Wood Flooring Problems

Cupping, buckling, and crowning are three common problems encountered in wood flooring. These problems are caused by a combination of the normal material characteristics of the flooring and improper installation of the flooring.

Flooring expands when its moisture content increases and contracts when its moisture content decreases. Flooring also expands when its temperature increases and contracts when its temperature decreases. The amount of moisture-related expansion and contraction is always larger across the width of the floorboard (across the grain) than along the length. Read more…

Hardwood Flooring Oxidation

Visible Signs

Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. Primarily, wood flooring problems can occur when the wood expands and contracts. This “wood movement” occurs naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient relative humidity levels change in the home. These changes can also present a less-than-desirable change in the appearance of your wood flooring.

Cracks and separations between boards When homes are heated in the winter, relative humidity levels can plummet, boards can shrink and spaces appear between the boards as the wood loses moisture content. Some of these variations are seasonal and will close up on their own when the weather changes and moisture returns back to the air. Monitoring the room’s temperature and relative humidity level, then taking corrective action, can also minimize seasonal shifts in the wood floor. As an example, homeowners can add moisture to the air during dry winter months by installing a humidifier in the furnace. Read more…

Hardwood Oxidation

During the first year the hardwood floor will go through a period of oxidation and typically the more the floor is exposed to strong sunlight the darker the wood will become. Problems sometimes arise if the room is in intense sunshine and then you decide to move an armchair or sofa only to find a lighter discolored area underneath. Firstly dont panic as over time the lighter area will also darken. Secondly, if you want to avoid the darkening of your wood, look to protect your floors from direct sunlight as far as possible. Read more..