For All laminate Flooring Knowledge

What is Peaking, Cupping, Buckling?

What is peaking/cupping/buckling?

Laminate floor peaking/cupping/buckling is a condition where the board edges are pushing together and peaking upward, forming a high spot at the joint that appears as a shallow peak. Unlike cupping the boards will not have taken on a concave appearance. Unlike buckling, with tenting, the boards are not severely tented on the side.

Buckling laminate planks form a peaking/cupping/buckling. This is a severe laminate floor peaking condition where the flooring is growing excessively. With buckling the laminate will lift entirely off the floor. Excessively high moisture caused buckling. The moisture is usually below the laminate such as high moisture in a concrete slab or flooding. High, uncontrolled relative humidity also causes buckling. A vacant house without, or inadequately operating HVAC system is a perfect candidate for buckling. Excessive moisture during cleaning can also result in buckling.

Why is Floor Peaking/cupping/buckling?

Excessive moisture, standing water, leaks, excessive water used in cleaning or improper cleaners used (i.e. wax, oil, polish, solvent, steam mops) can lead to swelling at the joints, often appearing as peaking.

Occasionally peaking can occur from over-tapping of the planks during installation, which has resulted in too tight of a fit. Laminate floor products are manufactured with both high-density and low-density fiberboard cores. High-density fiberboard HDF is more expensive and more resistant to moisture. Excess moisture damages high and low-density cores just as with wood flooring.

How to fix Peaking/cupping/buckling?

Peaking/cupping/buckling that is not too severe, can normally be corrected by adding expansion space. Remove all baseboards and locate the area(s) where the flooring is locked in. Add expansion space by cutting the planks. In some situations, you can undercut the drywall so that the laminate has more room to expand. The peaking can take weeks or even months to go down. If there is a stubborn area, try weighting it down for a period of time.