What causes wood floors to buckle?

Asked By: Doris Wehrle | Last Updated: 18th April, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests woodworking
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What causes wood floors to buckle? Floor buckling is the most extreme reaction to moisture in a hardwood floor. Buckling occurs when the wood flooring actually pulls up from the subfloor, lifting several inches in one or more places.

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Considering this, how do you fix a buckled hardwood floor?

How to Repair Buckled Hardwood Flooring

  1. First, take a piece of chalk or a grease pencil and draw a box around the entire damaged area.
  2. Set the circular saw according to the board depth, and cut along the square you've just drawn.
  3. Using the pry bar, or chisel and hammer, remove the damaged board.

One may also ask, can you reverse cupping on hardwood floors? The good news is that hardwood floor cupping can be reversed, setting the planks back to their original condition. The first thing you must do when you notice a cupped floor is to identify the source of moisture.

Also to know is, why are my wood floors buckling?

Buckling is when the hardwood boards expand across their width, causing them to lift upward and separate from the subfloor. The planks may show separation at the joints and the floor become uneven because of buckling. There are environmental factors that can cause buckling, or it may be because of faulty installation.

Why are my new hardwood floors cupping?

Cupping in hardwood floors is usually caused by changes in moisture levels, whether decreases in the air RH above or increases in moisture from below. Minor cupping is a natural reaction to moisture and shouldn't be a concern. However, severe cupping indicates a serious moisture imbalance.

19 Related Question Answers Found

Why a wooden floor is rising?

Solid wood flooring takes in moisture when there is a high level of humidity in the air and then the flooring lets that moisture go when the humidity in the atmosphere reduces again. When humidity is high, the wood expands. The rising moisture in the air, which is absorbed by the floor, causes this.

Will cupped hardwood floors flatten out?

Drying Wood Floors
Generally speaking, if drying the wet floor starts within the first day to day and a half the wet hardwood floor can be saved with no damage at all, the wet cupped floor will flatten and the finish can be saved.

Why do laminate floors buckle?

Typically, buckling or peaking in a laminate floor is caused when there is an increased tension between the boards in the flooring. This can be caused by temperature and humidity differences, which cause the flooring to expand and press against its edges.

How do you get moisture out of hardwood floors?

Rinse the floor and then suction up the water and dry with cloths. Place a dehumidifier in the center of the room once all of the standing water is removed. Set it to the highest extraction setting possible. Turn it on and leave it running for at least 24 hours to pull moisture from the boards.

Does wood floor expand in summer or winter?


Like doors, this movement in floors is almost noticeable in the seasonal changes between winter and summer. In the summer your house is open, there is lots of humidity in the air and the wood in your floor is fully expanded as it absorbs moisture.

Can water damaged wood floors be fixed?

For many water-damaged wood floors, the best way to repair the damage is to eliminate and replace the affected boards and then to refinish the entire floor. Second, as with sanding and refinishing, the new wood will often have a different hue when viewed next to the existing, sun-soaked wood.

How do you Unwarp a wooden floor?

3 Ways To Fix Warped Wood Floors
  1. Fixing A Tiny Warp. If your wood is still rather pliable (like a solid wood), try wetting the area and placing a heavy object, like a cinderblock, on top.
  2. Sanding.
  3. A Replacement Job.

How do you raise a wooden floor?

How to Build a Raised Wood Floor
  1. Go around the room with your stud finder and your roll of masking tape.
  2. Starting at the inside corner of the room, lay your first piece of 2 x 8 next to the wall, lying on its face.
  3. Continue around the room, putting 2 x 8s all along the perimeter.

How do you stop a wooden floor from buckling?

To help protect your hardwood floors against cupping, follow these 5 tips:
  1. Only install acclimated wood floors.
  2. Fasten floor boards properly.
  3. Install a whole-home humidifier.
  4. Never damp mop a wood floor.
  5. Run vents as much as possible.

Is it normal for wood floors to pop?


It is perfectly normal for a brand new hardwood floor to make noises. In the industry, it is called the “snap, crackle, pop” effect. No subfloor is perfectly level and when a floor is first installed, the edges of the boards need to get used to one another.

Why is my wood floor popping?

Just as your skin reacts to low humidity, so does wood flooring. It doesn't matter if your wood floors are solid wood, engineered wood, or laminate. The floor loses its moisture and shrinks. This can cause your floor to occasionally snap, crackle, and pop at random times.

Why is my wood floor popping up?

When wood flooring pops up, it's a real source of frustration. When temperatures rise and, or humidity levels rise, your wood will expand and if there has been an insufficient expansion gap left around the perimeter of your room, the risk is that the wood will pop up as it expands, because there's nowhere for it to go.

How do you fix scratched hardwood floor?

Fill the scratch with premixed wood filler.
Use a plastic putty knife to fill the scratch with wood filler that matches the color of the floor. Let the filler dry thoroughly. Be sure to use a plastic putty knife to apply the filler (you don't want to create any new scratches).

What does cupping look like on hardwood floors?

Cupping has occurred when the sides of flooring are higher than the center of the boards-the surface of the board has a concave shape. Solid and engineered wood flooring can both cup. Below the Fiber Saturation Point (typically 28% to 30%), wood swells if the MC is increased and shrinks if the MC is decreased.