Laminate flooring is built for today’s active lifestyle and is a great solution for high-traffic areas.  It is designed with a tough and durable wear layer, which makes it stronger than other flooring options.  However, accidents happen, and while it is durable, a plank might need to be repaired.  The most common repair for damaged laminate flooring is plank replacement, and floating laminate floors offer the advantage of the ability to replace planks-even a plank in the middle of the floor can be removed and a new plank put in its place.

This photo shows the tools required for laminate plank replacement.

Step 1 no. 1

Step One:  Remove the plank

1. Mark the damaged plank. Draw two parallel lines extending the length of the plank, dividing it into three equal parts. From each corner draw a line approximately 8 inches long, forming a triangle.

Step 1 no. 2

2. Adjust the depth of the saw blade to the thickness of the replacement plank.

Step 1 no. 3

3. Cut the length of the two parallel lines one inch past the angular lines at the end of the plank.

Step 1 no. 5

5. Carefully cut along the angular lines up to each of the four punched holes.

Step 1 no. 6

6. Using a suction cup, or a hammer and chisel, remove the center piece of the damaged plank.

Step 1 no. 7

7. Remove the two cut side pieces by lifting with a pry bar and rotate upward.

Step 1 no. 8

8. Remove the two triangular pieces at each end by gently lifting and rotating away from the adjoining planks.

Step 1 no. 10


9. Remove all debris and vacuum.  

10. Remove any end joint locking ridges, leaving a smooth surface.  

Step 1 no. 11

11. Remove the retractable plastic tongue.  

12. Vacuum and remove any debris.  

Step 2 no. 1

Step Two: Prepare the replacement plank  

1. Remove the locking ridge facing the retractable plastic tongue.  

Step 2 no. 2

2. Remove the locking ridge completely, leaving a smooth surface.

Step 2 no. 3

3. Cutting at a 45-degree angle, remove each end of the long side tongue.

Step 2 no. 5

4. Cutting at a 45-degree angle, remove each corner of the extended groove facing the plastic tongue.  

5. Remove the plastic tongue from the end joint of the plank.  

Step 2 no. 6

6. Readjust the saw and cut and remove the underside of the groove of the replacement plank.

Step 3 no. 1

Step Three:  Dry fit the replacement plank  

1. Carefully engage the end of the plank by pressing downward and sliding the plank forward.  

Step 3 no. 2

2. The plank will not be fully engaged.  Use a tapping block to complete the fitting. Carefully tap the raised edges of the plank until it slides into place.  

Step 3 no. 3

3. Once fitted into place check for raised edges, if some are found, mark the surface of the plank.

4. Use the suction cup to raise the plank from the opening.  

5. Vacuum the opening thoroughly.  

6. If there are any high spots, sand the under side of the plank in the areas that are marked.  

Step 4 no. 1

Step Four:  Install the replacement plank  

1. Place drywall tape around the perimeter of the opening to keep from gluing the plank to the floor.

Step 4 no. 3

2. Place a 1/8-inch bead of glue on the top of the tongues and in the groves of all sides of the opening.  

3. Install the replacement plank into the opening.  

Step 4 no. 4

4. Carefully engage the end of the plank by pressing downward and sliding the plank forward. Using the tapping block, complete the fitting. 

Step 4 no. 6

5. Remove any excess glue with a damp cloth.  

6. Place weights on the replaced plank. Check all joints for smoothness.