How to Fix a Speed Bump on Hardwood Floors

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Speed bumps on hardwood floors are planks that have buckled in a single area, typically due to moisture beneath the floor or compression of the boards. This can result in a small bump of only a few boards that’s just visually annoying, right up to large buckling that can make furniture uneven and create tripping hazards when walking. Fortunately, repairing these speed bumps doesn’t take long, requiring the replacement of some of the buckled boards as well as trimming down a center board to allow the rest to sit level on the floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Grease pencil
  • Drill with a 20mm spade bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Pry bar
  • Replacement tongue-and-groove floorboards
  • Table saw
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Rag
  • Tape measure

Locate the boards that are the source of the speed bump on your floor. Mark them with a grease pencil for identification.

Drill two lines down the length of each of the marked boards with an electric drill equipped with a 20mm spade bit. Position the first line down the center of the board and the second along the board’s grooved edge. Use the first hole as a pilot hole for the blade of a jigsaw. Set the depth of the saw to the height of the boards. Cut along each of the lines with the saw blade then connect the lines at each end with the saw. Pull the center board free. Pry off the rest of the boards with a pry bar.

Remove the boards from the center of the bump outward until the flooring once again rests level.

Install replacement boards into the space created after removing the uneven boards. Measure the length of the area to be replaced with a tape measure. Use a table saw to cut the replacement boards to fit.

Install the replacement boards from the outside edge of the repaired area inward, placing a row of boards on alternate sides as you work your way in. Hook the replacement boards into the existing floor surface with their tongue and groove setup to lock them into place. Apply a bead of glue between the boards to help hold them securely and remove any excess glue with a rag.

Measure the width of the center of the former speedbump with a tape measure when you reach the last board row. The space will likely be of les width than your replacement boards, as the expansion of boards over time without ample expansion space provided for at installation is a common cause of the flooring flaw. Mark the new width onto your final board, marking the cutting line along the tongue side of the board.

Cut the last board along the marked line using a table saw. Lock the board down with the rest of the flooring without gluing it into space.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety goggles and a face mask to avoid injury from wood splinters or inhaling wood dust.

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