“Cupping” is one of those terms that features prominently in the conversation of fixing hardwood floors, but it also tends to be shrouded in mystery. If you’ve been wondering what this phenomenon is, how to prevent it, and how to fix it, Altrufir has the solution right here in our latest Q&A series!
Q: What is hardwood floor cupping?
A: ‘Cupping’ refers to boards that have a concave shape. The two edges have a higher elevation than the center, which often looks sunken. This occurs when moisture expands the wood, creating this distinctive -- and unwanted -- valley shape.
Q: I live in a humid environment. What can I do to prevent cupping?
A: Wide boards tend to cup more than narrow ones. If you live in a humid environment, you might want to consider getting narrower boards to avoid the risk. If you’re married to the vision of wide, expansive flooring, you can also leave a little bit of space between each board to account for wood expansion.
One of the most effective ways to prevent cupping is by managing the amount of moisture in your home. Dehumidifiers should be placed in the room in question during humid months: Trust us: it will become your flooring’s best friend.
Q: My floors have started cupping. Will I need to replace my floors?
A: No! However, if your flooring has begun to adopt the telltale concave shape, you’ll want to take action as soon as possible. Before you begin, use a dehumidifier and fans to dry out your flooring. You might even find that this action step removes the cupping.
If that doesn’t eliminate the issue, here’s how to fix hardwood floor: After the wood is completely dry, sand the surface until it’s even once more. You’ll want to use a commercial floor sander for this process to maximize effectiveness.
With these tips from Altrufir, you’ll be able to keep your beautiful FSC certified Douglas Fir flooring safe from cupping. Keep the moisture at bay and your floors will continue to thrive for decades.