forstner-drill-bits-1074If you’ve experienced water damage to your American Concepts laminate flooring and need to replace several planks, you might be wondering if you can start cutting into the middle of the floor to remove the damaged planks.

That can be done, but it requires at minimum an intermediate skill set and the right tools — so don’t attempt this kind of repair if you’re a novice. You need a little experience on your side. In fact, the mark of a true professional is how well he/she can accomplish this task.

Remove damaged planks by drilling holes in each of the four corners of the damaged plank with a Forstner drill bit. (These are handy to have in your tool box, by the way. A guy named Forstner invented these bits about 150 years ago to bore flat-bottom holes — perfect for our need here.) The purpose of drilling the holes in the damaged plank is so that your low RPM saw blade has a good place to start cutting. Otherwise you’ll discover that plunge-cutting into a laminate board with an aluminum-oxide wear layer can be a serious challenge!

Be sure to set the blade depth to the precise thickness of the plank. Once you’ve cut the main part of the plank, you can remove the remaining corners with a sharp chisel. Adjacent damaged planks will be easier to remove once the first one is out.

Replacing the planks will depend on the locking system of your particular floor. Which brings up another good tip: Always make sure you keep an extra case of American Concepts laminate floor planks around just for these purposes.