December 21, 2022

Top Five Hardwood Flooring Problems and How to Fix Them

Constructing a Wooden Flooring of a Terrace

In 2022, hardwood flooring ranked third among the most durable flooring options worldwide. Sturdiness, long-lasting, and classic elegance are the best-selling points of hardwood floors for many remodelers and homeowners. While these wood planks are durable overall, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to any problems or issues over time. Here are five of the most common hardwood flooring problems, their causes, and how you can fix them. 

1.   Wear and Tear

Hardwood floors last an average of three decades or twice as long, depending on their maintenance. Although hardwood floorboards are durable on their own, applying finishes over them protects the wood from wearing and tearing early.

However, this protective polish can wear off and leave your floors vulnerable to various factors. Once it does, your flooring can show signs of everyday wear and tear, like scratches and dents, especially in heavy foot-traffic areas. One other cause can also be a substandard refinishing job.

The ideal way of fixing wear and tear on hardwood flooring is to repair them before the dents and scratches get bigger and deeper. Check with your trusted hardwood flooring professional for a new refinishing job and consult on which finish suits your floors best. You can also put protective pads under your furniture and designate a mud room to lessen the burdens of your floorboards.

2.   Wide/ Abnormal Gaps

Small gaps between boards are a normal occurrence. Hardwood floors are prone to movement from the changes in weather and humidity. Wood planks expand when exposed to high humidity levels and shrink once they dry, creating gaps.

But wide, abnormal is often the result of excessively wet floorboards upon installation. They can also occur when you install the planks in extremely dry areas. It makes the gaps wider and irregular once they dry.

Unlike other issues, gaps are an aesthetic problem that needs repair once they destroy the overall look of your flooring. Repair these floorboard spaces during the most humid time of the year when the planks are at their smallest. Hardwood floors can buckle after you repair them when they’re at their widest.

3.   Cupped Edges

Water damages, like cupping, are some of the most disastrous problems hardwood floorings encounter. Cupping often happens when you install flooring over a wet subfloor. But it can also occur when there is a high relative humidity present.

When the bottom of your floorboards is wetter than the top, the edges cup, especially wide hardwood planks. Several cupped floors or edges can lie flat once you fix the moisture issues, but other hardwood floorings become deformed permanently and may need replacement.

Consult with professional wood floor repair services on what you can do to repair your floorboards. Installing a vapor retarder between your subfloor and flooring can help slow down moisture migration. But it’s ideal to call for an expert to deal with the problem more efficiently. 

4.   Buckling

Expanding or shrinking is a hardwood plank’s natural reaction to climate and moisture changes. However, too much moisture or dryness can cause your floorboards to buckle. While buckling planks often happen in damp basements and flooding, they can also occur when you forget to acclimate them before installation.

To repair buckled hardwood floors, fixing the moisture issues in your home is essential. But you must deal with the problem carefully, as improper fastening can only aggravate its condition. When you nail each plank, use the right-sized nails. Wrong-sized ones can space them too far apart. For glue installations, using the proper-sized trowel will ensure the bond between your floorboards and subfloors is stable.

5.   Excessive Wear

Hardwood floors can still experience wear and tear, especially if it lacks proper maintenance. In addition, your foot and activity traffic can also affect the flooring to wear out faster. While worn-out floors happen over time, excessive wearing can become a major problem.

Excessive wearing can also result from poor finishing techniques. They can range from improper sanding, quick finish build-up, or lacking flooring maintenance. When you don’t finely sand your floors, the finish will settle on the bottom of the sanding groves, while the top has a thin layer of coating or finish. Once you expose your hardwood floors to heavy foot traffic, the surface immediately breaks down.

To avoid excessive wearing, your hardwood flooring needs proper sanding and refinishing, including regular upkeep. You can also put stoppers on your furniture and clip your pet’s nails to avoid scratches and dents. 

Hardwood Flooring Problems and Wood Floor Repairs in Austin

While hardwood floors are more durable and long-lasting than other flooring options, they are still susceptible to damage and other issues. Understanding what these problems are and their causes will help homeowners find ways to prevent them from happening. Although prevention is always better than cure, knowing that there are professionals who can help you resolve them is helpful.

Check with an expert for your hardwood floor repairs in Austin by getting in touch with Kelly Hardwood Floors today!