Winter’s Humidity Effects on Hardwood Floors
Wood floors expand and contract, and depending on the temperature and humidity of your home environment, your floors may react dramatically if those humidity and temperature changes are also dramatic. On the flip side, wood flooring is one of the only floor coverings that, when properly maintained, will last for the lifetime of the home.
Your wood floors and furniture will absorb and release the moisture in your home. As your home’s humidity changes, so does the condition of your hardwood floors. Any extreme temperature or humidity changes will be reflected in your floors. Maintenance for your wood floors during the cold winter months includes monitoring relative humidity levels.
What happens when the humidity drops too low? Your wood floors respond to changes in the humidity by shrinking and showing gaps between planks. Chances are, if you start to experience dry, itchy skin and static electricity shocks, the humidity in your home is making your floor just as “uncomfortable” as you are. If you have solid or engineered hardwood floors, you should aim to keep the temperature in your home between 60 and 80 degrees and the humidity inside your home between 35 and 55%.
Since water, even in the smallest amounts, can drastically affect your wood floors, wood floors are actually best installed in dry conditions making winter the perfect time for hardwood flooring installation! Winter installs can also mean “tricky” installs given the dryer conditions, and it’s also a slower season for us, meaning we will likely be able to get much faster turnaround on your project than any other time of year! It’s a win-win combo so what are you waiting for? Start planning those winter renovations today!