Why Do Hardwood Floors Buckle


Ever wonder why hardwood floors in your home or office sometime buckle or warp? There are several factors that can contribute to buckled or warped hardwood floors. For instance, water, moisture, and humidity are almost always the culprit. As the weather and seasons change, moisture and humidity conditions in your home change as well. Wood is hygroscopic. As a result, the moisture content will fluctuate based on the humidity of the surrounding environment. When humidity increases, the moisture content increases, causing wood to expand. As the humidity decreases, the moisture decreases, and the wood shrinks or contracts. They refer to this relationship as the equilibrium moisture content.

When installing hardwood, it’s important that your flooring installer leaves enough of a gap against the edges of the room. Without this “gap” along the perimeter, the hardwood floors have no room to expand or contract. Subsequently, this causes the wood to buckle upwards. Another common factor of buckled or warped wood is due to leaky appliances. A leaking dishwasher or a leaking ice-maker line are common household issues. The water and moisture from these issues will alter the composition of the hardwood. In turn, it will cause it to warp and buckle. We recommend you check all appliances twice a year for any leaks or signs of water damage to avoid having your floors buckle or warp. If you are unsure, feel free to contact us and we will walk you through the steps to assess your appliances.