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Are Your Timber Floors Peaking? How to Avoid It and What to Do.

Timber flooring in Australia often presents a problem called “peaking” due to the climate. Here’s how to minimise peaking or eliminate it altogether.

Those who have timber floors may be aware of peaking. Peaking is what happens when the edges of a floorboard sticks up higher than the rest of the board. When this is the result of moisture beneath the floor, it is known as cupping. However, when it is the result of expansion pressure on the boards, it is known as peaking.

Peaking is the confluence of two conditions. The first is that the flooring has expended after it was installed. The second is that all the pressure accumulates on the top shoulders of the boards. Peaking can be confused with cupping, but can be easily tested. If there is abnormal moisture on the bottom, it means there is cupping. If there is no abnormal moisture, the problem is peaking.

Causes of Peaking

One of the more common causes of peaking is undercut, which means the board is wider on the top than on the bottom. When expansion pressure is put on the board, the top edges rise. Some adhesives can also cause peaking by keeping the bottom of the boards from expanding, creating greater width at the top when the rest of the board expands.

Usually, timber expands with weather. If your timber floor is installed during a dry spell, it will expand when the weather becomes more humid. Also, a floor that is installed in a location that is naturally more humid than the flooring will also cause expansion.

How to Prevent Peaking

Peaking is best prevented by ensuring that the there is no undercut and that the average moisture content of the timber as it is being installed is as close to possible to the maximum expected moisture content.

For More Information

A great floor starts with high-quality timber. Call 1300 477 024 to learn more.