Hardwood & Humidity
Learn how high humidity can affect your hardwood floors
What is the Best Humidity Level for Hardwood Floors?
Like many other materials, hardwood has the potential to change when exposed to considerable humidity. Since wood is hygroscopic, it collects moisture from its surroundings. Once wood is cut, its moisture content is typically between 6 percent and 8 percent. When wood collects moisture from the surrounding air, it will inevitably shrink during the drying process. However, swelling and warping are also possible. If you own hardwood or if you are considering adding it to your home, you should be aware of its potential to change with time. Whether it is a hardwood floor, a door frame or a table, there is the potential for the wood to shrink, swell or rot when exposed to moisture-laden air.
Do Hardwood Floors Expand in Winter?
Hardwood floors will eventually swell when exposed to humid air. Yet the specific amount of swelling differs according to a variety of factors. The amount of space between each board as well as the quality of the installation each play a part in determining how much the hardwood floor will swell. In some instances, the moisture can cause such a floor to warp. If the floor warps to an extreme extent, its far ends will rise. This phenomenon is known as “cupping”. If hardwood floors are subjected to extremely humid air for an extended period of time, they have they potential to rot.
Why are my New Hardwood Floors Cupping?
If you purchase hardwood floors for your home or have moved into a home where such flooring is already installed, you should anticipate a certain degree of swelling and/or shrinkage as time progresses. Wood is absolutely gorgeous to look at and feels fantastic to the touch. Yet it is malleable just like most other materials. You can guard against extreme warping, shrinkage and other alterations resulting from humid air by adhering to the proper installation techniques. Each piece of wood flooring should be acclimated to your living space before it is actually implemented. This way, the floorboards can adjust to your home's unique air. Only hire a floor installation company that is willing to take preventative measures to guard against shrinkage and swelling. Furthermore, it is prudent to invest in a dehumidifier (or humidifier) to keep your home's air quality at the perfect level of moisture. As a result, you will greatly reduce the odds of warping your home's hardwood during the especially moist and dry portions of the year.
To learn more about hardwood and humidity, contact Excelsior Paint & Design Carpet One Floor & Home or visit our showroom in Excelsior, MN