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Contraction and Expansion of the wood

Even thou there are many benefits of hardwood flooring, it is important to know that expansion and contraction of the wood is to be expected as weather changes throughout the year. Moisture and hardwood floors don’t mix well, wood naturally expands in moisture, such as when air is warm and humid, and contracts once the moisture is gone ,such as when air is cool and dry.

Cracks Between Boards are spaces that are to be expected and usually close up as the season changes and moisture returns to the air. To reduce the degree of change, homeowners can add moisture to the air during the dry months, ideally by installing a humidifier in the furnace.

Cupping & Crowning

Cupping describes a condition in which the edges of a board are high and its center is lower. Crowning is the opposite of cupping: the middle of the board is higher than the edges of the board.


Buckling it happens when the floor literally pulls away from the sub floor, up to heights as high as several inches. Fortunately, buckling is an uncommon occurrence and it generally happens after a floor has been flooded. Still, the floor can usually be repaired as opposed to replaced.

Solid hardwoods by far, will expand and contract more than engineered products. How much will depend on the layout involved, seasonal change in relative humidity, species selection, and type of hardwood cut.

Unfortunately, gaps in hardwood floors are all too common especially during the winter months. The first thing you need to remember is that wood is first and foremost a natural product. Therefore, it is imperfect – spacing and size can change over time, especially as weather or humidity levels change. As temperatures rise, the wood boards expand and contract. This causes those ugly gaps in your floor.

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