January 04, 2023 3 min read

Let’s get one thing out of the way: hardwood flooring is durable. As it’s able to last decades with the proper care, it definitely is called the “king of floorings” for a reason! That being said, no flooring type is immune to damage, even when it reaches the top of the durability charts. If you notice your solid hardwood flooring has sprung a hairline crack, you’ve no doubt learned this firsthand.

While hardwood is overall quite long-lasting, cracks are an issue that can arise. So what should you do when this happens to you? Is your prefinished hardwood flooring salvageable? What caused the crack in the first place? E Hardwoods & Flooring, where you can buy hardwood flooring online, is here with the answers below.

Defining the Problem

First, it’s important to know what exactly your hardwood flooring’s problem is. Cracks and gapping, for instance, are not the same thing. So, here are some common problems and definitions:

  • Gapping refers to spaces forming between individual floor pieces, usually thanks to insufficient humidity.
  • Cracking is usually caused by impact damage. Cracks are usually kept to a more defined area and often occur in the middle of the planks. Minor cracks are less of an issue than larger ones. In some cases, minor cracks aren’t necessary to fix, but you may still want to for aesthetic reasons.
  • Buckling are boards swelling with excess humidity to the point of becoming convex.

Finding the Problem’s Source

If you’ve recently dropped something heavy on your hardwood flooring or dragged a huge piece of furniture across it, you certainly know what not to do again! However, not all hardwood cracks originate from a clumsy misstep. If, for example, the humidity in your house has rapidly changed, it can lead to hardwood planks splitting near the seams or buckling.

Indeed, all sorts of things can cause a split, so if you can’t pinpoint the incident that did, check out a few major components, such as:

  • Your air’s moisture content – too much or too little humidity can distort your hardwood floors.
  • The age of the flooring.
  • If there is too much space between boards.
  • How much the floor’s protective coating has been worn down.

Fixing the Problem

Patching up a small flooring crack is as simple as buying a tub of wood putty. Though it’s not suitable for larger problems that are rather noticeable, cracks that are less than an eighth of an inch wide can be fixed more easily. For these tinier cracks, you can sand down the area and use a bit of wood putty. But, during this process, be careful not to wreck the finish of nearby boards!

If the crack or gap is larger than around an eighth of an inch wide, you’ll likely need to replace the board. This is mainly because using wood putty on a larger hole or crack is obvious and impacts the overall look of your flooring. Fixing large cracks is vital as hardwood can be sharp, especially as it splinters.

For humidity problems in your home, either invest in a whole house humidifying system and humidity monitor or at least a portable humidifier that you can keep in your rooms that have hardwood installed. Your home should stay within a 40-60% humidity level. Lower than 40% and your floors risk cracking. More than 60% and they’re subject to buckling, so knowing that level and maintaining it is essential.

E Hardwoods & Flooring: One Source for All Your Flooring Needs

Need to replace damaged hardwood flooring, E Hardwoods & Flooring has you covered. Waterproof flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, and more is at your fingertips when you shop E Hardwoods & Flooring extensive collection of luxury brands. Check out what we have to offer today!