Hardwood & Humidity
Best flooring options for high humidity levels
Hardwood and Humidity - What Flooring is Best?
Hardwood floors are very popular due to their natural beauty, but in humid environments the wood doesn't always stay that way. Wood absorbs moisture from the air around it, for those who enjoy the beauty of wood, especially hardwood floors, this is not good news, especially if they live in a place were there is a high level of humidity. In order to help consumers select the best possible wood for their floors, the industry identifies different moisture content (MC) ratings. When wood is initially cut, the MC usually ranges between 30% and 250%, depending on the type of wood as well as when and where it was cut. Once the wood has been to the kiln, the MC drops down to 6-8%, but that number can rise again, depending on how the wood is stored. The cut and species of wood can also play a role in its potential to regain moisture.
Best Flooring for High Humidty
While the various protective coatings on a hardwood floor offer some protection for the wood, those who choose wood flooring in more humid places in their homes, such as basements, need to be aware of the added risks in these environments. Wood will swell up as the moisture level increases, and will contract as it dries. Over time, the planks in a hardwood floor may bend, warp, and cup, and in some cases rot.
Installing Hardwood Floors Humidity
One of the best ways to prevent excessive shrinkage and expansion of wood flooring in a humid environment is to make sure that it is properly installed. If possible, allow the boards to be in the area where they are to be installed ahead of time some that the floor itself is properly acclimated to its new environment. By choosing professional installation, a homeowner can take advantage of further support and warranties offered by the installation company.
What is The Best Humidity Level for Hardwood Floors?
For many, the beauty of a hardwood floor is irresistible, but choosing one also means taking on special care of it. Running de-humidifiers in the rooms where hardwood is installed can help keep moisture levels under control and limit the amount of variance in the floor planks over time. While excessive moisture brings the most risks, it is important that home owners also pay attention to the potential damage that can be caused by overly dry conditions, such as space between planks or potential cracking.
Looking at All Choices
Those who have their hear set on hardwood flooring should not have to give up on their dream, so long as they are willing to give their floor the care it needs. However, it is important to consider other flooring options as well. Many laminate floors are designed to resemble wood floors, and don't require the same level of maintenance. Carpeting is also a choice that offers comfort, and remains popular for many. The right flooring expert can help you evaluate the dynamic of your home and guide you in determining what choice is best for you.
To learn more about how humidity can effect hardwood floors, contact Eberhard Carpet One Floor & Home, or visit our showroom in Middletown, NJ.
We continue to provide hardwood floors to the areas of Middletown, Ocean and Monmouth County, East Brunswick, Monroe, Aberdeen, and Matawan, NJ.