Cupped Hardwood

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Old 10-13-09, 09:45 AM
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Cupped Hardwood

Just looking for some general feedback on my situation. In our new home, the 4" hardwood floors are cupped. Due to the light hitting the planks perpendicularly, it is quite noticeable to us (see Floor - Bill Owens' Photos). According to some experts we've talked with, it will probably not "uncup" since the humidity is now low in the wood and it's had time to uncup. The cupping is around 1/16" in some places and we need to decide whether to press for replacement or sanding. Based on the image, do you consider the cupping acceptable?
 
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Old 10-13-09, 10:58 AM
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Cupping is caused by a moisture imbalance in the boards...when boards are damper on the bottom than the top, cupping occurs. Is this a solid hardwood? What is underneath? Was there moisture testing done on the subfloor and the hardwood prior to install? Was the floor acclimated properly, with HVAC up and running at normal living conditions? A lot of questions, but more info is needed.

Cupping in solid floors, particularly wider planks, can be normal to a degree, but that looks pretty severe. There is either moisture permeation from below which may still be able to be corrected, or the cupping could be due to improper acclimation which is likely permanent cupping. Not sure who you would press for replacement except maybe the installer if all of the proper steps weren't taking prior to install, but it is definitely not a manufacturer responsibility.

Any additional info you can provide will be very helpful, but at this point I would probably advise hiring a certified wood flooring inspector to determine the cause and responsible party...definitely don't want to consider any repair work (sanding) until you know why it cupped and that the floor has reached an equilibrium moisture content, or the floor will be likely to crown on you later. I would check the National Wood Flooring Association website for a list of inspector's in your area. National Wood Flooring Association Certified Professionals, Inc. - Wood Flooring Professionals Source of Information
 
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Old 10-26-09, 05:11 AM
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We installed a floor that has had similar issues and hired a National Wood Flooring Inspector who submitted a report that the cupping was caused by over dried lumber. The mill, Taylor Lumber from Ohio, will not stand by their product. Taylor's sales manager, who I have been told is not a NWFA inspector, denied the claim. Our inspector answered all of his questions. We are commencing litigation against Taylor and the retailer Flooring Superstore! Hardwood Flooring, Laminate, Floor Cleaners Area Rugs. for failure to warranty the product. Also known as flooringwarehousedirect.com. I MHO, I would beware of buying flooring from these companies.

I am wondering if your lumber is from Taylor. Your retailer should know. I sent you a private message with my contact information. If you do have Taylor Lumber flooring (ours was 4" as well), it can only help both of us to get the mill to stand behind their product. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thanks,
 
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Old 10-26-09, 05:19 AM
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BTW, the first responder to this topic is wrong. Cupping can be a manufacturer problem if the wood is over dried. And yes, your cupping is unacceptable. Our wood was acclaimated, installed and finished properly according to the NWFA inspectors report. I would be happy to share our NWFA report with anyone who sends me a private message.
 
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