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The Home Depot

5 Causes of Wood Flooring Problems

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Flooring > 5 Causes of Wood Flooring Problems
5 Causes of Wood Flooring Problems

Wood flooring is quickly becoming the go-to choice for many homeowners. That’s because it’s timeless, beautiful, easy to clean and (with proper care) long lasting.


It’s not bad for the environment, either. According to the National Wood Flooring Association, hardwood is a very sustainable resource. “On the 486 million acres of forestland in the United States classified as commercial, substantially more wood is added in new growth each year than is harvested,” the group says. For hardwood species, 90 percent more wood is added annually in net growth than is removed through harvest.


That’s good news if you’re looking to put down a wood floor in your own home. The bad news is that once your floor is installed, it could fall victim to any number of common household problems. You can preserve your wood floor by learning about all the different things that could harm it, and work to protect it.

  1. You can preserve your wood floor by learning about all the different things that could harm it, and work to protect it.

    1.Water damage

    Wood is naturally a very porous material. It has lots of tiny holes, so, in the presence of water it can suck of water like a sponge. The moisture can cause the wood to swell. When the moisture is gone, the wood goes back to normal. This cycle of expanding and shrinking can weaken the wood and cause it to crack.

  2. 2.Household pests

    Unwanted invaders into your home like termites and rodents can destroy your wood. Termites feed on wood and sometimes it’s hard to know that they are there until it’s too late. Mice can gnaw on and claw at wood surfaces. They can leave food, feces and urine on it, which can leave ugly stains and eventually ruin your floor’s protective coating.

  3. 3.Improperly installed wood

    If you are seeing gaps in your floors, it may mean conditions are too moist for it. Your installer should do a moisture reading so that you can decide whether the area you’d like to install your new floor in is suited for it. Another way your floor could be improperly installed is if the surface on which the floor is going to be placed isn’t thoroughly prepped. Your contractor should make sure the surface is as smooth as possible, and free of any glue or nails.

  5. 4.Failing to protect wood

    Your wood floor has to endure a lot every day. It can be damaged by heavy furniture, foot traffic and even the rays of the sun. But there are things you can do to protect it. To protect your floor from fading, try to keep it out of direct sunlight. You can do that by installing curtains or blinds in your windows. Use throw rugs can be a buffer between your floor and your feet – and furniture protectors can do the same for your floor and the bottom of your furniture. Clean your floors often using gentle soap or soap that is specifically designed for floors.


    Floors are a great investment for any home. According to a nationwide survey commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association, homes with wood floors sell faster and for more money than those without. Even if you aren’t looking to sell, wood floors are beautiful, rich looking and comforting. Be on the lookout for these common problems and you’ll be enjoying your wood floors for a long, long time.

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