When wood floors are exposed to moisture, the floor boards may expand and buckle. In most cases, the buckled floor boards must be replaced with new flooring, and the new boards should be stained to match.
Repairing a Buckled Wood Floor
The success of any floor repair relies on the homeowner’s ability to find boards that match the existing floor. Not only must the wood type match, but the grain, width, and size of the boards should also be the same. When matching boards are found, they should be left in the room that needs repairs for several days before they are installed. This step allows the boards to mimic the moisture levels in the room.
Removing Moisture Within the Room
Prior to beginning any repairs, the source of the moisture in the home must be eliminated. Once any water leaks are fixed, the homeowner should use a dehumidifier for several days. Some buckling may be resolved when the floor boards are completely dry.
Newly installed hardwood floors can also buckle, but it is very rare. However, if the homeowner’s new timber flooring has not come into contact with water but buckles during high humidity, improper installation may be to blame. To solve this type of widespread buckling, the entire floor must be reinstalled with larger expansion joints. Homeowners should also investigate their home to find the source of any excessive moisture.
Fixing a Buckled Wood Floor
The homeowner should begin by marking all of the floor boards that are damaged and need to be removed. Then he should set a circular saw to a depth that is equal to the thickness of the floor boards.
The saw can then be used to cut out the floor boards. The floor boards can be removed using a chisel, hammer, and pry bar. Any nails should also be removed using the pry bar. The dust surrounding the area should be removed with a hoover.
New boards should be placed into the spaces left by the old hardwood flooring. Each board should be cut to match the existing hole and then slid into place. The homeowner should nail the boards into place, making sure to use the same type of nails and nailing pattern used on the surrounding floor. The spaces around each board, called expansion joints, should also mimic the old floor.
If the boards were blind-nailed into place, the homeowner should blind-nail as many of the new boards as possible. Then he should glue the final boards into place with epoxy. If epoxy is used, weights should be placed on the floor for at least 24 hours to make sure the new boards stay in place.
Staining the New Flooring to Match
If unfinished floor boards were used, the new section of the floor should be stained and sealed to match the surrounding floor. For a perfect match, homeowners may need to restain and reseal the entire floor. However, many homeowners prefer to stain only the affected section of the floor, even if the match is not exact.
To stain only the new floor, the repaired area and the adjoining old timber floor boards should be lightly sanded. Then, stain should be applied to the sanded floor boards. The homeowner should work from the centre and spread the stain to the edges of the repair. However, he should also apply the stain with the grain of the wood. Before proceeding, the stain should dry for at least 24 to 48 hours.
The floor should then be sealed with the same product used to seal the existing hardwood floors. Water-based or oil-based polyurethane are the most common sealants used. The polyurethane should be applied using the same technique used to apply the stain. The floors should be allowed to dry for at least 48 hours.
Buying Wood Floor Boards on eBay
Homeowners who need to match timber floor boards can create a personalized search on eBay to help them locate the materials they need. They can start by clicking on the “Shop by category” link located to the left of the eBay search bar. Then they can select the category titled "Building Materials, DIY." They should then select the Flooring, Tiles category and click on the option called “Refine results.”
The homeowner can then narrow the existing results as much as possible by selecting the desired materials and product types. Once the search has been refined, the homeowner can click the green “Follow this search” link. This link allows shoppers to save the search, and receive emailed links to any new results. By using this method, homeowners are less likely to miss the perfect match for their hardwood floors. They also have the advantage of being able to browse old timber flooring, which may be a better match for their floors than new wood.