How Will Moisture Levels Affect Hardwood Flooring?

How Will Moisture Levels Affect Hardwood Flooring

Nashua, NH Resident Looks for Advice

Hardwood flooring is best installed in an area with controlled humidity levels that range from 30 to 50 percent.  High and fluctuating humidity levels can cause the wood to expand and contract over time.  Once installed, this can lead to buckling and warpage as the floor boards change their size and shift.  This contraction can also cause the floor boards to crack and separate from one another.

A homeowner in Nashua was looking to install hardwood flooring in her home.  Concerned about how her home’s humidity levels may affect the floor, she contacted the experts at Cardoza Flooring.

Optimal Humidity Levels for Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring does best in a climate-controlled area of the home, where the humidity levels are monitored.  While most homes fall into the optimal humidity level of 30 to 50 percent, large fluctuations can negatively impact the flooring.  Temperature levels in the home should be kept between 60 and 80 degrees.

If the humidity levels fall, which is often seen during the winter months, the moisture content in the wood will decrease.  This leads to the board shrinking, even as much as one inch.  This can leave large spaces between the floor boards.  When the summer months arrive and humidity levels rise, the moisture levels in the wood will increase and cause the wood to expand even beyond its original size.  Ultimately, this expansion and contraction will take its toll on the wood.

Controlling Humidity Levels in the Home

Many HVAC systems allow you to control humidity levels in the home.  This will not only keep family members more comfortable, but it will also keep your hardwood floors in great shape by controlling the humidity level. 

By setting the home’s humidity within the acceptable range for hardwood flooring and preventing any prolonged water exposure on the floor, the Nashua homeowner can expect her hardwood floors to look great for many years to come.