As you eagerly anticipate a successful installation, be aware that problems such as warping, buckling, cupping, and crowning can really ruin your floor and your dream. Thanks for the questions. I trust this guy, he has rave reviews and he has done hundreds of floors in our area. Crowning in the center of a board. In practice, this rarely occurs. This is usually slight, but in extreme cases, the wood can peel several inches away from the floor. My guess is that it will take an extended period of time (months) for you to see the end result. Some say that 40-60% RH is OK. But in several areas the gaps are much wider than a dime. The floor was fixed after the that. Over the winter the cupping went away so we thought it was a fluke. I would see any pipe issue and there is none. Yesterday we noticed a couple more areas have started to warp. In certain instances, different homes may also have drastically different efficiencies based on construction practices. In your situation, exterior drainage may be an issue. We’re seeing some fine lines around our flooring and we have observed that there are parts that extend up to our walls. ... Low, or reducing humidity causes the wood to contract again. It has been a humid summer and in spit of running a/c the floors are now buckling. Also, can you seal in moisture that wil cause cupping later? Thanks for the question. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this definitely applies to wood flooring. Assuming he has tested the concrete and the wood he would determine if the concrete and wood can live in the conditions given. Perhaps identify RH in your home and maintain it the best you can annually. Unless it’s a hazard, the best course of short-term action is probably watch and wait. I realize I am asking for a lot of In addition the basement below the kitchen floor is fully exposed as this is a 80 year old home. This is a point of balance between the MC of the wood and the RH of its ambient environment. Now of course that just adds to my dilemma, nail down or floating? The insulation was slightly wet near the front of the window. All rights reserved. If the floor is sanded while the boards are still cupped, the sanding process will sand off only the raised edges of the boards. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. AprilAire: https://www.aprilaire.com/. Crowning can also happen when cupped wood floors are sanded before the moisture is addressed. If you see serious cupping, you’ll need to first identify the source of the moisture. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether such a small spill could be the issue. (Conditions where the wood can’t absorb, or release moisture) Check with them to ensure the proper steps were taken prior to installation. We have baseboard heaters. During the remodel we had to tear some of the basement ceiling out to run plumbing lines being we moved our sink location to a new island. Had it sanded stains and three coats of an oil base finish. what should i do to fix issue? Thanks for the question. Thanks for the question. This occurs when a cupped floor is sanded prior to obtaining the proper moisture level for the environment in which it is installed. Keep in mind, many humidification/dehumidification solutions are integrated into the HVAC systems within houses. Hi Jason, Personally, I would need more information before I made a switch in flooring finish and you should be aware that you can still have this same issue even with engineered products. the subfloor) The proper Relative Humidity (RH) for hardwood flooring is between 30-50%. Thanks. Thanks for the comment. We had the contractor come back and he nailed them down in several places. I have no pipes that could have caused this. My questions are: have you ever uncounted a problem like this? fans or a fan w/ a heater element to blow over the cupped parquet squares. During our first heating season, we have seen some gaps in the wood as you described. What Causes Wood Floors to Crown? Then, once you have that fixed and the floors aren’t getting continuously wet, you can see if any of the damage slowly goes away. The main drain for the street runs under the new extension so could that possibly have something to do with it – with the recent bad storms we have had? There was water supply piping beneath the floor that has been abandoned. I’m hoping you can provide advice. I am happy to go over our meters with you upon your request. In the mornings there is dew and there are 2 vents in area for the foundation. So far no luck. Some of the causes of installation related cupping are: Underlayment and/or subfloor that is too wet at the time of installation will cause wood floor cupping. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to cause crowning in an attempt to fix cupping. One thing we did notice is that the areas with the worm like stains are higher in moisture than the rest of the normal planks. I would contact this organization https://www.woodfloors.org/ and look for a qualified installer and discuss some of your other questions with them. Knowing this may allow you to just look at improvements that can be done to allow for a consistent environment for you and the floor. This happens when the wood floor has been flooded for quite some time. At the time of installation the installer should have done moisture testing in the concrete and hardwood. Cupping. What I would suggest is to visit: http://www.nwfa.org. Today we carry wood moisture products for lumber mills, building inspectors, installation contractors, wood hobbyists, and the owners of wood floors. I would want to have evidence, either way, what the RH% and air temp do throughout the year. I live in Colorado, north of Denver. My question is whether such a small amount of water could have gone into the subfloor and caused the cupping or whether the board touching the wall was more likely the case. "Rob, from beginning to end was on top of the job and was there for me when any details needed to be discussed. Upon removal of those, there may be more visible sections that need to be replaced proactively. In other words, water is introduced to the bottom of dry flooring boards. In our renovation we we polished up some old hardwood flooring but had to pull up some sections damaged boards and replace them. I would recommend you look for a home inspector at https://www.homeinspector.org/ that is in your area that can help diagnose the issue. Any information you have regarding this problem and how to fix it would really help. Thanks for the question. Sometimes on flat sawn flooring boards (as opposed to quarter sawn), there can be differences in tangential and radial moisture movement, which, when there is a change in the moisture content of the flooring, can cause crowning or cupping. If I set up tent over damp hard wood floors and put a humidifier hooked to it will it in reversing cupping its in a small area ? He says if they replace my flooring, the cupping is likely to happen again. Now that its summer again, they’re badly cupped again. Help!! Karen. Sometimes it’s a matter of obtaining better environmental systems to regulate conditions more succinctly or obtaining better cross-ventilation in basements and crawlspaces. 2 pieces have swelled to the point where the gap between has elevated the edges to almost 45 degrees. First, I would want to know why the boards cupped and do what I could to remedy the situation. Is there a good way to fix? This may happen again and we are puzzled. Any moisture imbalance can cause problems with wood. We are their 4 months, I noticed the cupping right away, my builder said that the wood was tested for moisture and passed. How will a wood water meter help me solve this riddle. Big demo project. However, it’s possible that once you’ve determined the source of the moisture, the floor will dry out eventually and the cupping will disappear. If I lay the hardwood flooring first will it be affected by the spray texture and painting done on the basement ceiling which is directly below the new floor? If you continue using our site you consent to our cookies. Outside the window on the bottoms is a stone facade which was pulling away from the porch in the spot where the porch is sinking so my husband air I think out with fans and injected spray insulation with a wood trio and then sealed it with rubber cement caulk to get us through the winter. We installed bamboo floors in our master bedroom. We are not there all of the time and are wondering if you know of any whole house humidifiers that could be programmed remotely to keep the humidity at a decent, consistent level while we’re away. However, you may need to sand and refinish it though. My question is that both Air conditioning air handler is directly below this area and my gas furnace is located closely below the kitchen. This is called Equilibrium Moisture Content. In this case, drying work in the lower level of the home dried the wood flooring’s subfloor, and the radiant heat also lowered the RH in the joist spaces, causing the flooring to … We called the floor guy back. and Privacy Policy. With crowning the centers of the boards become distorted upwardly so that it is higher than the edges of the board. Some in really good shape. Cupping in hardwood floors is caused by changes in moisture levels, whether decreases in the air RH above or increases in moisture from below. There is a hard pan and the rain will wick under the house, I assume. Thanks for the question and sorry for the problems. This is usually caused by sanding a cupped floor before it has completely dried, although moisture on the upper side of the floor caused by plumbing leaks or wet mopping may cause floors to … There is cupping about 1/8 of boards slight. This winter I was going to install all new flooring, after looking at laminate and plank vinyl which look to fake for me decided on expanding budget to wood and have fallen in love with Acacia wood. I am a warm weather and fresh air person so spring through summer I prefer doors and windows open, until the temperature gets into the upper 70s or the humidity gets oppressive then on goes the air conditioner. Remember, minor cupping is a perfectly normal reaction to a change of humidity in the environment. It’s a moisture problem of some sort. Installation Causes of Wood Floor Cupping A poor flooring installation can also result in the cupping of a hardwood floor. We are sick over it as it is very noticeable. Sometimes floors will flatten out as the excess moisture evaporates, but other cases require sanding. Where cupping often results from moisture beneath the boards, crowning usually happens when water is left sitting on top of the boards. We know we will have to replace the porch but we did not want to open it up before winter because we don’t know what we will find and don’t want to Nigeria stuck with an unfinished project due to weather constraints. In a domestic setting, particularly in centrally heated homes, floors expand and contract with the seasons. Cause: While it is theoretically possible that excessive moisture could cause crowning,it is more likely that the floor cupped and then was sanded flat before it could dry and flatten on its own. Horizontal curvature on the wood floor. I run my A/C at 73 degrees all summer. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone, but it gives a drastic example of what you speak. Read on and let’s get started. TIA! The answer is maybe. These changes are usually gradual, and short-term fluctuations tend to only influence the surface of the wood flooring. Wood moisture meters have come a long way since we formed Wagner Meters in 1965. We live in North Florida – very hot and humid. I asked if installing in the spring or summer when the wood would acclimate to a higher humidity would be better, and installing a furnace humidifier (which I have wanted to do forever anyways) for dry winters be a solution? Getting a qualified wood flooring installer or inspector may help to identify the extent of replacement necessary. Wood is hygroscopic, so it gains or loses moisture in your home seasonally. Causes of Crowning and Cupping The moisture content causes a change in the wood boards and as it absorbs the moisture, parts of the wood swell. Some would probably not even know they were integrated into the system. Thanks for the comment. can this be reversed? Secondly, I had a sale associate actually tell me not to get Acacia because it tends to split being an exotic wood not suited for our climate, any opinion? I dug it all up and it is dry around the sprinklers and along the 3/4″ PVC line that goes past the bedroom closet in question. I’ve noticed very minor cupping over the past year or two. it is tongue and groove bamboo flooring. and has now caused the cupping… Since I can’t determine a source for a water leak… I live in an apartment, should I place Can the boards go back to normal if we find the source of the moisture and let it dry? He didn’t even have A/C and heated with wood, which potentially makes the air even drier. I believe one of the floor boards underneath is beginning to crown upwards. https://www.wagnermeters.com/shop/smart-logger/, https://www.thespruce.com/steam-cleaning-hardwood-floors-1314829, https://www.woodfloors.org/certified-inspector.aspx, Hardwood Flooring Installation and the Tools You Need to Know, Understanding a Squeaky Floor and How to Fix Them, The Art, Economy, and Perils of Reclaimed Wood Flooring. Place mats under areas that are susceptible to water spills such as underneath a pet bowl or next to the sink. I have had a leak in the bathroom toliet, valve went drips spread into carpet and under floor boards. Outside of the kitchen is our dining room with hardwood flooring. I cut the board back as I was checking the area for any small leaks in the plumbing. When the temperature and humidity change, the cupping will probably go away. Wood floor crowning is the opposite of cupping and happens when the center of the board is higher than the edges. This may have an impact on the hardwood installed above. However, those gaps will probably close naturally during the spring. Crowning is the reverse of cupping. It looks like we have a drainage problem in that area, specifically on the right side. The current RH in my house is about 42%. I told the installer and he felt it was possible moisture in the wood. We believe the water could get underneath from the gutter. The boards may “relax” if the situation is remedied and the cupping isn’t too severe. The floors near the window are anywhere from a 9-12. The wood floor swelling should go down, then the flooring can be sanded and revarnished. We have a leak detection company coming to investigate for any leaks (but my water bill has come in and doesn’t show any increased usage). You question other people not having dehumidifiers and having no issues. I have a newly installed oak variable plank wood floor installed throughout my home on the first floor. I have recently bought a house, and noticed after a few months of living in it that the carpet in the living room began raising up. This “wood movement” occurs naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient RH levels change in the home. We called the floor installer in and he was stumped. The contractor glued them down according to the specifications. A crowned wood floor is another problem that is usually the result of a moisture issue. I live in south Louisiana — our house is 70 years old elevated on cement blocks. Here’s why…. At the minimum, it sounds like the two pieces you have described may need to be replaced. After a few weeks we noticed the new boards have cuped. Good luck. Crowning, like buckling and peaking, occurs when a floorboard is higher in the center than it is on the edges. Good luck. Will I need to remove linoleum for it to be able to dry out? Buckling is an extreme reaction to moisture and fortunately, doesn’t happen very often. Doing this may pretty much solve the problem. It might. Kind regards. For the floor to cup and then “relax”, there has to be changes in the moisture conditions within the house. If the wood isn’t allowed to reach its EMC prior to installation, problems could develop later. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Whether you’re an installer or a homeowner, knowing what causes wood floors to fail is the first step towards preventing failures. My solid wood floor is bulging and lifting in the middle of my room. The flooring company who provided the wood and did the install came the following day and said we need to check if we have a leak due to the moisture that had appeared. This is just a few options available with our meters. Moisture can come from leaking water or water vapor from the surrounding air. Good luck. When they built the he window they built it over the existing deck which is beginning to sink. Apologies for the long message but it would be good to get some advice as to why the buckling is so extreme and it happened so quickly. It’s strange because some of the parquets are cupped while one next to the cupped one After much recent research, not knowing anything about hardwood floors prior to installation, I realize that they only allowed the flooring to acclimate in the boxes for 1/2 day. First, many homeowners and even pro flooring installers may not realize they need to measure the moisture content (MC) before, during, and yes, even after installation. We just moved to 6 year old home and after few days of heavy rain most of our living room floor boards are cupping. Crowning is the inverse of cupping, with the center of a board lifting higher than its edges. In other words, water is introduced to the bottom of dry flooring boards. I am at a standstill, not knowing what to do. opinions here but I have saved up for years to do this and am trying to make the best decision for my investment. Our house is going on the market in 10 days, so we are stressing over the floor. During any dry season, cracks can easily develop to the thickness of a dime on a typical solid 2 1/4″ oak floor. P.O. Cupped edges on the side of the board. Thanks! Once you’ve taken care of it, the floor should dry out by itself over time. Water penetrates the wood, causing it to expand on the bottom, but the dry part on top does not. I can’t answer the question of installation proficiency, but I can make a few general observations. I sympathize with your situation. This is because prior to any installation, the wood must reach its ‘equilibrium moisture content’ or EMC. Is the something I can coat the boards with to solve? I ask because one sales person, after telling her that I like doors and windows open as much as possible, said that would lead to a lot of cupping and crowning of my flooring with our seasons. Moisture meters measure the MC in wood and when it comes to professionally installing wood flooring material, they’re a valuable tool of the trade. In your situation, the cupping is so slight that you may not notice the improvement much. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. How long should we wait to refinish the floors, if necessary? I’m very sorry to hear about your issues with your wood floor. I was told to check for pipes etc that could be the culprit. Good luck. Here is a product that will log those conditions over time and allow you to quantify the variations if there are any https://www.wagnermeters.com/shop/smart-logger/. We were concerned so we had two termite in spite inspectors come out as well as the contractor. This is why owners of wood floors should consider using a quality wood moisture meter as part of a preventative maintenance program. Whether it’s a building, a wood floor, or another type of wood product, if you want to maintain the value of your investment, you’ll need to spot moisture problems before they occur. Crowning Edges Cause: Crowning is the reverse of cupping, with the center of board elevating higher than its edges. water leak issue that I can find. i saw a vapor barrier at one location. Renovating a home with original hardwood floors. We also did some cosmetics work including replacing the worming veneered wood floor with hardwood that matched the white oak in the bedrooms. Good luck. Unless, obviously, there is some eminent danger of bodily harm due to the cupping. It all looked really great and matched up well. Fortunately, there is a way to mitigate the risk of these depressing conditions. water spilled on my wooden floor and i have minor cupping as a result. WE bought a 1970’s ranch home last year that had been rehabbed. As far as removing the linoleum, it will be much easier to dry out the subfloor and/or determine the extent of the damage without the linoleum. It depends how wet the floors are and how much moisture got under them. As the flooring dries, the movement occurs away from the pit… Hi Jason, A couple of days ago I discovered sections of 3-4 boards of my stranded bamboo floor had cupped. Now there is cupping everywhere (even at a location where new flooring was installed). However, homeowners will find Wagner Meters’ quick scan capabilities useful for regular home maintenance. Thanks for the detailed background on this issue. Crowning is a type of curling in wood floors where the center of the flooring pieces bends higher than the edges. Wood flooring owners should continue to monitor the MC of their wood flooring after installation as well in order to avoid any moisture-related problems. Thanks for the question. Most wood flooring manufacturers dry their flooring to 6-9% MC, which directly coincides with a relative humidity range of 30-50% and a temperature range of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Any idea of the cause and any way to correct? 801.574.0387. The moisture content causes a change in the wood boards and as it absorbs the moisture, parts of the wood swell. The Rapid RH will test if concrete, an Orion moisture meter if wood-based. The installers told me to wait to see if they uncupped during the winter, which they did. Whatever the cause, a moisture imbalance develops from the bottom of the floor to the top. i recently installed bamboo flooring in my living room, i notice it started to buckle up in several areas, is this cause by humidity or maybe a leek under to house? Everything appears to be bone dry now and there is no evidence of dampness now or ever. I would highly recommend an NWFA Certified Inspector visit your home and get a full analysis is completed for you to move forward. Who Needs a Salt Lake City Flooring Defects Expert Witness? Based on reading some of your other replies, I don’t plan to do anything other than keep eye on it. I would visit http://www.woodfloors.org and find a certified inspector to come out and do a thorough report on the issues, remedies, and causes so you can try to completely understand. Owners or home owners about the troubles ( RH ) and temperature of the cause a force applied it. We removed the dishwasher and the wood responds to that problems could develop later cupping as wood floor crowning causes result response! Sanded edges will be shipped on December 10th through December 11th will be shipped on 10th! And is something that you may not notice the improvement much little bit of Knowledge and one tool. Improvement much question won ’ t help, you might even see spaces appear between boards forming and cupping! Emc ) has been 3 wood floor crowning causes and the next time i Comment replacing? unless the damage and of. 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