Flooded prefinished Brazilian cherry flooring

Q: We have 7 year old 3/4 inch prefinished Brazilian Cherry flooring on our entire first floor. Recently, we had a toilet break and overflow, flooding a large area of our floors. We had a company come dry it out with fans and dehumidifiers for 5 days, but there is still visible cupping. Is there any chance the cupping will go away and the floors will flatten out with time?

Insurance wants to repair by refinishing, other sources tell us that is a bad idea due to prefinished coating and the micro-bevel that will require the entire first floor of the house be sanded. The original floor distributor is out of business, so matching it will be difficult. I’m clinging to hope that the floors will flatten with time. Any advice is appreciated!

A: I have occasionally seen a floor flatten. But you’ve had a significant section of the floor affected with a significant amount of water. You are going to have to wait a while for this to properly dry out. Don’t forget, because it is pre finished, much of that water went between the boards and soaked the sub floor. That sub floor is going to take quite a while to dry out because the water will have to evaporate it’s way through the jatoba. My recommendation would be to pull the floor out and replace it after the sub floor has been exposed and allowed to dry. At this point, you can’t even consider sanding these floors, and they would have to be monitored over time with a moisture meter to see what the moisture levels in the wood are. It can take weeks to dry out with that floor in place. And the existing floor has now swelled and after it dries it is going to shrink big time. If the installers used staples you might also face the issue of broken tongues. You pay insurance for years and never use it. Now you need to. Replace the floor.

One thought on “Flooded prefinished Brazilian cherry flooring”

  1. Building a new house and had Brazilian cherry floors put down. Only one coat of polyurethanes been put on and have had water leek bucket two areas. Can I replace the damaged areas without getting two different colors?

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