Installed floors seem wavy from an angle

Q: We just had oak floors put into our kitchen. When you look at the floor from an angle, they appear to be wavy. Is this normal for new hardwood floors?

If not, what can be done to correct the wavy appearance?

A: Each board will tend to conform to the contour of the surface it is installed on, or the sub floor. So, if it was installed, for example, on tongue and groove pine, running in the same direction, and that pine is not flat, the oak floor will follow the contour to some degree.

If this wavy look is actually cupping, with the edges of your floor having curled upward, you have other problems. It indicates the floor has expanded from the presence of moisture or excess humidity. If this is the case, sometimes they will flatten out themselves over the course of several months, as the floor becomes stable. If it doesn’t, sanding and finishing is the cure.

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