Hardwood Flooring & Humidity

What to know before installation

Hardwood Flooring and Humidity

Homeowners should know that wood will swell and shrink depending on the surrounding humidity. Freshly cuts woods can have a moisture content of up to 250 percent. The moisture content within lumber that has been cut and dried is generally between 6 and 8 percent but depends upon factors such as the cut, the type of wood and the humidity in the storage space. Homeowners and those considering a hardwood flooring solution should consider how humidity can impact their wood flooring.

Do Hardwood Floors Expand in Winter?

In a humid environment, hardwood will swell. A high-quality installation will help reduce bending and warping of hardwood floor boards. In a high humidity environment, wood flooring may rot. However, moisture is essential for the health of wood flooring. Moisture helps keep wood supple and adaptable. Dry wood flooring made of hardwood can shrink, causing gaps between wood boards, become fragile and brittle, squeak and potentially crack. Homeowners need a healthy level of humidity for optimal hardwood performance.

Some wood flooring types and cuts are naturally less moisture absorbing and more stable over a lifetime of use. Homeowners residing in areas of high humidity or in very dry environments, whether year-round or seasonally, should look for a hardwood flooring solution that can tolerate their environment well.

Humidity for Hardwood Floor Installation

Prior to installation, a selected hardwood flooring choice needs to acclimate to a home environment. This is done to allow boards to have a moisture content that reflect the surrounding air and to prevent unnecessary shrinkage or swelling. Contract with a professional installation company for home flooring installation needs to avoid swelling and shrinkage of hardwood as it relates to the humidity of a specific environment. Carpet One Floor & Home services homeowners with an experienced and reliable team and offers post-installation warranties for any hardwood installation.

What is the Best Humidity Level for Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood buyers can choose to buy dehumidifiers, humidifiers or a centralized de-humidifier to manage the humidity level in a home environment. However, proper installation is the best way to avoid excessive shrinking or warping.

Hardwood flooring is a durable and stylish choice for home renovation projects. Learn more about humidity and hardwood floors from our Carpet One Floor & Home team in Wilmington, NC.