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Humidity and Hardwood Flooring in Your Home

Cleaning Tips for Hardwood Floor and Luxury Vinyl Flooring | Floors Plus

As we shift to extremely humid summer weather from a frigid dry winter, it’s a good time to talk about how to effectively protect hardwood floors from damage.

Transitioning to a warm summer by the pool from our snowy winter days is an adjustment, we know! Winter weather likely left you wanting to turn up the heat and cozy up by the fire in your PJs… but here’s the thing: do you ever think about how these changing humidity levels inside your home can affect your gorgeous flooring?

If you have solid or engineered hardwood flooring in your home, there are a few things you need to know about moderating humidity levels to keep your floors looking fresh and spectacular…

Low Humidity Levels:

When humidity levels drop below 35%, your hardwood will be affected. As you heat your home in the winter, the dryer air will cause your hardwood to also dry out. In low humidity, hardwood will shrink and contract from losing some of its moisture, so you may find more gaps between the planks and even experience new floor squeaking.

High Humidity Levels:

As humidity levels rise above 55%, moisture will absorb into your brand-new and existing hardwood. Because wood absorbs moisture as a natural property, your hardwood will increase in size with the more humidity it’s exposed to. The more moisture the wood absorbs, the larger it will grow, causing the spaces between your brand-new and existing hardwood planks to get smaller which may cause the overall fit to be too tight.

Finding a Balance:

Non-controlled humidity conditions in your home will cause cupping or crowning, and void flooring warranties. Cupping means that the wood is raised on the edges of each floorboard. This creates a shape similar to a “U” as the center of the board dips below the edges. Crowning is the opposite of cupping and occurs when wood flooring boards are raised in the center and dip down in the middle of the planks.

To avoid your hardwood flooring getting permanently damaged, you’ll need to maintain the humidity in your home at a recommended level of between 35-55%, to keep your hardwood looking as beautiful as ever. Make sure your AC and heater are functioning so you can sustain a healthy humidity level balance. You may require a humidifier or dehumidifier to regulate humidity levels in your home.

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