I live in central NC in a house with a crawlspace. The house had 400 sq ft of white oak flooring installed when it was built in 2003. Prior to moving in, I had the downstairs all converted to white oak flooring (about 870 sq ft). The existing hardwood floors were left untouched (but were sanded, stained, and a finish added).

After two years, I am noticing that the new flooring looks and feels different. I believe it could be characterized as cupping. I run my hand over the flooring and it feels like it has valleys and ridges. It is higher between adjacent boards. It is noticeable in the sunlight at the right angle.

However, the original flooring of the house is not experiencing this problem.

The new flooring was acclimated (at least for 2-3 days) in the house. There was a moisture barrier installed (Aquabar B moisture vapor barrier per the quote).

My crawlspace moisture readings have been around 16-20% during the last 3 months. My internal temperature is around 79degF, with a humidity level of ~50%.

Any idea what could be going on? Will it return back to normal in the Winter?

This photo doesn't really show the issue well, but at least it's something. Photo of new flooring Thank you!

  • Has there been an extreme difference in temperature this year over last, much higher humidity? – JACK Aug 26 '20 at 17:39
  • 1
    We are in "peak swelling" season for wood anything in the US right now. It should return to normal in a month or so. As you continue to use the floor, it will settle over time, so the peaks won't be as bad in successive summers as presently. Any rebellious parts of the old floor have long been sanded off, and if you refinish your new one in a few years, that will help shave dog-ears and ridges down as well. In short: nothing to do, and will fix itself over time. Unless it's dangerous enough to trip, just enjoy the unique character for now. – dandavis Aug 26 '20 at 17:39
  • After 2 years the wood should be stabilized for moisture content short of the seasonal changes. Is the original floor sawn differently than the new flooring? As in the original is quarter sawn, which is very stable regardless of seasonal moisture swings and maybe the new floor is flat sawn which will move exactly as you are experiencing..? – Jack Aug 27 '20 at 3:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.