Home » How to Fix Buckled Wood Floors? 5 Easy Ways

How to Fix Buckled Wood Floors? 5 Easy Ways

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If you want elegant yet warm and inviting flooring, you can’t go wrong with hardwood floors. It offers a combination of luxury and comfort for your feet, so it’s the ideal flooring choice for many.

For all its many benefits, there are more durable options than wooden floors for the simple reason that the most popular wood floor might buckle if not maintained and cared for properly, making it unsafe to use.

Thankfully, fixing this requires minimal effort. However, this depends on the severity and the affected regions. One thing is for sure: A buckled floor requires immediate attention.

Before successfully repairing a wood floor with buckled areas, you must first identify the cause. We’ll discuss the various causes of wood floor Buckling, different ways to fix the problem, and how to prevent it from happening. But first, what is wood floor Buckling?

What is Wood Floor Buckling?

What is Wood Floor Buckling

Wood floor Buckling refers to the rising of the floorboard such that some areas have humps and bulges. They damage the floor’s aesthetics and are unsafe. Your feet hitting any of these bulges can send pieces of wood into your nails or leave cuts on your toes.

The expansion and contraction of the floor can raise parts of the flooring, separating it from the subfloor. Different forms of buckling can occur, including cupping and crowning. Cupping is when the edges rise, forming a cup as the center is low while crowning is when the midsection raises to create a hump.

Also Read: What is Parawood? Here’s All You Need to Know

Causes of Wood Floor Buckling

Causes of Wood Floor Buckling

The first step to solving the bulging problem on your wood floor is identifying the cause. There are many reasons why you should check for the root cause of the hump before trying to solve the issue. One of the primary reasons is to choose the best solution and learn how to prevent further reoccurrences. Here are some of the causes of wood floor Buckling you may encounter:

1. Improper Installation

Improper Installation

Even newly installed floors can buckle, primarily due to improper installation. When the floor is not adequately installed, it can quickly bulge and lose its flat surface. Clumsiness while installing the floor leaves errors that lead to buckling.

When floors are placed without leaving room between the edges and the wall, it leads to buckling since there’s no space for expansion and contraction. It is essential to employ the services of professionals to avoid errors like this.

Also Read: How to Install Tile Edging? Complete DIY Guide

2. Exposure to Moisture

Moisture is the most significant challenge you’ll have to deal with if you own a hardwood floor. Wood can easily absorb moisture from spills, dripping from the refrigerator, or even from the atmosphere in areas with high humidity.

The floor will absorb the moisture and expand, pushing against other components and ultimately bulging to the surface. Areas with high humidity and no proper ventilation system are prone to buckled floors as there’s more moisture in the air than in the wood. Other times, a concrete subfloor is the culprit, exposing your floorboards to water.

3. Poor Acclimation

Poor Acclimation

Moving wood from a controlled environment in its store to your home without proper acclimation will expose it to humidity that can buckle it. Keeping the wood in the room for about ten hours will give it enough time to reach a similar moisture level.

You may need a moisture meter to check the lumber and the humidity in the air. Acclimation prevents heavy contraction and expansion due to gaining or losing moisture to the environment after installation. It is better to stabilize the wood before installing the floor.

Easy Ways to Fix Wood Floor Buckling

The answer is yes if you’re wondering whether you can fix the buckled wood floor. However, this depends heavily on its severity. The earlier you discover and fix the problem, the better your chances of success. Timing is so essential that it can be the difference between a simple fix costing zero dollars and a complete floor makeover.

Also Read: How to Fix Scratches on Wood Floor? 12 Tips for a Gleaming Finish

1. Eliminate Moisture

Eliminate Moisture

Moisture is the main reason most wood floors buckle. Check if the Buckling on the floor is caused by water, and then remove the moisture source.

Check for leaking pipes, dripping refrigerators, and the occasional spillage. By eliminating this exposure, minor bulges can return to normal over time.

Eliminating the moisture alone is enough to repair minor buckling caused by water absorption. It is simple and does not require any significant investment. You may need some professional help to stop problems like leaking pipes.

2. Place Weight on the Buckle

Another easy way to fix minor humps, especially for crown buckles, is by placing weight on the spot.

Move the furniture to the area and leave the weight on the hump; over time, this should move the floor back into place. Remember, this is only effective for minor buckles spotted on time, emphasizing the need for early detection and repair.

3. Sand


If warping is the cause of the bump on the floor, you can lightly sand the floor using a sander to eliminate minor humps. The sanding is over the surface and only slightly scraps the wood. However, it would help if you replaced the finish to regain the floor’s shine and protection.

Sanding is also effective for removing more intense warps on the wood, but you’ll need to sand even deeper this time. Nevertheless, you must pay attention to the sanding depth to prevent weakening the floor’s integrity. This process usually removes up to 2mm off the floor’s surface, meaning you may scrap off any light designs on the top.

Also Read: How to Sand Hardwood Floors with Orbital Sander?

4. Loosen Planks Around the Edges

Sometimes, a lack of space between the floor and the wall causes the issue, so expansion bulges the floor. If this is the case, loosening the planks around the edges will typically straighten any hump. After that, you can reinstall some planks, ensuring enough room for expansion.

The ideal gap between the floorboard and the wall is 8mm. Spotting this issue as early as possible is vital to prevent extensive damage. You may also need to cut the planks down to size, so this method requires more effort than many on our list.

5. Replace Buckled Wood

Replace Buckled Wood

Fixing the area is only sometimes possible, especially when the damage is extensive. Where the bulges are severe and affecting several locations, the best solution is to replace the planks.

It’s easier if you have leftover lumber pieces from the last installation; otherwise, you’ll need to purchase the same wood material or be forced to replace the entire floor.

Replacing the damaged parts requires a decent woodworking skill level, so consider hiring a professional if you need more experience. Otherwise, it is a straightforward process with suitable materials. You’ll need to loosen the boards in the buckled area and replace them with panels of the same material.

How to Prevent Wood Floor Buckling?

Buckled wood floor spoils your room’s aesthetics and is dangerous, so preventing this from reoccurring is vital.

Preventing the wood floor from buckling would save you a lot of stress and resources and is easy to implement. Here are a few ways to stop wood floor buckling:

1. Keep the Area Dry

Keep the Area Dry

Moisture is wooden flooring’s most significant problem, and keeping it off its surface is one of the best ways to prevent buckling. However, this is more complex than it sounds, considering water can reach your floor through several means.

You must check and fix leaking pipes, dripping refrigerators, concrete subfloor absorbing moisture, and even the humidity in the air. It is essential to monitor air humidity as wood can easily absorb moisture from the atmosphere.

2. Acclimate Your Hardwood

Acclimatizing involves leaving the wood for the flooring in areas with similar humidity levels as the installation room. It allows the lumber to acclimatize after likely being kept in a controlled environment.

While acclimatizing, the wood sheds or gains moisture to match the atmosphere. Do this before installation so the contraction or expansion is completed before being set in a fixed position.

3. Use Engineered Wood

Use Engineered Wood

Engineered wood is more durable and less susceptible to warping and moisture gains. Using this wood rather than regular lumber will prevent the constant expansion and contraction that often leads to buckling. However, engineered wood is usually more expensive than standard lumber, but its long-term value is evident.


Do you have any more worries about fixing buckles on your wood floor? Then, this frequently asked questions compilation and their answers may be helpful.

Q1. How do I fix a slight bulge caused by water damage on my wood floor?

Ans: Improving the ventilation is a quick way to dry up the area and force the hump down. You may need to install a ventilation fan or a dehumidifier.

Q2. How long does it take to fix a buckled wood floor?

Ans: It takes a few days to repair the humps and sometimes less time when replacing the wood. The ideal time to fix Buckling depends on the severity and the solution employed.

Q3. Can I fix buckled wood floors myself?

Ans: Minor damages can be fixed using straightforward methods that do not require significant experience. You can easily do this despite your experience level. For more extensive buckles where more knowledge is needed, professionals are best suited if you lack the necessary skills.

Final Words

Hardwood floors are warm, comforting, and exude luxury but require proper maintenance, installation, and acclimation to prevent buckling.

When buckling occurs, you must determine the cause before choosing the most suitable solution.

Some popular fixes for this bulge include sanding, ventilation, and replacing the damaged planks, among other methods. Also, consider your experience and the required skills to complete each solution.