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Having to Replace Bamboo Flooring Planks

bamboo_flooringThe beauty of bamboo flooring is that, typically, it won’t suffer from major damages. It’s pretty resilient, and the damage it does incur can usually be fixed with a simple approach. But, it’s not 100% indestructible, although it’s mighty close. There may be a time when you have to replace one plank, or even several planks. If the plank flooring has been nailed, glued, or stapled down, then you really should leave this project up to the professionals, or else you may incur far more headache, damage, and costs than you prepared for.

If your flooring was installed with a floated installation method, then it is quite possible that you can handle replacing planks on your own. In order to do that, you need to remove the molding on the side of the room, closest to the area where the damage is. Then, you simply disconnect the planks, which is a simple task for a floated installation floor.

The whole process gets difficult and messy if your flooring is nailed, glued, or stapled down. Take nails, for example. When flooring is nailed down, a technique called “blind nailing” is often used so that the nails aren’t easy to see. These nails are spaced 6- 8 inches apart and angled into the tongue side of the planks. It’s also possible the nails were hammered in with the “face nailing” technique, which means the nails were driven straight down through the top of the planks. Finding the nails, regardless of the method, can be challenging.

Once (if) you do find the nails and remove them, you’ll want to isolate the damaged area of the plank from the good part. The size of the damage will determine your course of action. You may choose to remove just the damaged area between the two ends of the plank, or you may choose to remove the section of the plank from the damaged area.

You’d draw a line across the plank (two lines if you are isolating a mid-section of plank), and would then drill holes alongside the damage side of the lines. But be careful not to accidentally drill too far, thus hitting your sub-floor.

Now that the drilling is done, you would then split the wood between the holes and pry out the damaged piece. If you have to remove the entire plank, you’ll still want to split in half first, then take out the two pieces.

Next, smooth out the ragged edges of any drilled piece that’s not removed, and you may decide to remove any exposed nails or drive them completely into the sub-flooring.

Now you want to measure out and cut the replacement piece. That requires more than just simple measure-and-cut methods, because plans have tongue and groove sides. You’ll have to remove the bottom lip of the groove side so that that side can be tapped into place.

However, removing the bottom lip means the plank won’t be secure, so you’ll need to add glue to that piece, or “face-nail” it to the sub-floor.

If you finish all that, without error, then you have your new plank. As you can see, it’s far more difficult, time consuming, and complex, to replace flooring that’s been nailed down, which is why it’s recommended you seek a professional unless you have a floating-installed flooring.

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