What is Wood Floor Cupping?

Jun 19, 2023

Wood floor cupping is unfortunately one of the most common issues that can plague hardwood floors. Wood floor cupping is when the sides of hardwood floors are higher up than the center of the boards. This produces a concave-like look on the floor. The issue comes from moisture content changes.

The Reality

If you’re fortunate to have engineered floors, the cupping is reduced due to its structure, or the way it’s manufactured. Engineered floors have a backer, which provides stability in changing moisture conditions. That’s why engineered hardwood floors are ideal in a kitchen.

If you don’t have engineered hardwood floors, no worries! In most cases people have their hardwood floors installed by a professional who takes moisture levels, and the type of subfloor into account. Taking in all these components, the chances of experiencing cupping is greatly reduced. Although it may occur, it may not be enough for anyone to notice.

How Can You Prevent Wood Floor Cupping?

What is Wood Floor Cupping?
Always wipe down spills promptly to prevent wood floor cupping.

There are a few things you can do to protect your wood floors from cupping. First, take a look at the relative humidity in your home, especially during the summer months. Keeping this number below 50% is ideal as it will mean less moisture in the air – which means less moisture that can seep into your wood floors. Using your air conditioner and turning off your home’s HRV, if applicable, will lower this number if it’s too high.

Another way to prevent wood floor cupping is by taking care of any spills and leaks promptly. Spills are easy to take care of – simply wipe your floors clean as soon as the spill occurs. Leaks can be problematic, though, as they can go on for a long time undetected. Try to monitor your sink, bath, and other water fixtures regularly. Ensure that you repair, or call in a professional, as soon as you notice a potential leak in your plumbing system. This will help in keeping your wood floors safe from potential cupping.

Finally, take special care whenever you clean your wood floors. Using proper cleaning techniques is essential when trying to prevent wood floor cupping from occurring. Don’t use a wet mop, or an excessive amount of water, when cleaning your floor. Dust your floor regularly with a dry dust mop – and when you need a deeper clean, opt for a hardwood flooring cleaner specially formulated for your particular type of wood flooring.

What if I Notice?

If you see cupping on your wood floors, then it is important to hire a professional to analyze and work towards fixing it. Wood floor cupping can happen from everyday items in your home, such as refrigerators, ice makers or toilets leaking. Also, if the humidity in the house is higher or lower than when the wood floors were acclimated at the time of installation, then cupping can occur. Cupping happens most during the winter. This is due to the rapid moisture level changes.

If you notice that your wood floors may be cupping, we strongly recommend a professional to handle the task of fixing them. Contact the hardwood flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors for any questions, and a FREE ESTIMATE. You can call us at 410.415.0755 or click here today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!