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Exploring Moisture and Wood Flooring

wood flooring

The Impact of Moisture on Wood Flooring 

Wood flooring provides warmth and character to a space, elevating its aesthetic appeal while fostering a timeless and refined ambiance. The durability and overall beauty of your floors can be impacted by moisture because wood is a breathing substance that changes based on its environment. Making the best choices for the type of wood flooring for your home requires an understanding of how moisture affects wood flooring. This article will cover the varieties of flooring that are available, as well as the connection between flooring and moisture.

The biggest danger to the health of wood flooring is excessive moisture. When it takes in moisture, wood goes through a natural cycle of expansion and contraction. More serious issues, including unsightly cracks, cupping, and warping, might result from this ongoing process of swelling and contracting. Given the consequences, it is essential to be watchful of the moisture levels in your home before and during the flooring selection process. Moisture can come from a number of sources, including underfloor moisture, unintentional spills, ambient air humidity, and more. High moisture content is what causes swelling, while low humidity causes shrinkage. Furthermore, if water spills are not handled properly and soon, they may cause significant harm.

To help the negative effects of moisture on wood flooring, it’s important to:

  1. Proper Sub-flooring: Using a moisture-resistant and well-prepared sub-floor will help in preventing moisture from seeping into the wood flooding.
  2. Maintaining Indoor Humidity: Installing a dehumidifier or humidifier may help in maintaining the ideal humidity level. Optimal humidity level is between 30%-50% in your commercial space or home. To measure the percentage, we recommend you buy Acurite.
  3. Selecting the Right Type of Wood Flooring: Different wood types have different degrees of resistance and thresholds toward moisture. Let’s dive in and explore a few of the most popular options:
Solid Hardwood Flooring:
  • Solid hardwood flooring is a single piece of wood renowned for its enduring beauty and toughness.
  • It can need careful maintenance in humid locations because it is susceptible to moisture.
  • Sanding and refinishing solid hardwood can improve its longevity.
Engineered Wood Flooring:
  • Engineered wood flooring comprises a hardwood top layer with several layers of wood underneath.
  • Compared to solid hardwood, it is more sturdy and less prone to moisture-related problems.
  • In basements and other wet places, engineered wood can be put.
Laminate Flooring:
  • It is a more affordable option to solid hardwood and has a strong resistance to dampness.
  • Laminate flooring is available in a variety of styles and designs and is simple to maintain.
Bamboo Flooring:
  • Bamboo is a quickly renewable resource and an environmentally favorable choice for flooring.
  • It resists moisture better than conventional hardwoods.
  • In humid climates, bamboo flooring can be a great option for homes.
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring:
  • LVP is a type of synthetic flooring that resembles hardwood.
  • Because it is moisture resistant and waterproof, it is a good choice for bathrooms and kitchens.
  • LVP is simple to install and available in a variety of styles.


Measuring Moisture Content in Wood Floors 

You will need a moisture meter tool to determine the level of moisture in your floor. You must locate a moisture meter designed especially for use with wood. A concrete or other flooring material-specific meter won’t provide an accurate reading. Between 2% and 4% of the moisture content of the subfloor is the best range for wood flooring. If your results are under 12%, it signifies that the sub-floor moisture reading for the floor can be installed without the need for acclimatization. If the interior temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is between 30 and 50%, the ideal moisture content for hardwood floors is between 6-9%. The installation location’s characteristics will determine the ideal moisture content.

How to get Moisture out of Hardwood Floors? 

Use a dehumidifier set at the highest setting to dry the floors. It should be placed in the center of the area and left on for at least one day. Place fans in key spots to circulate air across the entire area.

How to tell if there is Moisture Under Hardwood Floors? 

Many hardwood floors’ shine can start to seem a little stained if there is too much moisture present. If some wood boards have a splotchy, uneven finish compared to other wood boards, this could be a sign of moisture penetration.

What if Wood Flooring Absorbs Moisture from the Sub-floor? 

When a floorboard absorbs too much moisture, the middle of the board may rise or bulge over the edges. If left unattended, this can eventually compromise the structural integrity of your hardwood flooring in addition to producing an uneven surface.

What if Wood has Too Much Moisture?

Wood can take up moisture. It either gains or loses water moisture depending on the relative humidity of the air surrounding it. Wood may expand or contract as a result of the fluctuating humidity levels in the air surrounding it, in addition to gaining or losing water moisture. When the humidity level rises, the moisture content increases, causing the wood to expand.

Understanding the impact of moisture is essential when choosing wood flooring for your area so that you can make an informed decision that fits your particular climate. You have a number of choices, including solid hardwood, engineered wood, laminate, bamboo, and luxury vinyl plank, each of which boasts its own special qualities and moisture resistance. You can enjoy the beauty of wood in your home or business for years to come while reducing the risk of moisture-related issues by taking moisture levels into account and choosing the best type of wood flooring. It’s also crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, especially with regard to the suggested acclimatization period for your new wood floors prior to installation. Complying with these directions and checking the moisture content of your sub-floor will guarantee a flawless installation in accordance with the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) standards.


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