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Question DetailsAsked on 9/21/2011

Laminate hard wood floors 6 years old; a tap-tight no glue version.. Some pieces appear to have shrunk, most not. What to use to fill gaps?

Six years ago I put down Harris Tarkett Vanguard Tap-Tight 7.5 inch wide laminate hard wood flooring. Some pieces (near the center) appear to have shrunk leaving unsightly gaps. Gaps are on 1, or 2 or 3 sides. The worst gaps are as thick as a credit card ( 0.03 inches). However, most of the pieces remain tight together. I would like to fill the larger gaps with a material such that the gaps are not as noticeable. I tried a colored type of putty but it worked its way out after a few days.

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2 Answers


chances are you can put on a nice pair of rubber soled sneakers and slam the pieces back together again with your feet. you may seperate another seam while doing this but just work your way down. this method probably wont work if seperation is due to moisture, one of the downfalls of laminate

Answered 8 years ago by CorporateFlooring


This is a common problem, especially with wider board, which the manufacturers do not talk about. This is only one reason of several why I recommend only using glued-joint laminate and engineered wood flooring.

In addition, you are far from the first customer who has called this product junk - joints coming apart due to the lack of a high-strength interlock are common on the web if you google Tarkett tap-tight flooring. I looked at this product for my own house and rejected it - in the showroom, if you interlock two pieces together on the counter, you could unlock them with about a 5 pound direct pull apart.

The "right" way of handling this is taking the floor apart to the last row with separation, then putting it back together.

The quick and dirty way, which may or may not work well for you, is to use a high-friction means of tapping or shoving the joints back together. Tennis type shoes (white sole) or bare foot will sometimes do it (though shoes run risk of marring the finish). Professional way is to use a 1/4" or so white rubber mat (non-marking on the floor) with a wood block (piece of 2x8 or 3/4 plywood or such) on top, then thump the top of the block with a heavy rubber mallet at about a 45 degree angle to drive the pieces back together - that way you do not mark the floor. You work from the gap nearest the starting edge (the wall with the groove side of the boards along the wall all the way along, we'll call this the "good side"), driving the boards towards the "good side" from bottom to top, and towards the left from the right on each row, then backing down to the next gap and doing that again with that row, eventually ending up at the wall with the tongue side of the boards against it. New gaps will open as you go, so you are likely to have to tap every board in the long run.

Remember when doing this to first insert spacers along the "good side" wall and the left wall as you face the good side, as in original installation (they say 8mm spacers), and be careful about banging on planks that are in direct contact with pipe penetrations so you don't break a pipe.

Here is a link to their installation instructions -

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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