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Hardwood & Humidity

Hardwood Flooring, Humidity and Temperature

When most people buy a new house, one of the key features they look for are hardwood floors. Hardwood floors never go out of style and can add a distinguished look to your home. As a part of keeping your wood floor looking beautiful for years to come, you need to be aware of how humidity can cause irreparable damage to your flooring.


Do Hardwood Floors Expand in Winter?

Hardwood flooring is unique in the sense that it reacts directly with the surrounding environment. If there’s moisture in the air, the wood absorbs it. Although absorbing a moderate amount of moisture isn’t problematic, issues can arise when the humidity levels in your home are too high. The constitution of the wood can alter, causing the flooring to swell. Alternatively, hardwood flooring can shrink when there’s a lack of humidity in the air.


During the summer months especially, humidity can be an issue. You may not have air conditioning in your home or prefer to rarely run the unit to save on energy bills. You may not visibly see humidity's effect on the floor, but the boards will swell up and start to push against each other. As pressure builds, there will be a noticeable warping or cupping effect. In extreme cases of exposure to high humidity, the floor could even begin to rot.


Low Humidity Can Be Harmful Too

Low humidity levels aren't always the answer when it comes to protecting your wood flooring. In fact, too little humidity can cause damage by making the wood dry out quickly and splinter. The grain could also split and alter the appearance of the hardwood’s finish. With this in mind, never allow humidity levels to drop below 35 percent.


What is the Best Humidity Level for Hardwood Floors?

Maintaining optimal humidity levels within the home will make a significant difference in extending the lifetime of your hardwood flooring. Ideally, the humidity should remain between 35 and 55 percent year-round. Temperatures should be regulated too to stay at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.


Engineered wood is another option to consider if you find you’re unable to regulate the humidity in your home. However, some engineered woods also can be adversely affected by too humid and too dry conditions.




To learn more about Hardwood Floors and Humidity, as well as the best hardwood floors for humidity, contact City Carpets Carpet One or visit our showroom in San Rafael, CA. We offer a great selection of hardwood brands, and we also provide expert hardwood installation services.

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