Buckling Flooring

Buckling Flooring

Questions and Answers

buckling flooring questions

Stan asked:

on buckling flooring:

We have buckling flooring problems with our laminate-like new flooring, which is cork. We have tested the extra flooring panels we have (right out of the box) and have found these to be buckled as well. We will be working with both the installer and the supplier on this. In the meantime, I am curious as to how the material would have become buckled from the start.

buckling flooring answer

Not having seen your flooring or the area of installation and with the limited amount of information you supplied it is difficult to determine the exact cause of your difficulties.  Buckling flooring can be caused by installation over a poor substrate such as uneven, swollen or warped sub-flooring.  Areas prone to excessive moisture require a vapor barrier under the new floor to prevent the moisture from adversely affecting the new flooring.  All flooring should be stored in the same room where it will be installed for a day or so to allow it to acclimate to the temperature and humidity of that room.

Laminate flooring is a “floating floor” and as such has to have room to expand and contract.  Buckling of laminate flooring is caused by the flooring being installed with inadequate clearance around the perimeter or being surface nailed or restrained by shoe molding or transitions strips installed too tightly.  When this is the case, as the floor tries to expand because of heat or humidity,  it is prevented from moving freely and in extreme cases it will buckle up along the seams.

What you are describing may be  cupping or warping which is individual pieces of the flooring not being flat along there entire length.  This may be the result of the flooring having been wet or it may be a manufacturing defect.

For additional insight on some causes of buckling flooring check out these links;


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About Tony Wood

Tony is a life time resident of North Carolina with over 30 years experience in multiple facets of the industrial, commercial and residential construction industry. For the past 23 years he has owned and operated Wood's Home Maintenance Service, providing services primarily in Johnston, Wake and Sampson Counties of North Carolina. ______________ ______________________________________________________ The information contained in this Blog is opinion derived, from hands on experience of over 30 years in the construction industry and by extensive research by the author. All postulations are referenced to the geographic location in which this experience was gained.
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