First of all, it's important to know what cupped hardwood is and how it happens. It's when an individual wood plank appears to be higher on the edges compared to the center of the plank, forming the shape of a cup. What causes this? It's important to remember that wood absorbs moisture so cupping is the result of moisture changes in a room. When the moisture increases, the wood swells and when it moisture decreases, the wood will shrink. This is more common than people tend to think and there are some steps that can be taken to reverse cupped hardwood floors.
- Identifying the water source. This is the most important step. You won't be able to get them to flatten out if the moisture continues.
- Controlling the humidity. Wood typically expands in the summer and contracts during the winter months. Because of this, sometimes all you need to do is dehumidify your home. Dehumidifiers reduce moisture in the air and can reverse the hardwood floor from cupping.
- Sanding can help flatten the raised portion of the plank and bring it back to normal. However, sanding can be a difficult process and it's important to reach out to a flooring expert if this is the route you have to go.
As long as the wood is not permanently damaged, the flooring should return to its original size. The most important step is to identify and eliminate the source of moisture.