Dark Laminate Gaps at Planks Edges or Not?
Dark laminate gaps are not necessarily a gap even though they appear as a dark laminate gap when viewed from a standing position. In this photo, the consumer was convinced that dark laminate gaps were starting to develop. The floor had been installed for a few years before these dark lines along the joined edge of the planks has shown up.
Upon inspection the dark laminate gaps were actually dark lines of built up dirt along the edge of the planks.. This variation does not mean there is a defect as manufacturers set tolerances for height variations between the joined edges of their products. If the floor is not adequately maintained you can develop a build up of dirt that will result in a condition such as the dark laminate gaps you see here.
If the laminate is cleaned by running a floor mop across the seams instead of along the seams, dirt will be pulled into the high edges and build up over time. The manufacturer may consider this a maintenance concern if the height variation is within their manufacturing tolerance.
The allowable height variation is often dependent upon what the manufacturer wants to say is allowable. Other manufacturers adhere to the NALFA/ANSI LF-01-2011 Thickness variations of 0.50 mm (0.20 in). NALFA – The North America Laminate Floor Association