How to Fix Laminate Bouncy Floors
Laminate floorings are made from pressed wood that mimics the appearance of hardwood floors. They’re a popular choice for different homes because they are scratch-resistant and highly durable. However, laminate floors tend to be bouncy when there are water damage and installation issues.
So what are the ways to fix the bouncy laminate floors in a home? The first thing to do is to address moisture issues if there are any. If they’re still bouncy after the moisture issues have been resolved, fix the flooring by adding bridging, installing a layer of plywood, adding a beam or wall, and replacing boards.
5 Ways to Fix Bouncy Laminate Flooring
In 2019, laminate flooring sales in the US amounted to $898 million. The reason for laminate flooring’s continuously growing popularity is because of its durability. Since high-maintenance materials like solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and bamboo can’t be installed in many areas in the home, laminate flooring is a viable option that mimics the appearance of these materials.
However, one of the most common problems that come with installing floating floors at home is that they tend to become bouncy. Although it’s not a huge concern for homeowners most of the time, it’s still an annoying issue that needs to be fixed. Here are some ways to tackle this problem:
1. Addressing the Moisture Issues
One of the main reasons why floating floors like laminate may bounce is because of temperature and moisture issues. If there are water or roof leaks in the room where the laminate flooring was installed, make sure to solve it immediately before it causes more damage to the floors or the home.
It’s also crucial to look out for sudden spills on the surface. Clean all spills as soon as they pour. Also work towards avoiding wet mopping and keeping a garden adjacent to the room with laminate floors. Regulate the levels of humidity in a room with appliances and special devices to prevent the floating floors from becoming bouncy.
2. Adding Bridging
Adding bridges (or X-bracing) allows the joists underneath the flooring to share the weight on the surface. Check the original bridging first to see if any of them are loose. Repair the loose bridging using nails and screws.
If this doesn’t solve the problem, add a new row on the side of the existing bridging to stiffen the floors. If the joists span 12 ft., install additional bridging on the rows 4 ft. and 8 ft. from the foundation floor. You can also install bridging in the span’s center.
3. Installing a Layer of Plywood
If the joist bends down, the lower edge ends up leaning on one side. By adding an extra layer of plywood to the joists, the floor stiffens and side-to-side bending becomes minimized. For this solution to become effective, the joists need to be properly attached to the subfloor – if there are squeaking sounds, it means that the joists and subfloor are not fastened together.
Attaching a layer of plywood to the joists’ undersides is a crucial part of the solution so make sure to buy enough construction adhesives and screws. Sand the underside of the joists first with coarse sandpaper so that the adhesive can stick well. When gluing and screwing the new plywood to the joists, make sure that it runs parallel to each other.
4. Adding a Beam or Wall
Joists that span longer experience more deflection. By placing a wall under the joists, you can divide the span and the floor above that area becomes stiffer. When building the wall, place the stud tightly under the joist.
Installing a beam is another option if building a new wall isn’t feasible. However, they can be a lot of work compared to adding walls. When installing beams, it’s important to support them by adding adjustable metal posts or wood posts that are spaced 10 ft. away from each other. These posts also need footings to rest on the concrete slab. If the home has l-joists, add blocks between the beam and subfloor at every joist.
5. Replacing Boards
Sometimes the main reason why bouncy floors occur is because of the boards themselves. If they are already bouncy because of severe water damage, replacing them might be the best option. Make sure to trim them a bit if they are placed along the walls to give them some space for expansion.
Are Bouncy Laminate Floors Normal?
Although they can be quite annoying, bouncy floating floors are quite normal. A normal amount of bounce is referred to as “deflection” by flooring professionals. While engineered hardwood floors feel solid immediately after installation, laminate floors may take a few months to fully settle.
Bouncy floating floors only require repairs if the water seepage is severe or the bounciness is related to a more serious structural problem in the home. Check the pipes around the house for leaks and other possible moisture issues that affect the bounciness of the laminate flooring. If the bouncing is still a big issue in the house, call a flooring contractor to check the laminate floors.
Can You Prevent Laminate Floors from Bouncing?
If you want to install laminate floors in the house but you’re worried about the possible bounciness, there are a few ways that can help minimize it. Here are some pre-installment tips that can help ensure that the floors won’t be too bouncy:
- Let the laminate floors acclimate for a few days before moving into the room. This allows the material to get used to the temperature and humidity conditions in a home. It can also minimize the floating floor’s tendency to expand or shrink.
- Consult with a flooring contractor about an existing substrate level.
- Do not settle for cheap underlayment. This layer comes in between the concrete slab subfloor and the final laminate flooring to provide a cushion for any anomalies during floor prep. It’s crucial to use high-quality underlayment to prevent the laminate floors from bouncing too much.
5 Possible Causes of Bouncy Floors
Determining the reason for the bouncy laminate floors at home allows you to find the best solution for the issue. It also helps determine if the bouncy floors are a result of a bigger structural issue in the home. Bouncy floors may be caused by one or a combination of the following issues:
- Water Damage – Water leaks from faulty pipes or the roof can damage the subfloors. Since laminate floors are typically made of plywood that doesn’t stand up to water, they eventually become bouncy with continuous exposure to moisture.
- Damaged Floor Joist – If termites infest the home, these pests consume the wood found on the subfloor joists. They weaken the structural strength and foundation of these joists by leaving cracks and damages. Heavy objects and structures placed on the floor also weaken the subfloor’s support, resulting in bouncy laminate floors.
- Sizing Issues – The components of a building, such as a roof, foundations, and floors are required to meet a certain structural requirement. If the engineer miscalculates one of these values or fails to follow the blueprint, the flooring may become bouncy or saggy over time. This is a rare occurrence if the building is still new, but a common case in home remodeling projects. When remodeling the house, ensure to recheck the calculations.
- Trusses Are Far Apart – Trusses that cannot support a certain weight eventually sag or become bouncy. Any long piece of wood will bend if there is a load placed on it, but engineers can calculate how much weight is safe or acceptable. If the trusses are placed close to each other, then they can carry more weight without worrying about bounciness and deflection.
- Improper Acclimation – When installing the laminate floors, it’s important to ensure that it has acclimated to the room’s humidity and temperature. If the floors do not acclimate properly, it might expand or contract in extreme conditions, resulting in a bouncy floor.
High-Quality Products and Flooring Installation by Zothex Flooring
At Zothex Flooring, we want our clients to feel at ease when their preferred flooring is installed. Our team has the right tools and knowledge in placing the laminate floor to prevent them from bouncing. We also offer different laminate flooring products that are perfect for your home.
Need a trusted flooring contractor near you? Zothex Flooring can help you through the process of picking and installing new floors to the house. We also provide flooring tips and advice that help your chosen material last as long as possible in your home.
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