When wood flooring pops up, it’s a real source of frustration. You’ve invested dearly in your floor, you’ve done your research, you’ve checked the best fitting method and still your floor pops up. It’s understandable why you find this frustrating.
Wood is a completely natural product and as such expands and contracts as temperature and humidity levels rise and fall. When temperatures rise and, or humidity levels rise, your wood will expand and if there has been an insufficient expansion gap left around the perimeter of your room, the risk is that the wood will pop up as it expands, because there’s nowhere for it to go. Normally, when temperatures and humidity levels fall again, your floor will pop back down. That said, depending on the condition of your subfloor, the conditions in your room and the amount of expansion, the floor may stay “popped” or buckled for the duration.
All of that said, if your floor has been well fitted; has a sufficient expansion gap around the room; over a dry sub floor, there is no real reason why you should suffer this sort of problem, unless there has been a water leak for example. If you have wooden flooring that has popped up in a room that has plumbing, it’s essential to check regularly for leaks and drips that could cause serious damage to your floor if left unchecked. Another couple of things you can do to help prevent your floor from popping is to make sure when you mop your floor not to over-wet the mop or to leave pools of water on the floor. Furthermore, making sure your wood has been acclimatised before installation will help.
So here’s a quick checklist to work through if you have a wooden floor that’s driving you mad by popping up:
- Was the wood acclimatised before installation?
- Was there is any sign of dampness in your subfloor?
- If so, did it have a moisture barrier fitted to minimise the risk of dampness passing to your floor?
- Has a sufficient expansion gap been left around your room?
- When you clean, do you make sure your mop is only damp and not wet?
- Are you certain that there are no leaks that could be causing your floor to become humid?
Assuming you’ve checked all of these things and have still not come up with any apparent problem, if the extent of popping you’re experiencing is significant, it may be worth asking a specialist wood flooring fitter to come and give you an opinion. If you do this and you’re reassured that there is nothing to worry about, you may be happy to live with the issue, in the knowledge that it’s not serious. Alternatively, if you are thinking of changing your flooring at any point in the not too distant future, it may just be time to change over to engineered wood flooring, which is a much more stable option, particularly in parts of the home where there are significant temperature and moisture fluctuations.