Buckling is excessive expansion that makes the wood flooring release from the subfloor.


  • Moisture caused by excessive job-site moisture (airborne, subfloor, or flooding); a house left vacant with inadequate or no operating HVAC; grade conditions; a wet slab; excessive humidity. Additional exacerbating causes include:
  • Inadequate nailing, incorrect fasteners, or incorrect subfloor construction (for nail-down products);
  • Incorrect or insufficient adhesive, the wrong trowel uses, inadequate adhesive transfer, subfloor separation, improper subfloor preparation, or subfloor contamination;
  • Inadequate expansion space.


  • Rectify the elevated moisture situation (including by use of dehumidifiers) and let the floor and subfloor dry to normal levels. Release stress on the floor by providing relief at all vertical obstructions (walls, cabinets, etc.) and potentially remove a row of flooring. If handled in time, spot repair/replacement may be viable. In many situations, total replacement is necessary.