Hairline Cracks In Laminate Floor

March 7th 2005
Hairline Cracks In Laminate Floor

Dear Shell,

Our laminate floor had developed thin hairline cracks in one section of the hallway about a year or so ago. We noticed it, but didn't make much of it at that time since it was so minute. Now, the cracks are much wider and it has spread to a few other areas as well. Over the past 3 weeks when the temperature has cooled down these cracks have really widened and are quite noticeable. Can you please explain what is going on and how we can fix this problem?


Dear John,

Unfortunately your question falls into the comment that I have made on many an open line radio program, that over the next ten years laminate flooring in general is going to be a major headache for many homeowners. This is due to many issues such as grade of material, installation as well as room circumstances etc. Your problem is caused by the impact that relative humidity is presenting in the home. Unless the flooring material is preseasoned in the home for a minimum of 48 hours with the packages opened before the actual installation major changes in the relative humidity will make it susceptible to expansion and contraction. This is one of the most commonly asked questions about laminate flooring. The best equation would be to have a 40% relative humidity in your home with a room temperature of 21 degrees C when the outside temperature is in the 0 to -12 degrees C range. You will find a relative humidity indicator handy to monitor the humidity levels in the home. These are available from our HouseSmart Referral office, call 1-888-266-8806 or in the Lower Mainland call 604-542-2236. I would suggest that anyone purchasing laminate flooring ask about the characteristics of product in the event of changes in high and low relative humidity. If you do not receive a satisfactory answer do not deal with that supplier. Please refer to for further information.

It's Just That Easy,