Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

Wood Flooring Issues FAQs

Q. My floors are raised at the seams in one or more areas, creating a lump in the floor. What’s happening?

peaking floors

A: If your floors even remotely resemble the photo above, it sounds like your floors are suffering from what we call “Peaking” or “Buckling.” This happens in wood and laminate floors over time if they were installed incorrectly–more specifically, they were installed with out adequate expansion gaps around the perimeter of the floor. To know for sure, reference this Peaking and Buckling Questionnaire and submit your answers to one of our product experts via email at customerservice@builddirect.com so we can help diagnose your flooring issue.

Q: The finish is flaking off the top of my floor boards, is that a defect?

flooring finish defect

A: It’s hard to say. If your floor was installed in a humid environment (whether it be the climate you live in, or an area like your bathroom that sees a lot of moisture), it’s possible that your floor finish could have been effected by the installation location. That said, if your floor was installed in a dry area of your home and hasn’t come into any long term contact with moisture or wetness, its likely that this could be a manufacturer defect. To know for sure, reference this Flooring Finish Questionnaire and submit your answers to one of our product experts via email at customerservice@builddirect.com so we can help diagnose your flooring issue.

Q: Gaps are appearing between my floorboards, is that a defect?

gapping 1  narrow flooring gap

A: No, it’s not a defect. Wood is a natural material, and as such it is effected by its environment and its humidity over time. As temperatures and humidity rise and fall over different seasons, the hardwood expands and contracts accordingly. This may be why you notice some gapping in one area during the winter that doesn’t seem apparent in the same place during the summer. That said, if you notice gaps occurring within 1-2 days after installation that could indicate that the flooring was not properly installed. To learn more about how to prevent and fix floor gaps, watch our quick tutorial video here: https://www.builddirect.com/blog/hardwood-floor-gaps/

Q: Some of my engineered floorboards are separating from their backing, is that a defect?

delamination

A: It sounds like your floorboards are undergoing something called “delamination.” There are a few factors that could be contributing to this problem. A leading cause of delamination is an excess of humidity or moisture penetrating the floorboards, whether from a forgotten spill, a dripping faucet over time, or using too much water when cleaning (i.e. soaking your floors with a mop). If any of these sound like likely causes of your problem, then no it is not a defect. However, if you’ve kept your boards free from moisture and humidity and followed proper care and maintenance for your engineered floors, it’s possible this could be a defect due to a faulty veneer or improper adhesion during manufacture. To know for sure, reference this Delamination Questionnaire and submit your answers to one of our product experts via email at customerservice@builddirect.com so we can help diagnose your flooring issue.

Q: I’ve noticed a few dents and scratches in my floors already, is that a defect?

A: No, it’s not a defect. Although all types of wood flooring (solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, bamboo, and even laminate) are built to withstand wear and tear over time, eventually all materials show their age. That said, you can limit dents and dings in your wood floor by being cautious of the types of shoes you wear indoors (i.e. remove high heels or hard sole shoes) and by adding area rugs or floor runners to high traffic areas.

Q: My floor keeps squeaking in the same spot, is that a defect?

A: No, it’s not a defect. Irregular squeaks or creaks coming from the same area of your floor, or individual floorboard, is indicative of an installation issue.  To learn how diagnose the reason for your noisy floor, and solve the problem, refer to the “creaking floors” section of this article: https://www.builddirect.com/learning-center/flooring/how-to-deal-with-3-common-laminate-flooring-problems/

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