Pergo Laminate Flooring Buckling, Warping and Seeping Moisture

I was recently excited to receive an email from a gentleman in the U.K. who had apparently read my book and found what I had to say helpful. He had a few interesting questions that I think might be helpful to the others:

Andy from the U.K.:

Hi there I am from the U.K. and wondered if you could give me some advice. I recently had Pergo laminate flooring fitted. A few months later, I noticed the floor had buckled between two planks in my living room and that some pieces had movement at the joints. Then, in my kitchen, the flooring has started to buckle, warp and now has started to seep moisture.

I have approached the fitter who tried to blame the clicking system, but I believe it could be his fault. He did fit an underlay with moisture protection on.

Could you help in anyway?

Glenn Revere:

Greetings, Andy,
These things can get complicated. The subfloor moisture level must be below a certain level. Did the fitter perform a moisture test prior to installation? This is required by Pergo. (There are several types of tests he could have performed to satisfy Pergo). Pergo (or any wood material) is sensitive to moisture. Was the “moisture” barrier attached to the Pergo or placed underneath separately? At any rate, if you see moisture, it is beyond the scope of a moisture barrier, which is meant to address moisture in vapor form only. Perhaps there is a broken pipe? The Pergo warranty does not cover this type of water damage. If visible water existed prior to installation, the fitter should have seen it and delayed installation until the water was addressed. If it occurred later, it is considered “site related” and is your responsibility. As I said, it gets complicated. I hope this helps.

Please keep in touch. I will be glad to answer additional questions.

Cheers, Glenn

Andy from the U.K.:

As far as I know, no tests were done prior to putting the flooring down.

Glenn Revere:

New concrete contains LOTS of moisture vapor. Testing is extremely important. The Pergo installation requirements include moisture testing AND “proper” acclimation of the materials. If the materials prove defective, Pergo will deny your claim based on lack of testing. Also, I doubt that the oven could cause a problem to properly fitted Pergo. It is my opinion that the problems are caused by “moisture from below” (i.e., from the concrete subfloor). If the vapor emissions are high enough, a plastic moisture barrier is not sufficient. The concrete would need an epoxy sealer to reduce the vapor to acceptable levels. Also, if the Pergo is fitted “tight” (no required expansion gaps around all room perimeters, vertical pipes, etc.), the normal movement of the flooring is stopped and the material buckles, even when vapor levels are in the acceptable range. One nail or screw through the flooring is enough to prevent a “free float” and can cause buckling and floor failure.


It was not only great to hear from a reader from across the Pond, but it was also a great question. I certainly invite any of you reading to submit your flooring queries to me via my Contact Page.


Who is Glenn Revere?

Glenn Revere has been a carpet expert since 1973. He’s a certified flooring inspector and the author of All About Carpets, the only book written to protect and inform you about your carpet choices, from carpet buying and carpet warranties to carpet care and maintenance. You can find him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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One Response to “Pergo Laminate Flooring Buckling, Warping and Seeping Moisture”

  1. Mary Ruggirello says:

    We had installed a laminate flooring for a customer, a few weeks later they called us because their floor was buckling. When we walked into their kitchen we could hear the water underneath the flooring. They had a pipe leaking under their sink, the water went through the cabinet and under the flooring. They never knew that they had a leak!