As we approach summer, in addition to the hotter temperatures, QLD and Northern NSW also experience much higher levels of humidity. As much as many love summer it can cause your flooring to ‘cup/peak’. The following is some important information on cupping and what to do. We know how much you love your floor and we don’t want you to worry!
What is Cupping? The simplest way to think of cupping is that the edges of the boards all raise up. It gives the floor a rippled appearance and is especially noticeable when the light catches the floor. In a lot of cases you can feel the ripple or edges of the boards if you run your hand or foot over the floor.
Why does this happen? Timber based products believe it or not are still in some ways ‘alive’ and timber is made up of many fibres and grains. These grains are what gives the floor its amazing features but these grains (some that you can’t see) are like veins in humans and as a result will take on moisture if in contact with water or in this case, are exposed to higher levels of humidity (airborne moisture). This then causes the cells in the timber to expand which means your floor essentially grows. This then puts pressure on the edges of the boards and they have nowhere else to grow but push each other up, resulting in the cupping of your floor.
Is my floor ruined? In almost all cases no, this is seasonal and will settle back down as the humidity levels start to drop again. If however you have noticed this cupping appearance only in one area of the floor, near a sliding door possibly, then you may have a different issue in that one area, possibly a leak or exposure to water somehow. As a general rule, cupping usually occurs quite evenly over the floor. If you are unsure, send us a picture and we can advise.
What can I do? Unless you have an air-conditioning system that removes or balances the humidity levels in your home, other than giving it a bit more ventilation (opening some doors and windows) there is not a huge amount you can do other than enjoy summer and allow it to settle down naturally.
We hope this allows you to stress less if this does happen to your floor. If you require any clarification on anything or for any further questions please contact the team at Marques Flooring.