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Thread: Floor cupping -- odds of it uncupping?

  1. #1
    hal
    hal is offline New Member
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    Floor cupping -- odds of it uncupping?

    The floor installer on a new home put in 4" hardwood on the main floor. The floor cupped as shown in the attached image. The home was hot and humid for weeks before AC kicked in; the wood was not "acclimated" on site for more than a day if I recall correctly. The installer wants to wait a few months to see if it will uncup as humidity leaves the wood.

    This is a new home with no furniture in place yet. I'd prefer to fix the matter now rather than move furniture and send dust all over the house a few months from now. However, IF the odds are strong that the wood will uncup, I can wait. Over a month has passed with the house humidity and temperature levels way down and there is no evidence of any uncupping yet.

    Any guesses on the chances this floor will flatten out? I'm perfectly OK with (and expect) a minor amount of cupping on these wider planks.

    Thanks for your inputs.
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    pushkins's Avatar
    pushkins is offline General Contractor
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    If it's been a month now and they haven't returned to flat, then odds are they are not going to.
    No installer worth their weight in salt would/should install plants (no matter how wide) without acclimating 24-48 hours on site and in location.
    Your a far better person than I am, IF your willing to accept cupping on brand new floors (in a brand new home).
    One thing to look at would be to get yourself a moisture meter, you can get them cheaply from Harbor Freight and in a very out of the way area, test the planks moisture levels and post back here with the results.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
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    HayZee518's Avatar
    HayZee518 is offline Deity
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    I don't know "why" anybody would put in 4 inch wide hardwood. one inch, two inch at the most. I wonder what part of the log the mill cut this hardwood from. Boards cut from the outer section of the log have a more open grain then something closer to the core. there is more cellulose between the tree's rings which is the tree's grain. more open spaces, more moisture would be absorbed. As the wood dries it tends to warp or cup in the direction it come off the log. the mill and installer should have known this before the install took place. the only way the cupped edges could be made flat is to sand the whole floor after a sealer was applied and before any stain is applied

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    hal
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    Pushkins, I borrowed an inspector's moisture meter (GE Surveymaster Protimeter) and the floor is as dry as any other wood flooring in the house and as dry as the 25-year old hardwood flooring in another house. Humidity ran from 10-14% with an average of 12%. This is a bit high but it looks like the wood is not going to magically uncup and the question becomes how to resolve this.

    Sanding and restaining is a mess. Replacement is expensive for the builder/installer. The wood was advertised as Bruce and I was even given a Bruce warranty on closing. But the wood is actually by Somerset. The Somerset warranty of course states that the manufacturer is not responsible for improper installation.

    So do we blame the wood (HayZee's comments), the installer (inadequate acclimation) or the builder (humidity and temperature far too high for too long)?

    The home warranty calls for more than 1/16" cupping per 3.5" before the warranty kicks in. It is just at 1/16" in some areas, but look at the attached photo for the reality of it. Your suggestions?

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    pushkins's Avatar
    pushkins is offline General Contractor
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    If that's your moisture level then it's all but a done deal that the floor planks are not going to retreat any further than they have, so your three options simply are:
    1. Replace the existing floor planks (not sure who wants to take that cost into their budget). In any property we do we NEVER have finished wood flooring installed until just before cabinets are installed, and by this time there is always AC/heat up and running.
    2.Sand the floors back 1/16" is still in the margin of OK to sand out, remember you cannot keep sanding out the planks sooner or later the groove in the plank is not thick enough to hold the tongue, there is a fair amount of stress on the tongue and groove on floors with traffic and seasonal changes.
    3.Live with it the way it is (I wouldn't, cause I couldn't, it would drive me nuts...lol)
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
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    cupped flooring....

    Make sure to exhaust all options of the getting the installer, or the manufacturer, or whoever else would be responsible before applying any repair techniques! Denials of responsibility would really swarm!

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