Don't dismay if your new hardwoods are cupping. Until we got really involved in remodeling I wasn't clued into the variables that are at hand in the "overnight" re-flooring industry. Cupping, among others, seems to be the most insidious of the visible phenomina that homeowner's are left with when the floor guys are long gone. Beau Blackman, of H.E. Blackman Flooring, pointed out to me that in new home construction, hardwoods are laid and "weather in" for weeks before they are finally sanded and finished. He admits that there is more to it than that, but it makes sense now that I have seen the results of "green" boards getting shot in and finished nearly overnight. The boards are likely to be green, or moist, the subfloor may have unique moisture conditions, the heating and air conditioning in the home may contain a significant level of moisture (seasonal condition), and due to the scheduling crunch, the boards literally get sealed on the spot, only to expand and contract as they adjust to their new home... A common consequence is noted by seeing "cupping" between the boards within a few weeks. The immediate response is to want to sand out the raised boards and re-seal them. Bad move! Blackman says that if you prematurely sand the boards down, once they have a chance to "weather-in", or acclimate, the boards will be left with an excessively wide joint and that filling, or other remedial care will likely be impractical. The natural hardwood floor is a beautifual and timeless surface, but it is susceptible to a variety of conditions that the homeowner should be be apprised of prior to installation. Please call Beau or his Dad, Hank, at H.E. Blackman Flooring, at (205)620-3434, for any other flooring questions.
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