Curing Wood Floors: What To Know
A natural wood floor needs time to adjust to a new environment before it can be secured with nails. That is because as temperature changes occur, this causes the wood to move and if it is not given the proper time to settle, it will eventually buckle and pop.
Wood flooring is typically manufactured with a plastic ingredient that provides a stabilizer element. This element is necessary in order to stop the wood from further movement when it is laid.
Handling Wood Flooring
It is recommended that you spread the wood flooring out when it is initially brought into the home prior to installation. A process known as rick stacking should be employed whereby a 1 X 1-inch stick layed between layers of board. This permits air to flow through the stack. It is suggested that with natural wood floors rick stacking should last up to a month. This process allows the wood to re-acclimate and gain moisture. This will prevent the wood from buckling after installation.
Dealing with a Buckled Floor
A buckled floor occurs when the wood has not been given the proper time to cure. When it was laid the wood was still expanding causing it to push against another piece of flooring and bow upward. When this occurs your only recourse is to remove the damaged flooring with a matching piece.
Allowing time for the wood to acclimate and properly cure is your best defense against installation problems that may occur after the fact.