Q: A few weeks after being installed, an entire floor is cupping. These are Pre-finished, 3/4 inch thick, solid oak strip floors. What’s best way to resolve the problem? Can they be sanded down smooth and re-stained & re-finished? What is a normal price point for this sort of job? Also, flooring was purchased at ********, which sells discount flooring materials (which I found out later are often seconds or slightly damaged). I’ve seen other installations where the same flooring has been used & they exhibited similar problems with different degrees of cupping. Sometimes just a small patch was cupped & others when larger or separate areas cupped. I’m assuming the flooring to be the same because of the large number of visible flaws in the wood such as knots and dark streaks. (Although the flaws are what I found most beautiful about the floors!) Could it be that the wood was still too green when they were pre-finished but the problems not occur until after installation due to trapped moisture? Would the manufacturer be responsible for this? Any info would be greatly appreciated!
A: It is a good idea to check the moisture content of the flooring and also the sub floor before proceeding with any installation with a meter so designed. I use a Wagner pinless model. There should not be more than a 4% difference between the 2 surfaces. It is also a good idea to have the flooring on site for several days prior to installation, with all wet trades having been completed.
Having said all that, I don’t think this problem is related to the grade of flooring you have installed. It could be related to one of the issues above, perhaps combined with high humidity inside the home.
Set up a dehumidifier. There is always a chance the floor will flatten out on it’s own after the climate has become more suitable. If not, sanding and staining, with 3 coats of polyurethane is $3.00 CAD per sq. ft. You want to be sure the moisture problem is solved and the floor is stable before proceeding with this.
Is there any chance you have a water leak someplace?