How Heat and Humidity Affect Your Wood Flooring

flooring companies humidity palm harborIt’s a surprise to some homeowners when they are told their hardwood flooring needs to acclimate to their home before installation. That’s because heat and humidity affect flooring. Flooring companies know to deliver the flooring to the home at least three days before installation for it to acclimate. If you’ve recently moved into a home with engineered or hardwood flooring, you may wonder about various changes you see to your floors as it continues to warm up.

Flooring Expands with Greater Humidity

No matter what kind of wood flooring you have, the temperature and humidity in your home can change your flooring. You may notice during the dry winter months that there are gaps between your floorboards that disappear in the summer. This is completely normal. Good flooring companies know that the flooring will expand slightly in our hot and humid seasons and account for that during installation. If they don’t, come summer you may feel like your floor is suddenly more springy or worse, you may notice it begin to buckle.

What is the Ideal Temperature and Humidity Level for My Wood Flooring?

A good rule of thumb is if you’re comfortable, your wood is happy. All flooring manufacturers have recommended installation and temperature ranges for their flooring, with most ranging between 60-80 degrees and 35-55% relative humidity. Most homes, even in Palm Harbor, have a humidity level that is in the acceptable range when the air conditioning is running.

What About My Flooring Warranty?

Your flooring warranty doesn’t cover sudden shifts in humidity levels. Most flooring companies ask questions prior to installation to account for your home’s environment. If installation is during an exceptionally dry time of year, they should leave more room for expansion under your molding.  If the floors are installed during a time that the humidity is high, they won’t leave the room for expansion, but you may see some space between the boards if it gets exceptionally dry in the future. Your installation warranty should cover issues due to improper installation, like not leaving room for expansion. Neither homeowner’s insurance nor the flooring warranties cover floor damage due to improperly maintained temperatures or humidity levels.

If you are looking at area flooring companies and want one who understands how the changes in heat and humidity affect your floors, contact Seer Flooring. We’re local and have been installing engineered and hardwood flooring for more than two decades. Call (727) 785-1930 to schedule your free estimate today.