Learn How Moisture Affects Hardwoord Flooring

How Does Moisture Affect Hardwood Flooring

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Moisture is the most important factor in wood swelling, cupping and warping. When moisture levels are high, wood tends to swell, when moisture drops, wood tends to shrink or contract. This phenomenon is mostly affects areas perpendicular to the wood grain while negligible along the grain direction.

Engineered wood floors use a plywood base (aks substrate) in which the layers are arranged perpendicular to each other, to reduce swelling and shrinking (expanding and contracting) effect and make it more resistent to moisture level changes. However, large fluctuations in moisture content could still lead to possible cracks and/or gaps between the boards.

It is important that the subfloor be completely dry during and after the installation of hardwood floors. When cleaning the floor minimum water should be used on a clean cloth to wipe the surface. The surrounding moisture (relative humidity) is not subject to large fluctuations and should be kept between 40 to 60 percent.