How to Get Rid of Gaps in Your Laminate Flooring

Make your laminate look like new

Annie Sisk
Written by Annie Sisk
Updated June 9, 2022
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Photo: Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images


Flex your DIY muscles.

Time to complete

30 minutes

Another 24 hours to let glue dry.


$25 to $50

You might need a few supplies.

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What you'll need:


  • Putty knife
  • Disposable plastic syringe
  • Mallet
  • Floor gap fixer


  • Toothpicks
  • Cotton swabs
  • Orange manicure stick
  • Wood glue or filler for laminate flooring
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean cloth for clean-up

Laminate is an economical and attractive choice for many homeowners who love the look and feel of hardwood floors. But—for many different reasons—sometimes your laminate flooring can develop gaps in between planks. Fortunately, with a few tools and some free time, you can fix those areas to keep your laminate floors safe, level, and gap-free.

Prepping to Fix Laminate Flooring Gaps

A young girl sitting on the floor
Photo: Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

Understanding the cause of your flooring’s gaps is important because it empowers you to prevent future gaps from developing in the first place. Sometimes it’s far better to address the underlying cause first, then filling in the gaps. 

One of the most common reasons why your laminate floor planks might develop gaps has to do with the local weather, particularly humidity levels. When humidity rises, your laminate planks can absorb some of that environmental moisture, which then evaporates. That process causes the flooring to contract and swell, and that in turn creates gaps. 

Other potential causes of gapping laminate planks include improper installation; frequent spills that aren’t immediately and properly cleaned up, causing accumulated moisture; uneven subflooring beneath the laminate planks; or a malformed or malfunctioning locking mechanism for the planks.

Choosing the Right Repair Method

Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are a few different methods to remove gaps in laminate flooring. The method we’re describing is ideal for small, narrow gaps. In most cases, that will be sufficient to resolve the issue. However, if the gap is wide or large, you might need a more expensive, time-intensive method to fix it. 

You’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for any warping or misalignment in your laminate planks on an ongoing basis, but particularly during and after any periods of high humidity in your area. That will help you notice developing gaps when they’re small, before they become more expensive to fix. 

If you do see gaps, it’s important to address them as soon as possible so you can use this lower-cost fill-in method instead of using wood shims or other material. In some extreme cases, you might need to replace a portion of the flooring itself to fix the problem. 

Before You Start Working 

Before you begin to repair and fill the gaps in your laminate flooring, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the adjacent boards and the gap itself for any dirt or foreign objects. If you don’t clean out the surface area of the gap, the wood glue or filler might not properly adhere. Depending on the size of the gap, you can use a toothpick, a clean cotton swab, or a wooden orange manicure stick to remove any dirt, dust, or other unwanted particles that have come to rest inside the gap. 

6 Steps to Remove Gaps in Laminate Flooring

  1. Scoop Out the Glue

    Select the tool that’s best sized to match the size of your gap. Toothpicks or cotton swabs work well with small gaps, while small syringes can handle slightly larger ones. Scoop out (or suction out, if you’re using a syringe) a small amount of glue. 

    Remember: You can always add more glue later, but if you apply too much initially, you’ll have to clean it up quickly before it sets and becomes more difficult to remove.

  2. Remove Excess Glue

    Use a putty knife or other non-serrated, non-cutting tool with a flat edge to scrape up excess glue and wipe off with a clean damp cloth. Be very careful not to touch the glue with your hands! Some epoxies and fillers can adhere to skin and cause damage.

  3. Fill in the Gap

    Using your preferred applicator, fill in the gap with wood glue until the gap is completely covered. The gap may not be very large, but you want to ensure a thorough, thick coverage, as wood glue can dry to a tacky adhesiveness fairly quickly. Ensure that the entire gap between the two planks is covered in glue, including the interlocking areas with the squared edges. Remove any excess with your putty knife for the most thorough result.

  4. Push Planks Together to Seal Gap

    Once you’ve cleaned up any excess or leftover glue, apply pressure as you push the two planks together for a tighter seal. You can either use your own body weight to apply leverage on the two planks, or you can use a floor gap fixer. This device does exactly what its name suggests by creating applied tension and pulling two adjacent planks together to remove a gap. Then use a mallet to apply a few light whacks to ensure a tight alignment between the planks.

  5. Clean Up Remaining Excess Glue

    A woman wiping the laminate flooring
    Photo: Oleg Opryshko / Adobe Stock

    Once the two planks have been properly aligned and the gap is gone, take another pass over the area with a clean damp cloth to remove any excess wood glue that’s been squeezed out of the gap. If you’re dealing with a larger glob of excess glue, wait for a few minutes until it gets tackier, then scrape it up gently with the edge of your putty knife.

  6. Monitor the Area

    You might want to avoid walking on or near the impacted area for a day or so while the glue fully cures. Be on the lookout for any extra glue that might get pushed out of the gap area. Additionally, sometimes you’ll need a second application of glue to fully fill the gap, so periodically inspect the area for any recurrence of the gap.

DIY Laminate Repair vs. Hiring a Pro

For small gaps in laminate flooring that aren’t accompanied by more serious damage (i.e., chips, loose or warped planks, or buckling), most homeowners can safely tackle the repair themselves using the method outlined above. If you’re dealing with more significant issues, you’ll probably want to hire a local laminate repair professional.

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Get quotes from top-rated pros.