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The Home Depot

Why Are My Hardwood Floors Bowing?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Flooring > Why Are My Hardwood Floors Bowing?
Why Are My Hardwood Floors Bowing?

Hardwood floors are relatively easy to install and maintain. However, care must be taken to ensure that they are kept dust free and scratch free. Additionally, moisture, and humidity can damage your hardwood floor. Water can cause the color to fade, seep into cracks and stain, or even lead to the growth of mold. Another problem with hardwood floors is bowing. When this happens your hardwood floor is no longer level but wavy, or sagging either in the middle or ends. When this happens it can detract from the appearance of the home and should be fixed as soon as possible. The bowing of hardwood floors can be caused by various factors and so you need to identify the cause first before fixing it.

  1. 1.Water Damage

    One of the most common reasons for hardwood floors to bow is water damage. If the water pipes are leaking, or water has spilled then this can cause the wood to expand and bow to accommodate the extra mass. You need to check for water leaks and mop up the extra water before fixing the leak. Sometimes, even excess humidity can lead to bowed hardwood floors. This can be fixed by installing a dehumidifier in the crawl space or basement under the floor. If this is not possible, you can install the dehumidifier in the room itself to ensure that the wooden floor dries completely. This should fix the problem.


    If water is leaking you will have other problems as well. First off, your water bill will be higher. Another reason is as just indicated, water and wood do not mix well and if your floor starts to bow, that is unpleasant to the eyes and can affect your quality of life. Even if you do not have wooden floors, leaking water can contribute to a number of negative ramifications.

  2. 2.Floor Joists Need to be Sistered

    Another reason for a bowing or sagging hardwood floor is weaker or insufficient floor joists. If the floor joists are unable to support the hardwood floor above, they need additional help. This can be provided by sistering floor joists to existing joists under the problem area. You need to obtain additional joists, remove any wiring near the existing joists and attach the new joists to the existing ones using adhesive and nails. This additional support should remove the bowing or sagging from your hardwood floor.

  3. 3.Joists aren’t Level

    Another reason for a bowing hardwood floor could be uneven floor joists. Even if the floor joists are strong, they might not all be fixed to the same level. This will cause the hardwood floor to bow as it compensates for the uneven level of the joists. You need to check the level of the joists and ensure that they are evenly placed. This needs special skills, and it is better to retain the services of a hardwood flooring expert to fix the issue.

  4. 4.Loose Nails

    Even when the hardwood floor was laid professionally and properly, normal wear and tear can cause some nails to become loose. This is more likely in heavy traffic areas such as the entryway, near the refrigerator door, or kitchen sink. The joists below the bowing hardwood floor have to be examined for loose nails and these have to be tightened to eliminate bowing of the hardwood floors.

  5. 5.Debris

    Sometimes debris can accumulate under the hardwood floors or between the joints making it uneven. The debris can also become moist leading to the bowing. Cleaning the debris under the floors can eliminate the problem. However, these difficult to reach areas can be difficult. By taking the help of a professional hardwood floor installer, you will be able to ensure that the debris that is making the floor uneven is cleared without damaging the polish or gloss on it.


    When the hardwood floor of your home sags or bows you need to take prompt action to locate the cause and remedy it. This will ensure that there is no irreversible damage to the floor and your home looks well kept much sooner. Whether you are a busy professional or a busy home maker, you can easily solve the problem by retaining the services of a reliable floor installer. For this, all you need to do is register your needs with Redbeacon.


    Redbeacon will match your specific needs against their database of service providers and contact those hardwood floor installers who are available to work on your home and ask them to present bids. Meanwhile, Redbeacon will also verify the online reviews of the installers and ensure that they meet Redbeacon’s service standards. Redbeacon will then forward four bids to you, so that you can choose the installer who is most suitable for your needs. The work will commence as per the schedule provided in the contract and Redbeacon will wait for 24 hours for your feedback after work is completed before releasing payment from your account.

  6. The floor of your home is often the largest visible surface the impacts its look. A bowing hardwood floor will make your home look unkempt and untidy. Besides, a bowing floor can also make it difficult for you to place furniture properly. When the floor is uneven, the dining table, chairs, and other furniture could tilt and shake causing mishaps and accidents. The best way of avoiding all of these issues is to fix the bowing hardwood floor as soon as possible by identifying the cause and fixing it.

    A wooden floor can add a particular charm and ambience to a home. The warmth and glow provided by the wooden floor can make a home more welcoming. Additionally, wooden floors can set off rugs and special carpets with greater ease. You can choose dark or light colored wooden flooring to make your home look warm and comfortable or light and airy. The color and grain of the wood will enhance the décor of most homes.

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