Lions and Tigers and Gaps! Oh My!

Last year you had a lovely wood floor and you were so proud that you had everybody you know come to look at it. I know, great huh?
But now (cue ominous music) there are (oh horror) gaps……But the flooring guy said that glued down engineered wood would not, nor could not gap. What the heck happened?

Let’s talk about trees for a minute. Trees breathe.  When a tree grows it is constantly under stress. It is also filled with water to help it grow and expand among other things. The leaves take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. This is why quality wood floors are kiln dried before you get them and also why they need to acclimate to your home for 72 hours to find a moisture balance.

With that said even after all that time in your home and even after it has acclimated, your wood floors (read trees) still will absorb and dissipate water. This is also why we leave and space around your baseboards for this same purpose. If you do not have  baseboards and the wood is cut net to the wall, the wood has no place to ex=and and contract which leads to gaps and buckling. These are not defects, this is part of the natural look of a wood floor. And by the way. I notice that more people are looking for wider plank floors. These will show more than thinner planks.

So, what do I do Mr. Know-it-All? Nothing. Really. If it expands when there is moisture it will contract when it dries out. Or you can purchase a humidifier for each area that you have wood floors. Or think about using a wood which has a natural color closer to the finished color. That way the gaps will not show so dramatically. Or think about the new laminate floors. The better ones are very realistic and not subject to gapping. One thing not to do is panic and call someone to fill in the gaps. Mother Nature wouldn’t like that.