Hardwood floors are an investment, there’s no doubt about it. When you choose to install hardwood floors with Floor Coverings International of Scottsdale, AZ, you are adding resale value to your home. Hardwood floors are beautiful, timeless, long lasting, and durable, but they are not impervious. One of hardwood flooring’s greatest enemies is something staggeringly common: water. Even the water in the molecules of the air can affect your hardwood floors. We here at Floor Coverings International of Scottsdale want your hardwoods to remain in pristine condition for as long as possible, so we wrote this post to explain exactly how and why humidity affects your new hardwood floors.

When The Humidity is Too High for Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are porous; it might even be useful to think of them like sponges, being absorbent. If the humidity in your room is too high, meaning that there is too much moisture in the air, hardwood floors will respond by soaking up the moisture in the air. This can cause the wooden boards to swell. Swollen hardwoods are problematic as they become too large for their space, ending up causing pressure and rubbing against each other, which is one of the main causes of squeaky floor boards. Too much humidity is bad for both solid and engineered hardwoods, although engineered hardwoods tend to stand up to high humidity levels better than solid planks.

When the Humidity is Too Low for Your Hardwood Floors

When the humidity in a room gets too low, or the air gets too dry, hardwoods respond in the opposite manner. As your hardwood floors release their moisture back into the air, they become too dry. This can cause the wood to weaken, making your hardwood floors more brittle and increasing the likelihood of damage or splintering. One side effect of low humidity levels is when the floor ‘checks,’ or splits along the grain, damaging the finish. Here as well engineered hardwood is more resilient to low humidity levels than solid hardwood, but all hardwood flooring is subject to changes in humidity.

The Ideal Humidity Level for Your Hardwood Floors

The ideal level of humidity for your hardwood flooring is between 35% and 55%. This sweet spot will ensure that your floors do not suffer damage at the hands of moisture in the air. You can use a hydrometer or a humidistat to check the humidity levels in your home, and a humidifier or dehumidifier to control the levels of moisture in the air. In this way you can ensure that your hardwood flooring will be in the best condition possible for as long as possible.

For more information on humidity and hardwood floors, call Floor Coverings International of Scottsdale today!