3 Ways on How To Fix A Buckled Hardwood Floor | Signs and Causes of Buckled Hardwood Floor

3 Ways on How To Fix A Buckled Hardwood Floor | Signs and Causes of Buckled Hardwood Floor

How To Fix A Buckled Hardwood Floor| Causes of Buckled Hardwood Floor | Signs of Wood Floor Buckling | Preventing Buckling of Hardwood Flooring

Buckled hardwood flooring is not uncommon in homes with high levels of humidity. There are a variety of factors that can cause a hardwood floor to buckle, one of the most common being the lack of proper sealing.

These buckles can be very problematic as they can cause the floor to look uneven and unsightly.

If left untreated or ignored they can become very unsightly. There could be several causes of buckling of hardwood.

Buckling of wood could happen due to various reasons such as not enough moisture, not enough time to dry out, improper installation, poor craftsmanship, too much moisture and many more.

Causes of Buckled Hardwood Floor

There could be some possible reasons for the buckling of the wood might be: –

Poor installation

The wood flooring could be installed improperly. Buckled hardwood floors can also occur when the installation of the flooring is done at different times.

The wood may be installed before the subfloor is completely dry, buckling from moisture that seeps into the subfloor and dampens the outer layer of wood.

Poor craftsmanship

This is the most common cause for wood flooring to buckle.

Inadequate Screws

Screws that are not properly tightened could be another reason for the floor to buckle in some areas.

Inadequate Expansion

It is important that hardwood flooring have sufficient expansion gaps and spaces on either side of it. If expansion is inadequate, the wood can buckle if subjected to humidity and temperature changes.

Problems with the glue

If glue is not used properly, it could result in buckling because of improper adhesion between boards and the subfloor.


If the hardwood flooring is coated with a sealant, there can be excessive moisture in the wood as it can be trapped by the coating.

Inadequate humidification

If humidity levels are too low, the wood can become dry and then expand when humidity rises. High humidity can cause shrinkage of the wood.

Water Seepage/Water Damage

The most common cause of this is water leakage from a plumbing leak or other source inside or outside the house. During the installation of the floor, water can get into it, saturating it. There are some places where moisture has been trapped under sub-flooring.

 Severe Shrinkage

The wood used in a floor can shrink at different rates. If there is severe drying, the wood can become very brittle and crack or buckle as it shrinks back to its original size.

Problem with underlays

Old or poor underlayment can lift up and cause buckling of the floor.

Lack of Proper Sealing

Lack of sealants on hardwood flooring can cause mositure to penetrate into the wood causing it to buckle.

Old Wood

Older sections of hardwood floors are more likely to buckle than newer sections.

Damage from Over-application of Adhesives

This is a common problem for those homeowners who install the flooring and forget to apply the glue. It can happen when insufficient levels of adhesive is used in the installation.


The floor should have enough time to dry before it is installed, ensuring that it does not buckle while being installed or during installation.

Signs of Wood Floor Buckling

1. Visible Cracks

There are times when buckles may not be visible at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, you might notice cracks in the flooring. These can be a sign that your flooring is already buckling.

2. Uneven Flooring

If you notice that your floor is uneven, it may be caused by buckling. It can also happen if a board or a section of plywood is missing from the flooring.

3. Bulging

In some cases, it is possible that the floor might bulge along an area. This can also be a sign of buckling.

4. Tilting Floor

If you notice that one side of the room is lower than the other, it may be caused by a buckle in your flooring.

5. Unwanted Ridges

If you notice unsightly ridges on your flooring, it may be a sign of buckling. These ridges often appear in the corners or in the middle of the room.

6. Fading Color

If your flooring appears to be dry and if it also has an uneven color, it may be caused by buckling. This can also happen if your floor is stained unevenly.

How To Fix A Buckled Hardwood Floor

1. Wood Replacement

In cases where the floor is severely damaged, it is recommended that the floor be removed and replaced with a new board.

However, this process is very expensive and requires a lot of labor. In order to make this task easier, you should moisten the wood before nailing it down again so as to avoid further buckling.

2. Buckled Hardwood Floor Repair

In cases where the buckled hardwood is generally not very severe, it is recommended that you work on the floor by repairing. Here are few steps

  • Put a tarp over the buckled floor to protect it from further damage.
  • Remove any nails or screws that are sticking up out of the floor boards
  • Get some wood putty and fill in all the gaps between planks
  • Sand down any rough edges with sandpaper, then wipe everything clean
  • Apply new paint or varnish to cover up any blemishes on your floors and make them look shiny again!
  • Replace damaged boards if needed – this may be necessary if you can see small cracks through the wood where they’ve been split apart by pressure from underneath, or if there is severe warping in one area of your floorboards due to extreme heat exposure (such as near a fireplace)

 3. Replace the Buckled Board

In some cases, the boards might not be too damaged and may need replacement. The first step in replacing it is to remove the old board.

Use a pry bar or a chisel to remove any glue that is keeping it stuck to the floor. Take off any nails that are still attached to the board, and then set it aside in a safe place.

Preventing Buckling of Hardwood Flooring

1. Proper Installation

In order for the hardwood flooring to remain in good shape for a long time, you must make sure that the installation is done properly. This can be achieved by ensuring that the subfloor is completely dry before installing the boards.

2. Proper Glue

Proper adherence of glue is important depending on how much your floor moves from one side to another. It also needs to be applied properly and evenly so as to avoid buckling and uneven movements of your flooring.

3. Proper Humidification

It is important to make sure that your flooring is not too dry. You should also avoid opening windows in the room where you are installing the flooring, as this will cause drying of the wood.

4. Proper Installation

The installation of a hardwood flooring must be done one at a time to ensure that the subfloor is completely dry before installing the next board.

5. Use Appropriate Wood

Some varieties of wood are more prone to buckling than others. Using these types of wood in the flooring installation can help to avoid buckling.

6. Proper Ventilation

If your house is not properly ventilated, you should try and install fans or air conditioners in the room where the flooring is being installed.

You should also avoid opening windows during installation. This will help to prevent drying of wood and buckling.

7. Avoid Harsh Products

If you use harsh chemicals to clean your house or if you use cleaning products that contain bleach, they can dry out the wood in your floor.

However, keeping the floor in good shape is possible by using natural cleaning products.

8. Proper Application of Adhesives

Proper application of adhesives is very important for ensuring that your floors remain in good condition for a long time.

This can be achieved by properly mixing adhesive with water and applying it to the floor properly before nailing it down for the final time.

9. Ensure no wood-water contact

This can be achieved by taking steps to prevent any wood from coming into contact with water.

This means that you should remove any water-damaged flooring before installing glue. You should also avoid using water-damaged boards as these will lead to buckling.

Wood Floor Buckling FAQs

How do you fix a swollen wooden floor?

The easiest way to fix swollen hardwood flooring is to disassemble the floor and replace the boards after addressing the source of the water damage.

Remove the board, one row at a time, until you reach the bubbling board, and then replace it.

Is there a way to fix a warped hardwood floor?

Warping is far more damaging to your floors than cupping. It can occur as a variety of plank deformities and should be addressed immediately.

The most common reason of a warped wood floor is standing water or high dampness beneath the floor, which is produced by an undetected leak or other hidden water sources.

Even a nearby water source, such as floods beneath the house, might generate enough of a moisture imbalance to cause warping.

The good news about warped hardwood flooring options is that your floor may not require extensive repairs.

A bowed floor with little damage can sometimes be restored simply by removing excess moisture, but severe buckling will entail replacing the hardwood boards.

How do you fix a buckling hardwood floor?

To fix or repair a buckled wood floor, the first thing that you need to do is to try and identify the cause of the issue.

In most cases, this is caused by water damage from standing water. If you can isolate an area of the floor that might be warped, then all you need to do is remove that section and replace it.

However, if your entire floor appears to be warped or buckled, then replacing the entire hardwood flooring might make more sense.

Why do hardwood floors buckle?

Condensation can sometimes be produced in areas of your home that have high humidity levels, such as bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms.

In these areas, it is important to make sure that there is proper ventilation and no standing water or sources of moisture.

Mold can also cause buckling issues for your hardwood floors and if this is the case then it needs to be addressed and remedied.

Is there a way that I can prevent my hardwood floors from buckling?

One easy way to prevent buckling is to make sure that the floors are properly installed and adhered and that it has been properly sealed to avoid moisture damage.

Another thing that you can do is to make sure that you check your floors regularly for any potential bubbles or condensation and seal any areas of concern.

How do I prevent my hardwood floors from warping and buckling over time?

Over time, it is natural for your wood floors to experience some warping and cupping. It can also be caused by improper installation or by inadequate maintenance.

However, there are a variety of steps that you can take to help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

What is the best way to remove warped hardwood floor?

The best way to restore and remove warped hardwood floors are by first removing the warped boards and then replacing them.

You can also have professionals do this for you. If your floor has buckled, then you need to replace it as well.

Taking care of your floors by giving them appropriate ventilation such as fans, air conditioners and good ventilation is also vital since too much standing water can cause other problems like mold and mildew growth.

What causes a striped hardwood floor?

This problem is caused by the wood that was used to make the floor. If the wood is too soft, then it can cause warping over time.

Poor ventilation or dampness in a room can also lead to this issue. For this reason, it’s an important thing for homeowners to be aware of before installing wood floors in their home.

What causes cupping on hardwood floors?

This condition is caused by a slight imbalance of air and moisture and humidity. It does not necessarily mean that there is any type of mold or condensation.

As long as the issue is not permanent, it can be treated by simply returning the balance of the air and humidity to the area.

How can I prevent warped wood floor from buckling?

It is best to check your floor regularly for any apparent problems and seal those areas where you see buckling or cupping.

This can be done by simply using special fixation products made to seal the boards on your floor.

What is the best way to restore a hardwood floor with warped boards?

If your floor has warped or buckled at all, then you first need to identify the cause of this issue.

You can do this by checking for any standing water or moisture on your floors and looking for any damage from a leak, mold or mildew growth.

When you see any of these issues, you need to address them immediately.

Will warped wood go back to normal?

Unfortunately, warped wood may not go back to its normal state. The best thing to do is to replace the warped or cupped board with a new one and then secure it in place.

Why are hardwood floors buckling?

Buckling of your hardwood floors is usually caused by water. If there is standing water on your floors, then this can cause significant damage over time since water can lead to mold and mildew growth as well.

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