New Wood Floor Starting to Buckle

LuckyJoeJune 7, 2014

Greetings,

About four months ago, I had my entire kitchen gutted for remodel, and the wooden floor (cheap veneer) was replaced with solid oak flooring. Recently I discovered a single board that is buckling. I have contacted the installer, and he is telling me that there is a leak somewhere and that as soon as I find the leak and fix it, the buckling will go away. The board that is buckling is quite literally toward the middle of the room, near the stairs, away from any doors or windows. There is a finished basement underneath, and no indication that any leakage is occurring (e.g., a stained ceiling, walls, etc). Is it possible that a leak could affect only one or two boards in the middle of the room? Are there any other reasons this might be happening?

Thanks.

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EAM44

Same thing happened to me. Wood expands with increased humidity. If your floors were installed months ago when you still had the heat on and your house was dry, they may be expanding with the humidity of spring weather. If your installer didn't leave enough room for said expansion, your boards are going to buckle.

I never fixed mine, but the fix isn't that bad from what I've read. He'll replace the buckled board with a board the same length trimmed for width. Your floor is tongue and groove. This piece will have the tongue trimmed, and it should be sanded and finished before installation. As for nailing it in place I'm not sure how this is done so that you don't see the nail head, but he'll know what to do. It isn't neuroscience. Getting him back to your house will be the most difficult part for you.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 1:50AM
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Trebruchet

"Are there any other reasons this might be happening?"

LuckyJoe:

Yes, it's because wood grows on trees. Because it does, it is somewhat dimensionally unstable. This dimensional instability is counter-acted by using laminated wood floors instead of solid wood. Your "cheap veneer" floor probably never had this problem.

A picture would be helpful.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:32AM
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ak0402

LuckyJoe - I don't have an answer for you but I wanted to point you to the Gardenweb's Flooring Forum. There are actual flooring contractors on that site that might have good advice for you. I also did a quick search with the words "new wood floor buckling" and got a bunch of threads. But you could post your new thread there as well.

Gardenweb's Flooring Forum

Search Results for Threads on Flooring Forum about Wood Floor Buckling

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:18AM
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ajc71

Could be any number of reasons, moisture content of the wood when installed, moisture content of the sub floor when installed etc...

The excuse from your installer that it is a "leak" is silly, considering the location of the problem piece

He (or another flooring contractor) could easily cut that piece out and install a new

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:37AM
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