When high-quality wood is installed well, it can be one of the most beautiful and long-lasting flooring materials on the market.However, there is one factor that can complicate a wood flooring installation job: moisture. We take pride in properly acclimating our flooring materials so that they are free of excess moisture leading up to installation but after installation, the humidity levels of a home must be maintained in order to assure your beautiful wood floors are also long lasting.
With both solid and engineered hardwoods, you should aim to keep humidity levels in your home between 35% and 55%. If the humidity level drops below 35%, it can be a problem for your hardwood. Low levels can cause the wood to dry out, weaken, or splinter. It could also lead the floor to split along the grain. This can also damage the finish making your floors uncomfortable to walk on. While low moisture levels can damage your floor, it’s not the only thing to watch out for. If the humidity hits above 55%, you’re opening up a chance for moisture to seep into the wood. Too much moisture and the floorboards could begin to swell. This swelling can create pressure between the boards, which can cause the boards to warp or cup.
So how you can prevent potential damage? Check the humidity levels in the rooms where you have your hardwood floors installed using a humidistat or a hydrometer – they’re both available in hardware stores or home centers. If the humidity levels are beyond the 35% – 55% range, then make adjustments. If the levels are too high, use a dehumidifier or turn up the air conditioning. If you need to raise the humidity level, try a humidifier to boost the overall moisture in the room.