Why Is My Wood Floor Peeling?

Whether you have wood flooring that has been installed for years, or you have recently installed the wood floor, there is nothing worse than when the finish starts peeling. Not only does it look unsightly, but it is also frustrating as it is time-consuming to apply. 

In this article, WFC will be discussing the reasons why wood floor peels, and some ways in which you can help prevent this from happening in the future. 

Why Is My Wood Floor Peeling?

Incorrect Prepping

When the floor finish peels off the wood, this is something that is very frustrating. Floor finish is important to apply to flooring after it has been fitted. This is because it helps to protect the flooring from damage. It also gives the floor a fresh shine and feeling to it. 

The most common reason why floor finish peels, is because the wood is not prepared correctly. If the wood is not prepped in the correct way, this means that the floor finish cannot stick to the floor as it should. This will quickly lead to peeling. 

To help prevent peeling in this instance, you will want to ensure that you are following the correct procedures when prepping. You will want to correctly sand down the wood floor to ensure that the floor finish can seal the wood correctly. We would recommend using thick sandpaper with larger grip, as this is more successful than thinner sandpaper. 


Another reason why your floor finish might be peeling is because of contamination. If you have ruled out the possibility of not preparing the wood currently, you may have not cleaned the floor correctly, before applying the finish, and this has led to the contamination interfering with the finish.

This is something that can easily happen, especially when you are cleaning away the residue from the sandpaper. To help prevent this, you will want to ensure that you have cleaned and dried the floor thoroughly. Ideally, there should be no cleaning products left on the surface, as this can stop the finish from applying to the wood correctly. 

Poor Quality Finish

If you have purchased a poor quality wood finish, this will greatly impact how well it applied to the wood. While at first the finish may look great, if the wood finish is of a poor quality, this will be reflected in how long it lasts for.

Typically, the less expensive finishes will start to peel over time, especially if they have not been applied correctly. By spending a small amount extra, the stain you purchase will likely be a lot better. 

Build Up Of Stain

If you have old wood flooring, it is likely that you have applied many layers of stain finish to the wood over the years. While this is something that is okay to do, over time, this can lead to a build up of the stain on the wood. 

If there is a build up, and some of the stain has begun to peel, this can lead to the flooring looking uneven and patchy. In addition to this, it will also prevent the new stain applied to the wood from sticking to it. 

This is something you will want to avoid. To stop this build up from occurring, you will want to sand down the wood before you apply a new layer of finish. While this is more time-consuming than painting over the old finish, it will provide far better results. 

Not only will the finish look more even, but it will stick to the wood a lot better too. It will last longer, and the change of the finish peeling will be reduced.  By skipping the sanding process, this can essentially damage the wood over time because the wood is going to soak up products you place onto it. 


Over time, your wood flooring is going to become aged. While you can take great care of it, ultimately, the longer it has been placed down for, the more worn and damaged it will become. 

Given this, to an extent, peeling is not something that you can avoid. General day-to-day activities such as walking on the wood, or moving around furniture will eventually cause peeling and damage to the floor. 

This is why sanding is so important when it comes to wooden flooring. Not only does it stop the wood from splintering, but it keeps it looking fresh and smooth too. Without sanding the wood every so often, the finish will soak into the natural grooves of the wood. 

While you may not assume that this is an issue, over time, it can cause problems such as peeling. Wooden flooring is something that does need to be maintained.

It is far harder to manage in comparison to laminate flooring, carpet or vinyl. However, when it is prepped, sanded, and finished correctly, it does look beautiful. 


Wood fractures are not something that happen too often, however, they are something to be aware of. If you have original wooden floorboards, this is less likely to happen. However, if they are floorboards that you have purchased recently, this is a more common occurrence. 

The fractures typically happen if there has been damage caused to the wood floor. This could have happened during the installation process, before, or after they were purchased. In addition to this, fractures can happen if the wood is not of a good quality. 

In these instances, you will want to sand down the fractures as much as possible to smooth the surface. After doing this, you can then apply the finish, and it should be less likely to peel. 


We hope that you have found this article useful. As you can see, there are many potential reasons why your wood floor is peeling. While it is something that can be frustrating and time-consuming to deal with, it is not too difficult to resolve. You will need patience, but after sanding and applying, the finish should last for a good number of years with no issues.