How your home environment can and will affect your hardwood floors-
Having a regulated indoor temperature is of the utmost importance when caring for your hardwood floors. Regulating your homes climate should be part of your everyday floor care and maintenance routine.
Many people do not realize how the heat, humidity and cold impact their hardwood floors; (specifically, a drastic incline or decline of temperature and/or humidity). Even though hardwood flooring is made from a dead tree, in essence, it reacts to its climate as though it were “alive.”
When hot and humid, hardwood planks retain the humidity/moisture in the air, causing them to expand. When the humidity is low or it is cold outside, the floor releases its moisture retention and will contract.
When installing, we ALWAYS leave proper expansion and contraction space around the perimeter, which is then covered by either base molding or shoe molding.
* Every solid hardwood, engineered hardwood or laminate material, no matter the species or type of cut of hardwood, EXPANDS and CONTRACTS no matter the method of installation
(i.e. floating/clickable, nail, glue).
Your indoor temperature should remain anywhere between 65-75 degrees with a relative humidity level between 30%-50%.
In high humidity your floor will swell/expand. You may notice significantly less spacing between each plank in the summer months, due to the warmer and more humid weather …. Even with proper expansion space, your floors risk the chance of buckling if the indoor climate is not kept consistent.
Alternatively, in the winter months, when heat and humidity are very low, you’ll notice more spacing between the planks. This is a normal and natural occurrence. The floor will usually remedy itself when the weather starts to warm up.
When there are large gaps( ¼” and over) between the planks, usually there is some type of underlying issue that needs to be address. Each and every situation is different and should require an in home consultation by a flooring expert to address this.
If you are planning a vacation or live have multiple homes, always remember to keep your indoor temperature consistent!