I installed 600 sq ft of maple hardwood flooring. It was 5/8 in thick, 3.5
in wide. I allowed to acclimatize to the house environment 72 hrs prior to
installation. It was nailed as per instructions from dealer.
It is now cupping a little. The reflection of light is now "rippled". I
remember hearing lots of creaks and cracks after it was installed.
The dealer says "too bad, you should have controlled the humidity in your
house". My question, will running a dehumidifier now (6 months after
installation) remove moisture from the wood such that it becomes uncupped?
I anticipate a collective NO from the group.
Mike, Do you have a humidistat in your house? Is the house really to humid,
or too dry? Either way, correcting it isn't going to hurt anything, it may
at least help your problem from getting worse. Any answer you get will be
fairly worthless as no one can predict exactly what will happen at your
NO. Is there any warranty on the wood? Where did you get teh 72
hours from? As a woodworker, wood often takes a few weeks to
acclimate to the surroundings, depending on the original moisture
content. But even with a humidifier and dehumidifier, the humidity
rate in your house changes with the seasons.
Is it pre-finished wood flooring? Check with the manufacturer. They
may warrant it. They will at least send a guy to your house to
determine what went wrong. May have been installed improperly or
unsuitable for your house. For example, may have required a moisture
barrier or expansion room at edges.
<< It is now cupping a little. >>
Cupping is due to one side being dryer than the other. Odds are the room was
very dry , or maybe you have high humidity from below the subfloor. If you can
balance the humidity above and below the floor permanently, it may settle down
to a respectable level. Quality flooring is usually so well dried that this
problem is unusual. But the way people tend to rush things these days you may
have gotten some slightly green stock. The creaking after installation would be
an indication of drying shrinkage. So be patient and good luck.
You really have 2 situations here.
Your floor was installed and finished at the (then) current humidity
Even if you begin to control the humidity, it may not make the floor pretty.
For a perfect situation, you need a controllable humidity range, and work
installed during and acclimated to that range.
I have, in sight of my main throne, a butt splice; directly in front of an
One of the boards will move 1/4 inch laterally winter / summer.
It looks right about 2 weeks a year.
Did you allow for expansion of the floor. So the floor was dryer than
the house when instaled. Sounds odd. What is your humidity , is your
Sand and refinish is the only way for fix it
The question I have for the entire group is what did folks do
differently when installing wood floors before modern climate control
systems? I have lived in a few older homes in NC with beautiful hard
wood floors that were built before central AC (and still didn't have
it). To my untrained eye, the floors looked great and I never noticed
any changes in appearance between the hot humid summers and the dryer
winters. Did the craftsmen who installed these floors many years ago
employ different techniques or use different materials? What has
changed about hardwood floors since then?
PS: My mother-in-law's new hardwood floors cupped in places. It was
slight but very noticeable to her.
On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 21:01:21 GMT, "Mike and Kathy"
What is your sub-floor?
Any membrane over it?
Where do you live?
How thick is the flooring?
Was it prefinished?
When (what season) did you do the installation?
What were the nailing instructions provided by the dealer? In
particular, how did you control spacing?
I agree that you really should have left it in the room for more than
72 hours, but a lot depends upon the answers above.
On a related topic, I was wondering about the finishing of hardwood
flooring. Is the underside usually finished? If not, it seems like
this would create a difference in the moisture exchange rates for the
two faces, which would invite the wood to move.
I have been in the wood flooring business over 30 years. There are
several things in your post that stand out to me. First, I notice
that your flooring is 5/8 inch thick. I would assume that this is
engineered flooring and not solid flooring. Correct me if that is not
Second, You say it was nailed as per instructions. Usually engineered
flooring is glued, or floated. Could you explain what the
instructions from the dealer were for nailing this flooring?
These creaks and cracks is one of the reasons I am asking about the
Probably not. The finish on the surface of the wood seals the
moisture content where it's at pretty much. Carefully taking up the
flooring and then running the dehumidifier might be a solution. after
the moisture content has stablized you could reinstall the flooring.
Humidity isn't actually your problem from the sound of it. Moisture
content of the flooring and moisture content of the subfloor not being
equal is more the problem here. The nailing instructions could also
be a factor. Nailing instructions should come from the manufacturer
with the product and not from the dealer. This doesn't sound like a
dealer I would like to buy anything from.
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