February 11, 2019 3 min read

Moisture is hardwood’s greatest enemy...too much moisture or lack of moisture can both cause buckling. Moisture can cause wood to chip, crack, cup, and buckle. When you notice buckling in your hardwood flooring, you may initially think that there is no way the plank can recover from that type of damage. However, it is possible to fix a buckled wood floor.


Let’s take a closer look below.

How to Identify a Buckled Hardwood Floor

When humidity, moisture or lack of moisture engulfs a piece of wood, it will expand and eventually contract. When it contracts, it doesn’t retain its original shape. You may notice elevated areas or bumps in the flooring. In severe cases, the hardwood looks like its lifting up out of the floor surface. This is known as buckling.


Warning signs include:


  • Cracks or separations between the boards
  • Cupped edges on the side of board
  • Crowning in the middle of a board
  • Lifting where the board pulls up from the subfloor
  • Horizontal curvature in the wood

Tools You May Need to Fix the Buckling

  • Replacement planks
  • Drill with a spade bit
  • Circular saw
  • Pry bar or screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Tape measure
  • Scrap lumber
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Floor finish
  • Paintbrush
  • Humidifier or Dehumidifier

How to Fix the Buckled Wood

Here is a step-by-step guide for repairing your wood flooring:


  • Start by ensuring both the wood flooring and the subfloor are completely dry. This may solve the problem completely. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier. If you do not allow all the wood to dry, the new wood will soak up the moisture and buckle once again.
  • You need to remove the planks. However, you need to do without damaging the other planks. The best way to do this is to drill a hole on each end of the damaged plank using a spade bit.
  • Using a circular saw, cut a small groove from one hole to the next. Only cut the depth of the plank. The groove will weaken the plank and allow you to pry the plank out from the middle.
  • Pry out the planks using a pry bar or a heavy-duty screwdriver. Do so carefully so that you do not damage the tongue-and-groove of the adjacent planks. Also, do not try to pull out the nails attached to the board while prying the board. This will come later.
  • Using a chisel, gently tap along the tongue to break it off and loosen it from the adjacent plank. Remove all damaged planks.
  • Now you can remove any remaining nails or use a hammer to drive them into the subfloor. Clean the subfloor and remove any debris.
  • Measure and cut the new planks. Use a hammer and chisel to remove the bottom portion of the groove along the plank.
  • Position the new plank so that the tongue faces open. Place the wood plank into position until it is even with the floor surface.
  • Hammer the nails into the wood at an angle one foot apart along the plank edge. Make sure that the nail heads are below the surface of the plank.
  • Fill the nail holes with wood putty. Smooth out the putty and let it dry.
  • If the wood is unfinished, sand the boards smooth using fine-grit sandpaper.
  • Stain and finish the new planks. Make sure the stain matches the current flooring. Allow the stain and finish to dry. Your job is complete.

Order Your Hardwood Flooring Online

Are you looking for a durable hardwood product for your home? E Hardwoods & Flooring offers natural hardwoods, engineered wood flooring, solid prefinished wood flooring, vinyl plank flooring, and vinyl tile flooring through our eCommerce store.


To find our more about our products or order your flooring, check out our prefinished hardwood flooring options.