Right before we left on vacation, I ran around the house like a crazylady trying to finish up a few things. Left a complete mess in the process, but whatever. Win some, lose some. Remember when we had our floors refinished? And remember how we had some termite damage? Well the flooring guys had to replace a couple of strips of wood that were beyond repair. But they broke the cardinal rule of hardwood flooring installation; they didn’t acclimate the boards to our house. LAME. Which would make me not recommend them to any of my friends. SEE THAT, HARDWOOD FLOOR GUYS?! I gave you a bad review. (Passive Aggressive.)
Regardless. We had a couple of boards butted up next to our (hopefully soon-to-be-replaced) vinyl floor in the kitchen. And over the almost-year we’ve been there, the boards have started to buckle. I had a hard time actually getting a good shot of how bad they were, but this should give you a little idea.
See how the pen doesn’t sit flat? See?!? It drove me bananas. In the way that a piece of popcorn kernel in your teeth will drive you bananas. Or any other issue-in-your-mouth kind of situation. I could stand it no longer. Also, don’t judge on the dirty floors. I typically go into crazy-cleaning mode before vacation because, well… I could die. And I’d be really sad if someone had to go get my things out of my house and it was dirty.
So I got out my tools. The saw-thing (Ridgid Jobmax), a rubber mallet, a small 2×4 scrap, and- of course- the vacuum. Oh, and safety junk, too. Never forget your safety junk.
I started ever-so-carefully running the tool along the subfloor (not the hardwood), making multiple passes. Basically, I was trying to alleviate the buckling effect and give the hardwood somewhere to expand. So. Back and forth. And take a break for some snacks. Back and forth. Break for vacuuming. Back and forth. And after about 15 minutes of cutting out small section of subfloor, I created a gap about 1/8″ wide.
Then I took my scrap piece of wood, and pounded it with a rubber mallet. Learn from my past mistakes: never use a hammer. It will dent the wood. Use a scrap piece of wood to disperse the angry hammerings, and a rubber mallet to also further disperse the point of contact.
Now, you’re not trying to flatten this out completely– it should relax out eventually. We got back from California (more on that later) to find that it had, indeed, relaxed a bit. Ta-Daaa! A quick and easy project to help alleviate the OCD’s!
What about you guys? Any tips and tricks for wood floors?