Older hardwood floors may begin to display issues with warping, especially when the temperatures are fluctuating. New hardwood flooring, whether solid or engineered, is pressure treated and chemically treated to prevent significant warping (though it still has to be acclimated to your home). Older hardwood floors, on the other hand, may buckle or bend as the temperature changes, creaking, settling, and sometimes even cracking.
Identifying the Signs of Temperature Warping
All hardwood warping tends to happen over time, so it can be difficult to isolate the signs. The thicker your hardwood, the less likely it is to warp. The first sign that your hardwood has begun to warp is gaps in the wood. You'll see that there are spaces between the planks, sometimes enough that you can see the surface beneath. The wood itself may begin to bend inward, cupping in at the edges, or the wood may begin to bulge. Some boards may begin to overlap, as they have popped out.
During warmer months and more humid months, the hardwood is more likely to swell. During the colder months, the hardwood will shrink. Either way, this can also cause it to slowly shift. When it shifts, it eventually starts creating these unsightly gaps.
Treating Temperature Warping
If the warping has simply created gaps, it's usually fairly easy to fix. If the floor is floating, the floor can simply be repositioned by a professional. If the floor is nailed or glued down though, it may be easier to simply use wood filler that is tinted to the color of your floor.
If the warping has actually changed the shape of the planks though, it's another issue entirely. If you have solid hardwood, you may be able to simply refinish and polish the flooring, thereby making it look like new. If you have engineered hardwood, you may need to replace it. Often you can simply find wood that is in the same style and cut and replace the more dramatically impacted areas.
As noted, modern floorings and engineered floorings tend to be more resilient to this type of problem, and new installation methods are also capable of mitigating much of the damage. But if you want to get your hardwood floor repaired or replaced, you can contact UB Hardwoods today.