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Q. How does humidity affect hardwood flooring?


A.
If you have hardwood floors, factors like humidity can vastly affect the shape of your floor.


High Humidity Levels

If the humidity level goes beyond 55%, there are very high chances for moisture to seep into the wood. Too much moisture can make the floor boards swell. This swelling creates a pressure between the boards, which in turn causes them to warp. This is the case with both solid hardwoods and engineered hardwoods.

During summertime, warm and humid climate can rise up to 90%. Wood has the tendency to absorb moisture from the air and expand. Even something as small as spilled water can cause the wood to begin to cup. Once cupping occurs, it takes some while for it to flatten out.

Once the increased humidity tends to swell the wood, the adjoining boards put pressure against each other. In few cases, this pressure can make the boards crack. To avoid your hardwood floors from cupping, keep the humidity level in your home between 45 to 60% prior to installation.


Low Humidity Levels

While high levels of moisture can damage your hardwood floor, humidity levels below 35% can also be problematic. Low levels of humidity cause the wood to dry out, which can result the wood to become weak. Moreover, this drop is humidity level can also damage the finish, which can become a problem during regular maintenance.

During winters, when the air is dry, the hardwood flooring loses its moisture and tends to contract. This can result in the appearance of thin gaps between planks. These gaps will close up once the humidity levels rise up again.

To avoid the damage to your hardwood floor, try keeping the humidity levels between 46 to 60%. You can also monitor the humidity levels by simply installing a humidity meter that will allow you to control humidity levels in your home throughout the year.

 

 

 

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