If You DIY a Hardwood Floor, Factor in Cupping and Buckling

Laying hardwood floor does not mean just putting it down and leaving it. Beware of cupping and buckling.

Many DIY homeowners feel they can install their own flooring, and many do a fine job. However, when it comes to hardwood, there are a few extra things to be aware of; buckling and cupping are two of them. A warping process transforms wood flooring after prolonged exposure to humidity and moisture. The wood absorbs the moisture, retaining it until it dries. When it does dry, the floor warps, and it doesn’t matter if your floor is older or brand-new.

As surprising as it may seem, many homes have high levels of humidity and moisture. Humidity inside or outside the home can damage floors. Outside factors are outdoor climate, heat and humidity; so living in a rain forest is not good for hardwood floors. Inside moisture is generated in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry rooms. And for those of you who have lived through ruptured water lines and burst water heaters, you know how much damage that can do to the inside of your house. It helps to catch that kind of situation early, but that does not always happen.

If you’re going to lay hardwood floors, you want to make sure they are protected from absorbing moisture. After all, hardwood flooring is a significant investment. Make sure to seal the floor properly by glazing it and using a transparent sealant or waterproofing stain.

However, before the real work is done, always lay the planks on waterproofed and insulated layering. This gives the underside of the boards the protection they need from moisture. Now is not the time to cut corners, because this floor needs to last a long time. If you don’t install it the right way the first time, chances are you’ll be taking it up again due to water damage causing buckling. It is quite rare to have hardwood cup and buckle as a result of being defective. In nine cases out of ten, warping is related to improper installation and a poor job applying sealant, which allows moisture to work its way under the wood.

Take the time to research carefully how to install hardwood floors the right way. When in doubt, consider reaching out to an experienced flooring expert who is able to advise you on your project or do it for you. Ultimately, you want your home to look great. Make sure you do it up with class and attention to detail.