Brilliance Flooring Resources


Mind the Gap!

hardwood floor refinishing

Wood Floor Expansion

One of the number one issues our customer's have with their hardwood floors during the summer is waves in their hardwood floors. It looks like this:

During the summer months when humidity is at its peak, moisture is absorbed into the wood, causing the wood floors to expand outward. If there wasn't a proper expansion gap left along the walls, the wood floors will expand outwards until it no longer can, leaving it only to expand upward, causing ripples in the floors. Minor rippling can occur but will normally go back down in the winter months when the air is more dry. 

If major rippling occurs, you have two options:

1.) Remove the base boards, cut the bottom of the base board off, and reinstall, allowing the wood floors to expand underneath the baseboards.

2.) Remove the boards that run parallel to the wall ("long wall"), cut them down a 1/4" and reinstall.

Many times this will solve the expansion problem but will still leave rippling. The only step you can take to get rid of the waves is to sand and refinish the floor back to level. 

So make sure to mind the gap along the "long walls" when you or a professional is installing your new hardwoods.