the tape may need to be removed with a pull bar.

Striker XXL Tapping Block, Mallet-Free
$47.99 from Amazon

Striker XXL Tapping Block, Mallet-Free
$47.99 from Amazon

This will act as a pivot point to assist you in moving the
flooring back to the desired location. For this, you will also need to purchase double-sided tape from Amazonand a pull bar from Amazon to remove the tape from the floor after it is fixed.

3. Clean the surface

Hardwood floor

(Image credit: Arteriors)

Start by cleaning the laminate floor's surface to remove any dirt or debris in the gap using a vacuum cleaner and a knife if needed. Consider using a DIY floor cleaner for this task. 

4. Position the wood tool

Then, place the wood tool with the double-sided tape or suction tool onto the laminate plank that needs to be moved, ensuring it is positioned to apply pressure to the plank.

5. Use fillers and sealants

Laminate floor gaps

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Use fillers and sealants specifically designed for laminate floor gap repair. These products come in various colors to match your floor and are easy to apply.

'If the gaps are small, you can apply a small amount of wood glue into the open tongue and groove gaps,' recommends Shlomo Cherniak. 'Use a toothpick or a low-viscosity glue to ensure it reaches deep into the joint.' Apply a sufficient amount to ensure a secure bond.

After doing this, quickly move on to the next step.

6. Use the wood tool to slide the plank into place

Laminate floor gap fixer

(Image credit: Amazon)

Step on the adjacent flooring to prevent it from moving. Slide the tool along the gaps to push the laminate planks back into place. You may need to use a mallet to knock it into place gently. 

7. Clean excess glue

'After closing the gaps, immediately wipe off any excess glue on the surface using a damp rag,' recommends Shlomo Cherniak. 

Allow the glue to dry out completely according to the manufacturer's instructions before sanding down any excess glue using sandpaper included in the kit. 

Ensure the sealant is completely dry before walking on the floor.

8. Remove the tool and check other boards

Hallway with wood floor, bench and blue accents

(Image credit: Damian Russell)

After the plank is back in place, remove the suction cup or use a flat bar with double-sided tape to remove the wooden tool, being careful not to scratch your floor.

Check other boards along the same row for any new gaps that may have opened.  Repeat the process of gluing and closing the gaps as necessary.

If you wish to seal gaps in areas where the laminate floor meets another type of flooring, such as tile or carpet, install transition strips to cover the gaps and provide a smooth transition between surfaces. Choose those that best suit your preferences and floor style. Walmart has a wide range of transition floor strips.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.