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Replacing a board

First step: acclimatise the new board

The new board needs to be stored in the room in which it is to be installed for a period of 2 to 3 weeks prior to the replacement taking place. This will ensure that by acclimatising the new board to its new environment, it will approximate the size of the boards already installed.

Method 1: unclick towards the damaged board

The easiest method of board replacement simply involves “un-clicking” boards from either edge of the floor until you reach the damaged board. Replace the damaged board with a new, acclimatised board and then proceed to re-install the floor. This method is best utilised when a damaged board is close to your starting or finishing wall.

Method 2: cut the damaged board out

The second method is usually reserved for boards in the middle of a floor, well away from your starting or finishing wall. This method requires more detailed cutting, but can be a big time saver in certain situations.

  1. Prepare the new board — Preparing the new board involves removing the bottom of the groove from both short and long edges of the board. The last 10cm of the long tongue where it intersects the short groove should then be removed. This should be done using a table saw with the blade depth set low so that only the required sections are removed.
  2. Removing the damaged board — To remove the damaged board, draw a visible line approximately 20mm inside the edge of the board. Using a circular saw with the blade depth set to 8mm, carefully cut along the line drawn. Remove the middle of the board that you have just cut out, leaving the remaining 20mm of the existing board still to be removed. Carefully cut or chisel to the corners of the board being replaced. Using pliers or a firm grip, carefully un-click the four board edges that remain. You should now see a “hole” in the floor, into which the new board is to be installed.
  3. Fitting the new board — Carefully apply a generous bead of PVA Adhesive to the groove and the top of the tongues of the boards already installed. Apply additional adhesive to the bottom of the groove of the new board. Rotate the boards into place, until the new board is fitted. Apply weight at each end and in the middle of the new board to ensure that the board sits flat and level with the existing floor once the adhesive has set. The adhesive should be dry in 12 hours, at which point, the weights can be removed and the floor can be subjected to foot traffic.