What You Should Know About Hardwood Floors in Winter

hardwood floors in winter

As we are nearing October, we are also nearing the season where humidity drops. With the lower humidity comes calls about “cracks” in hardwood floors. In reality, they aren’t cracks, the wood dries out as the humidity drops leaving slight gaps between the boards. In some installations and areas, this is more apparent than others. If this is your first fall or winter with hardwood floors, this may be your first experience with the contraction of the floor boards. We want to assure you that there is rarely anything to worry about.

Why it Happens

Temperature and humidity affect many things in your home, hardwood floors are one that we can visually see. Although every manufacturer has a slightly different recommended range for installation and temperature for their hardwood floors, on average it’s somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees with 35-55% relative humidity. During the summer your air conditioner likely keeps your home in that range for both temperature and humidity. However, come late fall and winter when we open the windows, the humidity in our homes can drop to around 40%. When you run your heat, it can be even lower which leads to the contraction of the floor boards.

Does My Installation Warranty Cover Fixing This?

Because there’s rarely something actually wrong, your installation warranty won’t cover changes in humidity. A good flooring company considers the humidity levels of the home at the time of installation and plans accordingly. When the humidity is low, they’ll leave some room for expansion, when it’s high, they’ll install them more tightly so the contraction isn’t as apparent. However, if you can move the boards, chances are there is actually an installation issue. If you had hardwood floors installed in the winter and your flooring company didn’t factor in the low humidity levels you may find that come spring or summer your floors suddenly feel different or buckle. If this happens, do call them. They do need to fix their installation mistake.

Seer Flooring Plans for Changes in Humidity

Because we’ve been installing hardwood floors in Safety Harbor and throughout the bay area for more than a decade, we understand how the Florida humidity and heat affect hardwood floors so we install them properly. Call us today for your free quote for your new flooring – (727) 469-7963 or fill out our contact form.