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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    4

    Default wood floor cupping

    I recently had a wood floor installed in my living room/dining room. It was 3/8 inch quarter sawn hickory hand scrapped and dyed. It was installed by a professional installer. The boards were 8,6,and 4 inch in width and various lengths. We live on a lake in Northern Michigan and when the summer humidity peaked the boards cupped. The installation included a 1/8 inch underlayment and a moisture barrier. It is installed above a crawl space. Is there any solution to this problem or do we just learn to live with the cupped flooring?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,611

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    Is this manufacturered flooring or is it solid stock finished in place. If it is manufactured, I would be contacting the manufacturer or the distributor.

    Is this a summer home unheated in winter?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    4

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    Its a year round home always heated. The flooring was manufactured, but the manufacturer is unwilling at this point to help solve the problem. His only suggestion so far was to cover the sand crawl space with plastic and wait and see if the flooring flattens out. I did this 2 years ago and it did not help the situation. The crawl space is 3 ft deep, is insulated and contains the furnace so it is always warm in the Winter. The vapor barrier was put down between the subfloor and the underlayment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,436

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    How's the ventilation in the crawl space?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    4

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    The ventilation is excellent with 6 vents in the cinder block foundation. Vents are open May - October and closed during the Winter heating season.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,001

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    If you have an 8" wide board that is only 3/8" thick, I'd wonder if it didn't cup. Or crown, or turn into a potato chip. mmmm, potato chips......nomnomnom
    Back to the topic. Maybe were they glued down they could remain flat. Even the fact that it's quartered won't save the day. This is a product that oughtn't be sold without a lot of fine print. I'd demand the manufacturer return your money with an apology, if you were not warned ahead of time that this would occur.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,436

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    Quote Originally Posted by juddwellard View Post
    The ventilation is excellent with 6 vents in the cinder block foundation. Vents are open May - October and closed during the Winter heating season.
    Why do you disable the vents in the wintertime? The purpose of the vents is to dry the crawlspace. By disabling them you lose this advantage.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    Are you sure about the 3/8" measurement? Did you possibly mean 3/4"? I've never heard of a solid wood product that thin, especially in those widths. (I see you said manufactured above - I was confused by the hand sc****d bit I guess).

    On the crawlspace vents, it was my understanding that they were meant to be opened when warm (to keep it dry and avoid mold, etc.) and closed when cold (to maintain thermal mass under the house and freeze your toes).

    The most common reason for cupping as I understand it is moisture. If the crawlspace earth is damp and not covered with heavy plastic (or not very well covered), that might be your issue. (And I see here too you also have this covered).

    My only other though would be that the floor was installed too tightly without enough room around the edges to allow for expansion and contraction.
    Last edited by dvhart; 12-28-2013 at 04:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    Sorry, I remeasured the flooring widths and they are 4,5,6 inches in width. I remeasured the thickness and it is 3/8 inches just as the manufacturer originally quoted. I didn't realize when purchasing that thickness could be a problem.
    The manufacturer has been in business for over 50 years but is avoiding doing anything to help me on this one. My crawl space vents are closed in the Winter because my crawl space is heated and insulated which keeps the tile floors in other rooms warm. I have a temperature and humidity gauge in my crawl space and it stays around 60 degrees and 40% relative humidity during the Winter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,327

    Default Re: wood floor cupping

    And another one finds out the hard way that engineered products are often inferior to the traditional ones

    As I see it your only option at this point is to pull the junk out and replace it with something better. There is nothing provably better than a traditional hardwood floor, may of which have lasted well over 100 years and are still going strong. There are better engineered wood floorings than what you've got, but none which are that thin are any good.

    And now you've discovered too that warranties are not comparable to proven track records, especially when the manufacturer doesn't want to honor their warranty. Go with the proven and you can't go wrong

    Phil

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