Why Is My Hardwood Floor Splitting?

Your hardwood flooring may split or crack for several reasons but no matter the reason it can be very distressing for the homeowner, especially if it is a new flooring installation. Because we are in the very humid Tampa Bay area, we’ve seen our share of calls for repairs due to cracks and splits.

When Newly Installed Hardwood Flooring Splits

If you’re hardwood flooring was recently installed and begins to split, the most common reason is because of humidity level changes in the home. Humidity changes can occur simply because the flooring was installed with the air conditioning on and now it’s off, or from excess moisture in your crawlspace if you have one. Before attempting to repair the floors, you may wish to check that your crawlspace is dry and if it isn’t get that taken care of so that the damage doesn’t recur.

If the humidity hasn’t significantly changed, the issue may stem from improper installation. Some examples are installation when it was very dry or very humid. Ideally wood flooring should be installed when the humidity is around 50%. Anything below 35% or above 55% can cause issues when the relative humidity changes dramatically. Another issue has to do with wood either being too dry or not dry enough at installation.

Repairing Splits and Cracks

There are many ways to fix the hardwood flooring. The size and number of cracks or splits will determine the best method. If the issues are numerous, you may find that you need to remove a portion of the flooring and re-install, especially if it is a new floor. If you have just a few and the integrity of the floor itself isn’t compromised, there are many methods that can be used to repair the splits. The two most common are using a mixture of sawdust and epoxy or wood putty. The fixes won’t look exactly like the floor itself but the repaired area should not further crack or split.

If your hardwood flooring cracks and you are interested in knowing if it can be repaired, Seer Flooring can advise you. If you’re considering replacing your flooring with new hardwood floors, make sure to use only experienced professionals who understand the Tampa humidity and install flooring under the right conditions. For a free estimate, use our contact form or call 727-785-1930.