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Bad Laminate Flooring Installation. What to Look Out For!

Written by
Paul Galushkin
Published on
October 31, 2023

Bad Laminate Flooring Installation. What to Look Out For!


Have you ever walked across a laminate floor and felt it buckling underneath you? Or noticed unsightly gaps and scratches across the surface of your once-perfect flooring? These issues are common with bad laminate flooring, and they can make your home look dated and unkempt.

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for homeowners due to its affordability, durability, and easy installation. However, laying laminate flooring can cause major headaches and frustration for homeowners if not done correctly. That is why it's always recommended to go with a trusted flooring contractor who are known in the market.

In this blog, we will discuss the problems that arise from bad laminate flooring installation and how to avoid them.

What Does Bad Laminate Flooring Installation Look Like?

Bad laminate flooring installation

Bad laminate flooring installation can present itself in a multitude of ways, including:

  1. Visible Seam Gaps: As mentioned earlier, accurate calculations and proper seam staggering are essential to a good laminate flooring installation. If these steps are not followed, visible gaps between boards can occur.
  2. Uneven Surface: A properly installed laminate floor should have a smooth and even surface. If there are bumps, dips, or uneven areas, it is a sign of bad installation.
  3. Peaking and Buckling: As mentioned before, if the laminate flooring is not installed with enough room for expansion, it can peak or buckle as it tries to expand.
  4. Scratches and Chips: Improper handling during installation can lead to scratches and chips in the laminate flooring, causing it to look worn and damaged.
  5. Poor Finishing: If the installation does not include smooth transition strips or if there are gaps between the laminate and other types of flooring, it can ruin the overall appearance of the room.
Peaking and buckling

Common Problems Caused by Bad Laminate Flooring Installation

While laminate flooring is generally easy to install, mistakes can be made that lead to problems down the road. Some of the most common issues caused by bad laminate flooring installation include:

  1. Peaking and Buckling: When laminate flooring is not installed with enough room for expansion, it can buckle or peak as it tries to expand.
  2. Gaps and Overlaps: If the laminate flooring is not accurately measured and cut, gaps or overlaps between boards can occur. Not only does this look unsightly, but it can also allow moisture to seep in and damage the flooring.
  3. Creaking and Squeaking: Improper underlayment or subfloor preparation can lead to creaking and squeaking in the laminate flooring, making it sound cheap and poorly installed.
  4. Warping and Cupping: If the laminate flooring is not allowed to acclimate before installation, or if it is exposed to excess moisture during or after installation, it can warp or cup, causing an uneven surface.
Common problems with poor installation

What Does Good Laminate Flooring Installation Look Like?

Good installation

Good laminate flooring installation is characterized by:

  1. Correct Underlayment: A good installation starts with the correct underlayment, which provides a moisture barrier and sound insulation. It also provides a smooth surface for the laminate to rest on, preventing irregularities in the subfloor from showing through the laminate.
  2. Accurate Calculations: Proper measurements and accurate calculations are essential to ensure that the laminate fits well in the room. Although a square room is easy to measure, uniquely shaped rooms can be more complicated. This includes accounting for cuts around door jambs and fixtures, leaving room for expansion gaps, and making sure the final row of laminate isn’t too narrow.
  3. Proper Acclimation: Laminate flooring should be allowed to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. This helps to prevent warping and other problems after installation.
  4. Seam Staggering: In a well-executed laminate flooring installation, the seams between boards are staggered. This not only makes the new floor look better but also increases its stability.
  5. Expansion Gaps: Good, modern laminate flooring installation includes leaving enough space for expansion around the perimeter of each room. Without these gaps, the laminate can buckle and warp as it expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity.
  6. Smooth Finishing: The installation should finish with smooth transitions between laminate and other types of flooring or carpeting. This usually involves installing transition strips that match the laminate flooring.
Installed laminate flooring

How to Avoid Bad Laminate Flooring Installation

To ensure a successful laminate flooring installation, here are some tips to follow:

Choose a Professional Installer:

The best way to avoid bad installation is by hiring a professional flooring installer who has experience with laminate flooring.  Floor Care Installation provides affordable, professional, and high quality flooring installation and repair services in the Sacramento area.

Do Your Research:

A man doing his research on flooring companies

Before selecting an installer, do your research and read reviews from previous customers. Visit Floor Care Installation's about page to learn more about our company and how we handle projects.

Check for Warranty:

Make sure the installer offers a warranty on their work in case any problems arise after installation. You can call us or contact us by getting a free estimate at the top right corner of the page.

Follow Manufacturer Instructions:

Following the instructions

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for acclimating and installing the laminate flooring. Floor Care Installation can take the installation burden off of you when you decide to partner with our team of experienced installers.

Don’t Cut Corners:

Accurate measurements of the existing floor and proper techniques are crucial in a successful installation. Cutting corners will only lead to problems down the road. At Floor Care Installation, we believe in excellence and proper installations.

What To Look For In A Laminate Flooring Contractor

A qualified contractor

When hiring a professional to install laminate flooring, look for the following qualities:

  1. Experience: Look for contractors who have experience installing laminate flooring specifically.
  2. Credentials: Make sure the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured.
  3. Portfolio: Ask to see examples of previous installations they have completed.
  4. Customer Reviews: Read reviews from previous customers to get a better idea of the contractor’s work. Find a picture of previous work in a dining room, for example.
  5. Communication: Good communication is important in any project, so make sure the contractor is easy to reach and responds promptly to any questions or concerns.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the lifespan of laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring, when properly installed and maintained, can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years. The lifespan greatly depends on the quality of the laminate, the amount of traffic it sees, and how well it is taken care of.

Regular cleaning and using furniture pads can extend the life of your laminate flooring.

Can laminate flooring be installed in a bathroom?

Although laminate flooring is not traditionally used in bathrooms due to the high moisture environment, there are specially designed waterproof laminate options available.

However, even with these, caution should be taken to promptly clean up any standing water or spills to prevent damage to the flooring.

Can laminate flooring be refinished?

Unlike hardwood, laminate flooring cannot be refinished. Laminate is a printed surface, covered in a protective plastic coating, so if it is damaged or wears out, it cannot be sanded down and resealed. Instead, the damaged laminate planks will need to be replaced or the entire floor redone.

Is laminate flooring good for pets?

Laminate flooring is a great choice for homes with pets. It is resistant to scratches and is easy to clean, making it a practical choice for pet owners. However, it can be slippery for pets, so consider choosing a textured laminate for better traction

How do I clean and maintain my laminate flooring?

Laminate floors should be cleaned regularly with a dry mop or vacuum with a soft bristle attachment to remove dust and debris. For a deeper clean, use a damp mop with a gentle, nonabrasive cleaner.

It's important to avoid using excessive water or harsh cleaners as these can damage the laminate. Also, avoid using wax, polish, or any buffing machine.

To prevent scratches, use furniture pads under the legs of furniture and rugs in high-traffic areas.  Overall, laminate flooring is easy to maintain and keep looking like new.

Can laminate flooring be installed over existing flooring?

In most cases, yes, laminate flooring can be installed over existing flooring such as vinyl, concrete floors, or hardwood. However, it is important to make sure the sub floor is in good condition and properly prepared before installation. You can skip this step if your flooring materials utilize a floating floor.

The manufacturer's instructions should also be followed for specific guidelines on installing over certain types of flooring.

Is laminate flooring a good choice for high-traffic areas?

Laminate flooring can be a great option for high-traffic areas as it is durable and scratch-resistant. However, it is important to choose a higher quality laminate with a thicker wear layer for these areas.

Additionally, proper installation techniques, such as using transition strips between rooms, can help prevent the flooring from peaking or buckling in these areas.

Can laminate flooring be installed on stairs?

Laminate flooring can be installed on stairs, but it is important to use specific stair nose pieces for a finished look and added safety.

It is also recommended to hire a professional for this type of installation as it can be more complex than installing on a flat surface.


In conclusion, good laminate flooring installation is essential for not only achieving a visually pleasing result but also ensuring its longevity and durability.

Avoiding common laminate flooring mistakes and hiring a reputable professional are key in achieving a successful installation. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this blog, you can ensure that your laminate flooring will not only look great but also stand the test of time.  

So, don't rush through the installation process and take the necessary steps to properly acclimate, measure, and install your laminate flooring for a beautiful and functional floor!

For more information about installing laminate flooring, be sure to speak with a professional installer or contact your local hardware store for advice and assistance. They can help you find the perfect product for your needs and ensure that the installation process is done correctly and efficiently.

Feel free to reach out to us via email: floorcareinstall@gmail.com phone: (916) 802-5454 or through our contact us page. Our floor care installation team would love to answere any questions you may have.

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