Preventing & Repairing Buckling Hardwood Flooring

The term buckling refers to floors that rise up from the subfloor and create an uneven surface. This may cause other planks to rise as well. Moisture and water damage are the biggest culprits of buckling and other post-installation damages.

Preventing Buckling

There could be several reasons why planks can buckle in a solid hardwood floor. Buckling hardwoods can be prevented by following some of these tips.

  • Acclimatize you hardwoods in the temperature controlled room you are installing in for a few days. Common recommendations are 5-7 days.
    • Engineered Hardwoods should be acclimatized for 48-72 hours depending on manufacturer specific instructions.
  • Allow all wet trades to be completed before receiving your wood shipment. This include cement, drywall, plastering and paint.
  • Check the moisture content in the room for a consistent amount of time. Generally this can take one week or up to a month.
  • Proper installation of the HVAC, windows and doors.
  • Don’t put excessive weight on the floor.
  • Proper nail and/or staple installation.

Repairing Buckling

Even if you are cautious, weather and excess moisture can be a main problem with your hardwood floors and buckling.

First, figure out what is causing the buckling. You will need to fix this problem before you start thinking about the floor repair. Unless you find the culprit, you will continue to experience this problem.

*If moisture was the problem, check the subfloor to make sure it has not suffered any moisture damage.

For minor lifts in the flooring, you can place a heavy object, such as a weight, on top of the planks that are buckled. Added pressure should help the planks settle back into the locking system.

If the weight doesn’t work, you may have a bigger buckling problem. For major buckling, we would recommend contacting a professional to assess the floor. A re-installation of these planks may be necessary. Unlike a laminate or vinyl, hardwoods can be a bit harder to uninstall and re-install when damage occurs.

Have questions? Need a little bit of extra help? We’re here for you. Start a chat with one of our flooring experts in the box on this page and get a fast answer to your hardwood flooring questions.

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