Hardwood floors are a staple in many homes looking for a luxury feel. They’re sleek, modern, and add a lovely accent to virtually every room. But not all hardwood floors are created equal and not all climates support hardwood flooring the same.
You may be surprised to find that the humidity levels can have profound effects on your hardwood floors in both good and bad ways.
As seasons change, your hardwood floors are going to change as a result. Dry seasons and more humid seasons both play a role in the way your hardwood floor feels, sits, and even the way it functions. Some of the changes are more dramatic than others but knowing what humidity and weather will do to your hardwood floors is key when you’re making your purchase.
Below are some of the ways weather, and specifically humidity levels, play a role in the feel and function of your hardwood floors
This is a common problem during particularly humid times of the year. Cupping is when the edges of a hardwood panel rise over the center, creating a valley in the panel. This is caused by a disproportionate level of humidity distributed in the board. It’s not inherently damaging to the panel but can make your panels look a little bit misshapen at times.
This is the exact opposite of cupping and happens for a different reason. In crowning, the center of the board will crest over the edges, creating a bit of a hill in the panel. This happens when treatment for cupping, usually sanding, is done too early in the process and the boards become disproportionate in response to weather and humidity.
This is the most dramatic response to humidity your floorboards can have. Under extreme humidity, the floorboards may expand to the point where they pop out of their groves and the result is a large buckle along your floor. It will often go back down on its own, but it can leave space where the wood was stretched and may not fit quite right after.
What Is the Optimal Humidity Level?
In the winter 30%-40% humidity is the best for hardwood floors and in the summer 50%-55% is ideal. You can’t control the weather but keeping the humidity levels in your home in check is a good way to help preserve your floors.
How Can I Prevent Problems?
There are a couple things you can do to anticipate problems. You can leave space to anticipate expansion, when you go on long vacations you can leave your A/C on to cut down humidity, utilize a dehumidifier, and other regular maintenance.
Keep your hardwood floors beautiful by doing research on weather, humidity, and the best practices to prevent changes in air from harming your investment. A hardwood flooring service can help answer any of your questions or concerns.
Cameron the Sandman is a family owned and operated business that has been beautifying homes and businesses with hardwood flooring services for over 80 years. Whether it’s hardwood floor installation or hardwood floor refinishing, we are here to answer your questions. We manage each project from start to finish and help you choose the best hardwood floor species, stain, and design layout to meet your needs and desires. Call our hardwood flooring specialists today to learn more about our hardwood flooring services!