While hardwood floor is some of the most durable material on the market, there are times when stress cracks might appear. Learning what they are and how they form can help flooring installers and inspectors identify the problems and work to fix it.
Stress cracks appear in wood floors when there are excessive contractions and expansions. Because wood can absorb moisture, it expands when the atmosphere is humid. When the wood dries out, it contracts. Repeated expansion and contraction can cause damage to the wood itself. After too much exposure to extreme humidity and dryness, the wood will crack.
The best way to eliminate the risk of stress cracks in wood floors is to control the moisture from the beginning. This means a high quality moisture barrier between the sub floor and the hardwood layer. Also, there needs to be control in the building’s atmosphere in general without excessive fluctuations in temperature and humidity.