You might not think much about the temperature and humidity in your home. After all, all you have to do is adjust the thermostat when it gets too hot or cold to live in your home comfortably. But your environment affects more than just the people in your household — it can also directly impact your hardwood or laminate flooring.
You probably start to notice significant changes in humidity when the seasons change — and so do your floors. Here are some tips to keep them from expanding or contracting over exceptionally high- or low-humidity months.
How Does Humidity Affect Flooring?
Laminate and hardwood floors are a beautiful and affordable flooring option, but they are also susceptible to expand, contract, buckle, crown and crack due to seasonal humidity changes. Both winter and summer often negatively affect the durability of your floors. Here’s how:
- Winter: Over the winter, you might heat your home with a fireplace or wood stove. When you introduce this heat into your home, your laminate or hardwood floors can give up their moisture and shrink, causing cracks to appear between planks. However, unless significant damage has occurred, most gaps will close on their own once the humidity levels rise in the spring.
- Summer: In the summer, your indoor humidity can increase to as much as 90 percent, causing your hardwood or laminate floors to expand and swell. Too much swelling causes them to have a crowned or cupped look.
How Can You Protect Your Floors?
With the proper care, you can protect your laminate or hardwood flooring from buckling, cracking and otherwise reacting to moisture and seasonal humidity. Try to follow these guidelines to prevent moisture problems in your floors:
- Keep your home’s indoor humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent throughout the year. You can do this by using a humidifier over the winter and a dehumidifier or air conditioner over the summer.
- Avoid using water-based cleaning products on your floor on a regular basis. Instead, only clean using them when needed — and only on dirty areas.
- Never mop on a wood floor, and never let water spills dry on them. This can cause lasting damage to the boards.
- Instead of mopping, clean your floors with a cloth lightly dampened with a cleaning product specifically recommended for wood or laminate.
Contact 50 Floor for All Your Flooring Needs
Whether you need more information on protecting your floors from humidity or want to install a new floor after moisture has already affected your home, 50 Floor is here to help.
At 50 Floor, we do more than just sell you a durable, high-quality floor that matches your needs and budget. We’re also your trusted industry experts for any questions you might have and will walk you through every step of the buying and installation process. Our team will provide the best customer experience available to ensure your peace of mind every step of the way.