This article looks at compression lipping of wood based floor coverings. We’ll look at what it is and the causes. Unfortunately, there’s often little that can be done but read on to gain an insight into this issue.

Lipping can be unsightly, dangerous and attract dirt and grime. It is the sure sign that a floor has been installed incorrectly or the particular brand is not very well made. Be weary of cheap products or fitters!

What exactly is lipping and what causes it?

As a lot of problems associated with wood based floors, lack of an adequate expansion gap can cause compression lipping. Lipping and compression lipping are essentially the same thing. however, the way the floor lips can differ. Compression lipping is the result of the wood floor planks pushing together due to the lack of an expansion gap as the floor expands with the increase of air humidity. If the floor has a wide open space with little or no weight applied i.e. furniture, it will often buckle at the weakest point. However, if the floor does have sufficient weight applied and is not allowed to buckle, it will push together, creating compression lipping.

Lipped boardThe second reason for lipping is poor manufacture. Most manufacturers will stipulate that all planks should be carefully inspected prior to fitting. We fully agree with that, although, some brands can be that poorly made, on inspection of the planks, you may find the majority don’t go together the way you would expect and lip up at the edges. If it’s an odd plank, then disregard it or use an undamaged side as an off cut. From an installers point of view, the customer should be made aware of the issue and should have the final say whether to carry on with the installation should this be a recurring theme after opening several packs. Should you wish to return the flooring, I would suggest getting in touch with your supplier and not opening any further packs.

What can be done to rectify a lipped floor?

There’s really not a lot that can be done with a lipped floor. If it’s a real wood floor, a sand and re-finish may ease the problem. If it’s a laminate, a rip out is in order or simply live with it. I mentioned at the beginning that these types of floors can be dangerous. They can! A lipped floor can leave a very sharp exposed edge, especially a laminate floor. For a toddler or even adults that like to walk around their home in bare feet. A lipped floor can be akin to running your skin across a razor blade.

As a good pre emptive measure, I would always advise my customers to check several boards prior to commencing a full purchase. If purchased over the internet and the floor isn’t to your standards, have it sent back.

Issues like these are one of the biggest reasons why we advise our customers to spend that little bit extra where possible. It really is not worth the hassle if a floor has to be lifted or lived with in a sub-standard state.

© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor

I am a Pergo trained professional installer of 20 years. I've been up close and personal with lots of floors and have the knobbly knees to show for it...Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them below. Thanks for taking the time to call by and I hope the information you've found has given you some insight!........................................................................................................................................................................“When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in the site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network,,,,,,, affiliate window network.” This statement is to comply with current internet regulations regarding transparency to consumers.

Tagged with: , , , , ,