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Humidity & Hardwood

Understanding the relationship between Humidity and Hardwood…

Floors that are made with wood materials are more likely to damage as a result of standing water and extreme changes in humidity. In order to increase the longevity of your hardwood floors, it’s important that you know what preventative measures you need to take, and how important it is to have a Humidity Control System in your home.

No matter how strong or expensive your hardwood floors are, they can still incur damage as a result of exposure to extreme changes in humidity. This is also true of bamboo, laminate and cork floors, as they are all manufactured with wood materials (e.g. cork is made of bark; bamboo is made of grass shoots). Trees are designed with vertically-aligned fibers, or vessels, that allow them to absorb water from the ground. These vessels are responsible for drawing up water from the earth through a root system and transporting it to the tree's branches. Even after a tree has been cut and milled into planks, these vessels are still present in the wood. It's this quality that makes hardwood floors so absorbent. Spills should be cleaned up immediately!

The more moisture there is in the air, the more moisture hardwood floors can absorb. When hardwood planks soak up moisture, they expand and swell up. When the humidity level drops below 35%, any moisture within the hardwood planks dries up, consequently causing the planks to shrink. You can safeguard your floors from this predicament by maintaining a steady indoor humidity level. One of the ways to accomplish this is by investing in a dehumidifier (for high humidity) and/or a humidifier (for low humidity). For example, indoor humidity tends to be higher on rainy days. On these days you can use your dehumidifier to help reduce indoor humidity to a more agreeable level. Ideal indoor humidity level for hardwood floors is somewhere between 33% and 55%. 

The environment in which the wood is stored prior to being shipped to the store is also a determinant in the floor's structural durability. For optimal performance, wood should be kept in a room that has the recommended humidity level above to adapt. An increase or decrease in this humidity level may cause wood to swell and shrink, and make them less favorable for installation. Always check Humidity levels upon delivery and Installation. Once the Hardwood is installed, it is up to the Customer/Client to maintain the Hardwood and Humidity levels in the home.

For further information on wood floor types, humidity effects on hardwood or any other hardwood information, please contact your local sales representative. Thank you.

Intact Distributors
861 Belgrave Way
Delta, British Columbia
Canada  V3M 5R8

Phone: 1-250-212-9802