Ask a Tradesman
Wood floor buckling
So I had a solid woodfloor fitted on adhesive underlay throughout the downstairs, on a dry level floor. Then it buckled badly, the manufacturer's sent inspectors who say it's not a manufacturing fault. The builders had followed all instructions re expansion gaps etc. They have now trimmed away at doorways and doors so it didn't catch, and I have a lot of doors. After having heating on, the floor is buckling again in places. Please help, what to do to fix it properly? Really appreciate some expert guidance as even the builders are concerned!
When you say that the floor was dry, are you sure?
How was the moisture content measured and what were the moisture readings?
All manufacturers will pass blame very quickly unless you can prove that the sub floor was properly tested for moisture content and that the floor was properly acclimatised prior to laying and all of their instructions followed to the letter.
If the floor is 'cupping' as opposed to 'bowing' it would suggest that is is taking on moisture from below i.e. a damp floor screed and my guess is that the floor screed is the problem. If the floor is 'bowing' it would suggest that it is taking in moisture from the moist air within the room/rooms.
Warm air carries more moisture than cold and it may be worth checking the relative humidity of the rooms. Other than that, the floor will keep moving until it finds a point of balance with moisture levels in the environment.
There are many possible factors involved particularly with 'solid' timber floors and the first thing I would be looking for is a proper moisture reading within the floor screed.
If you can get to part of the screed and cannot get access to a good quality moisture reading equipment, lay a rubber car mat onto the open screed and tape the edges down. Remove the mat 24 hours later and if the floor screed has changed colour, this would indicate that excess moisture is present. It's a crude method but is a starting point
Answered 8th Oct 2013