Buckling Parquet Flooring: What to Do

a person installing flooring
  • 4-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-30
What You'll Need
Vents and installation materials
What You'll Need
Vents and installation materials

If parquet flooring becomes buckled, it is generally the result of moisture damage. There are a few things you can do to rectify the situation without ruining the floor. Follow the steps below to successfully solve the problems that cause buckling in parquet floors.

Step 1 - Dehumidify the Area

In parts of the country that are affected by excessive humidity, the repair can be as simple as using a dehumidifier. If the buckling isn't severe yet, this can correct the problem without the need to pull up the floor. This is also common in basements, small bathrooms, and even some kitchens.

Step 2 - Check Ventilation

Another easy fix is to check that the area has proper ventilation. It's not uncommon in basements to find that a few more vents are needed. Moisture can build up in basements and crawlspaces pretty quickly. Having a few extra vents installed can help the floor from buckling further.

Step 3 - Subflooring

If you've already tried to use a dehumidifier or proper ventilation with no result, the subflooring could be wrong. The subfloor needs to be clean, smooth and completely dry. If the adhesive used was not designed specifically for hardwood flooring, moisture can build up under the floor itself and cause the parquet to buckle. This isn't an easy fix. It will require you to pull up the flooring, inspect and correct the subfloor, and then relay the parquet with the proper materials and adhesive.

Another common issue occurs when the flooring is nailed down. If the wrong nails are used, or the nails aren't used often enough, moisture can build up. You will want to consult a flooring specialist to determine the type of nail and placement that is best for your flooring.

Step 4 - Check Sizing

Hardwood floors will expand and contract with changes in the weather and humidity levels. If the parquet was laid during a 'dry' time, the wood could be expanding with the moisture, causing it to buckle. This is also not an easy fix but isn't as extensive as removing the whole floor. You can pull the flooring nearest the edges of the wall, trim it up and lay it properly. Just trimming a small amount off of the edges can fix the buckling issue without making noticeable changes to the flooring. You should consult a wood floor specialist to find out what the spacing requirements should be for the area you live in.

Step 5 - Proper Cleaning

Once the floor has been fixed, you will want to make sure you aren't making the same mistakes with the flooring again. Many people assume that cleaning a parquet floor is the same as cleaning any other floor. This isn't true. The floor needs to be cleaned in a way that will allow minimal water or moisture to sit on the floor. Never allow cleaning products or water to sit or puddle on the flooring. Always be sure you are using a cleaning agent designed specifically for hardwood, and follow the directions to prevent excess moisture from building up.