4 Common Hardwood Floor Problems

Date Posted: 10 July 2015

Contrary to what all homeowners imagine, some common hardwood floor problems may arise due to various factors. Minor damages on the hardwood floors can simply be repaired by professional hardwood floor technician or by simple DIYer. Here are some hardwood floor problems and their corresponding solutions should the need arises.

1. Cupping

Also called washboarding, cupping happens gradually when the edges of the floorboards elevate while the center of the plank sinks down. Subtle cupping may also happen due to lack of correct acclimation. Cupping is caused by excessive moisture content beneath the floorboards than on top.

Solution:

Ensure to locate first and eliminate the sources of the excessive moisture before trying to repair cupped hardwood floors. Give some time for the hardwood floors to recuperate and return to original shape and state. Though, it may take some weeks or months before this happens. In case the cupped hardwood floors remain the same even after an entire heating season, those permanently deformed planks can be sanded off.

2. Buckling

Buckling refers to floorboards that become warped and lifted off from attached subfloor. It is usually associated with cupping and swelling of the surface. Excessive moisture is the major cause for this problem. Other factors that may contribute to buckling of hardwood floors include: inadequate nailing, improper fasteners and incorrect subfloor construction for nail-down installation method, wrong or insufficient adhesive, using incorrect trowel and insufficient adhesive transfer for glue-down installation, and insufficient expansion gap for floorboards.

Solution:

Initially fix the source of excessive moisture level. Let the flooring dry to normal level. Spot repair or replacement, reinstallation, renailing or refinishing could be done to bring back the floorboards’ appearance.

3. Crowning

Crowning is a result of excessive moisture present on the top surface of the wood floors than on the bottom part. Also, this can also arise when cupped hardwood floors were sanded off as an initiative to repair the problem before letting it completely dry to ideal condition. Basically, the center of the planks appears to be deformed upward than the edges.

Solution:

Bring the moisture level to the normal state. Once the floor stabilized, it could be resanded and refinished.

4. Cracks

Cracks in hardwood floors can happen as a result of years of usage. These can simply be spot repaired with some angled nails to hold the floorboards together. For large cracks, consider to have them refinished. However, if the split is really bad, have the damaged floorboards replaced by professionals.

Apparently, moisture level is the major bane that causes most hardwood floor problems. Ensuring proper installation method is done and proper acclimation is performed beforehand reduces the risk for any damage to your flooring investment.

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