Humidity and Flooring
This is a general guideline for ALL products. Temperatures in Saskatchewan can fluctuate by as much as 20 degrees in a matter of hours, making where we live one of the most challenging places on the planet when it comes to humidity control. Both temperature and humidity can have a big effect on your new and old flooring.
First and foremost, humidity is always the responsibility of the homeowner and anyone thinking of buying flooring should educate themselves on what levels are required in order to keep their floors in great shape.
What Should The Humidity Levels Be?
For hard surfaces such as wood, laminate and luxury vinyl plank/tile (LVP/LVT), you should aim to keep humidity levels in your home between 35% and 55% at all times (40-50 is the optimum). When your humidity is above or below the optimum range, your floor will let you know by making noise when you walk on it, and by gapping or buckling.
High Humidity Levels
If the humidity goes above 55% (usually in the summer), reduce it by using a dehumidifier. Turning the air conditioning up/on will also help. Too much moisture can cause the floor to swell and the boards to warp or cup. This is true for both solid hardwood and engineered wood. While engineered tends to be more stable than solid, it is still susceptible to moisture, albeit less. Laminate can also warp, and vinyl plank can buckle.
Low Humidity Levels
If the humidity drops below 35% (usually in the winter), you need to raise the level. Low levels can cause the wood to dry out which causes gapping as it contracts, or it could lead the floor to split along the grain (known as checking). If you do need to raise the humidity level, try a humidifier to boost the overall moisture in the room. Newer homes have humidifiers attached to the furnace.
Maintaining Humidity Levels
Use a hygrometer to check the humidity levels in rooms where you have wood or laminate. These are available from most home centers at little cost. Keep an eye on the hygrometer and if the humidity level falls much below 35% in the winter or above 55% in the summer, then you need to make adjustments as above.
Remember, Manufacturers Do Not Cover Humidity Issues
By maintaining the humidity levels in your home, it will help to keep your floor looking as good as the day it was installed and remember, manufacturers DO NOT cover humidity issues. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the team at ET Flooring & Design and we would be happy to help!
E.T. Flooring & Design
305 A 38th St E,
Prince Albert, SK, S6W 1A5
Monday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Tuesday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Wednesday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Thursday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Friday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Saturday 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM