How Do You Fix a Bouncy Floor? Our Quick Guide

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The bouncy floor is a common problem, more so if you have a floating floor that is neither nailed nor glued down to the sub-floor. The floating floor is a method of installation for a variety of flooring materials such as engineered wood, luxury vinyl, and laminate. So what could cause these floors to be bouncy and how do I fix it?

Subfloor issues such as uneven surface or left-out debris, water leaks or flooding, or high humidity and temperature are the main cause of bouncy floors. You can fix the bouncy problem by identifying the source of the problem, addressing subfloor imperfections, and then swapping out damaged laminate boards for new ones leaving your floor as good as new.

We recommend you keep watch of your floor to prevent any similar future occurrences. Below are the causes of bouncy flooring and how to get rid of the bouncy-spongy feel from your flooring.

What causes the bouncy floors?

1.Water damage

Water that could come from leaks from the roof or faulty pipes and from the outside like an adjacent kitchen garden could cause damage to the sub-floor. Materials such as plywood which are used to make up the sub-floor do not stand up to water. The plywood-veneer glued together disintegrates after a while as a result of too much exposure hence bounciness may occur.

2.Damaged floor joists or trusses

The damages may occur due to a variety of causes such as termites, their favorite dish being wood on your subfloor joists. These small insects cause such great harm and weaken the structural strength of the joists and in extreme cases cause failure. The left damages or cracks and other strong external forces like a heavy tree crushed on the home or extreme weight from let’s say a kitchen island can weaken support to the sub-floor resulting in a bouncy floor.

3.Issues related to the sub-floor

If you have an uneven sub-floor or at times there is any debris left behind during subfloor installation, you are bound to have a bouncy floor. Usage of quality pad or underlayment, as well as adequate on top of your sub-floor, is essential as well to avoid bouncy floors.

4.Improper acclimation prior to installation

When installing a floating floor it is important to ensure you acclimatize it to the humidity and temperature of your home as lack of could cause the floor to expand more than expected in extreme moisture and temperature hence a bouncy floor. Does your laminate flooring expand and contract gaps? if your floor lacks adequate expansion gaps, then you are bound to have your laminate floor lifting up as you walk on it.

How do you fix a bouncy floating floor?

A bouncy floating floor can be fixed  by following some simple steps:

1. Fix the source of moisture

Spongy floors could occur as a result of water damage, high levels of moisture, and temperature or issues related to the sub-floor. If the case is water damage consider checking your plumbing and roof for leaks.

In addition wipe spills immediately they occur and avoid wet mopping as well as keeping your outside garden away from your house walls. In the case of high levels of humidity ensure you regulate them.

If none of these works consider contacting your contractor as it might be issued with the sub-floor.

2. Check for any installation mistakes

If all of the above are addressed and your floor still feels bouncy check your flooring expansion gaps. Expansion gaps allow or give more room for proper expansion and contraction of your floating floor due to regular changes in temperature. If not you could cut down on your planks/boards along the walls to create more space for them to expand and contract.

If you find you have uneven or even subfloor debris, ensure your fix it to have the sub-floor relatively flat to avoid bouncy floating floors. This can be done by adding a layer of plywood or fix an underlayment for laminate flooring. This could act as a slight cushion for any anomalies on your sub-floor. Good quality underlayment is also essential so make sure to steer clear of lackluster underlayment that will result in bouncy floors eventually.

Read more: How to install laminate flooring

3. Replacement of boards

After fixing the cause of your bouncy floors replace your boards accordingly. However, if they were already damaged for example by water ensure to replace them with new similar boards, and if they are along the wall trim them to allow room for expansion.

Is it normal for a floating floor to bounce?

Bouncy floating floors could be a cause of concern as feasibly they could be a sign of water seepage or issues with your sub-floor. However, it should not be a cause for worry as you can easily fix it or in some cases not be a problem at all. This is because floating floors are installed over a pad that compresses when you walk and the floor moves hence a little bounce is fine.

Should floating floors move when walking on them?

Floating floors are installed over a pad or an underlayment that compresses when you walk and the floor moves. Immediately after the installation as well they could move as they expand and contract due to changes in humidity and temperature hence deserve time to settle or acclimatize.

Ways to prevent bouncy laminate floor

Having a bouncy floor can be a menace hence to prevent it would be keep for a comfortable floor. Here are few tips for preventing bouncing laminate floor;

  • Use good quality products for your underlayment and laminate flooring.
  • Before installing top covering, it is important to ensure your sub-floor is relatively flat as an uneven sub-floor is a recipe for disaster.
  • During installation not only do you ensure that it is properly done but also make sure to allow your laminate floor to acclimatize beforehand. Regulate the humidity and temperature levels of your home to avoid having your floor expanding past its expansion gaps.
  • Make sure you have the expansion gaps are left, this allows room for expansion and contraction of your laminate floor.
  • Water spills and wet mopping should and must be avoided. However, when an accidental spill occurs, ensure they are wiped immediately.
  • Regularly check your plumbing and roof to do away with any leaks as fast as possible.
  • Steer clear from installing extreme weights like a kitchen island on top of your laminate floor.
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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

1 thought on “How Do You Fix a Bouncy Floor? Our Quick Guide”

  1. I was having laminate laid in my lounge. However when the fitters moved the carpet they said the floor was too bouncy for laminate. They even said putting hardwood under wouldnt solve the problem. My house is only 20 years old.
    Is there any way i can have laminate and not carpets?


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