Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I just purchased a house that has laminate floating flooring (tongue and groove, glued) installed on the 1st floor. There is an area where the floor seems to have bowed. It squeaks when you walk over it. The area is located at a side entrance/exit which connects the house and garage, and at the foot of the entrance way. There is an air vent in the floor. (The house has Central Air and Air conditioner.)
It has been suggested that nailing the area around the area vent would solve the problem. Does this sound like the right solution?
A: Difficult to say. Is this laminate floor wood, or one of those hard surfaced, counter top type of products? It sounds like there is unevenness in the subfloor at that spot so that you have a dip and a high spot. Such areas should have been taken care of at installation, either by filling the low spot with black building paper, or some leveling compound. And a slightly high spot could have been ground down.
Putting a nail through might stop the panel from moving, and hence eliminate the squeak, but if the subfloor is wafer board, it is only a matter of time before it works loose. Also, if the surface veneer is not real wood, but a hard, man-made surface, there is a very good chance you will end up chipping the surface.
If you knew there was a floor joist underneath that spot, then there is a device you can buy from Home Depot that attaches to your drill. You drill a pilot hole and use their special screw that the head snaps off of when it penetrates to a certain depth. The only thing left to do is fill the tiny hole. Again, if this is not a real wood veneer, it gets a bit more difficult to deal with.
Original / moved link https://faceliftfloors.com/q-and-a/bowed.php