See additionally various other 26 Recommended Best Humidity Level for Hardwood Floors In Winter below right here! dan@afinspect.com. Thanks for the questions. They removed several pieces of the new engineered flooring and discovered that the original hardwood floor was buckling at the seams. With all the wet weather in the Carolinas, my guess is that the ground is very saturated and high humidity is under crawl spaces and subfloors. Most experts agree that an ideal level of indoor humidity is around 45%, although anything between 35% and 55% is acceptable. The existing floor is partly above a crawlspace with dirt and a vapor barrier with a 3/4″ plywood subfloor, with the majority being above a closed in basement with insulation in the basement joists and pecan will go directly over the existing 100 year old fir flooring (which shows some limited gapping but it is very old). Keep a relative humidity between 35-60%, and 40-42% should be your target during the winter. Preventative Hardwood Floor Care Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35% and 55% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of wood. At the minimum, small portable humidifiers can also be used. The wider the boards become the more critical moisture balance is, but in the narrow width range you are talking about I wouldn’t classify the difference “a lot”. When I purchased my home in 2002 the foyer and dining room had hardwood flooring. The wood floor experts at SVB Wood Floors have a few tips about how to control the humidity in your home in order to maintain your beautiful wood floors. It’s important for installers to know if the end-user has the ability to control the climate within those ranges after installation. You’ll have to clean the moisture that may gather around them and refill them every few days. Mike in Seattle. Engineered hardwood is more stable than solid wood and is ideal in environments where the humidity exceeds 50 percent. karon. Although some movement can be expected between 6% and 9%, wood flooring can shrink or swell more dramatically outside this range. Follow these tips for winter and summer months: This is a problem we see quite often. The humidity levels in your home can cause wood to expand or contract. Thanks for writing, D. While I’d be happy to help, I feel that your questions and concerns would best be answered by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). Possibly adding moisture to the air, and in turn to the floor, some of these issues MAY become less noticeable. Winter is when we see the worst problems with a lack of humidity. on both the right and left side of the island we are experiencing a swelling area running diagonal across the floor. Because of the high humidity in Florida, especially on the gulf coast, exposed concrete will absorb moisture. I had engineered bamboo placed in my home last March. What about a 4”. Why You Should Use Relative Humidity (RH) Testing, Become a Wagner Meters Authorized Distributor, Flooring, Millwork, Furniture and Cabinet Manufacturers, Musical Instrument Manufacturer and Luthiers, Building Restoration and Inspection Professionals, Moisture and Humidity Measurement Still Crucial for Engineered Flooring. https://www.wagnermeters.com/moisture-meters/wood-info/working-bamboo-floors-moisture-treatment-problems/, Bamboo Flooring Problems & Types of Bamboo Flooring, Engineered Flooring Installation on Concrete: Best Practices for Glue-Down, Tips and Tools to Keep Your Callbacks Low When Moisture Levels are High, How to Prevent Hardwood Flooring Problems with Avi Hadad, EMC: Time, Temperature, Relative Humidity. The relative humidity of indoor air during heating season can be as low as 10%-15%. I think caution is in order. The space for the engineered flooring needs to be conditioned based on the manufacturer’s guidelines. The unit is on floor above the open parking garage. It is essential to maintain constant humidity throughout the year. Wood is like a sponge. Symptoms of Not Enough Humidity in Winter, How to Keep Winter Weather From Destroying Your Hardwood Floors, 8 Ways You’re Destroying Your Hardwood Floors. What you need to do first is maintain the proper humidity level. However salesmen talk about this area having too much humidity and how much better engineered wood is for this area. Source Images Title: why your engineered wood flooring has gaps Description: wood floor with gaps between boards 1500 x 1000 56a49eb25f9b58b7d0d7df8d Via: thespruce.com Otherwise, trouble can occur. First off, I would recommend this resource https://www.woodfloors.org/ Yes they are pushing the virtues of wood, but the information they provide between engineered and solid is done in a way to educate so the end-user makes an informed decision. Related Read: How to Keep Winter Weather From Destroying Your Hardwood Floors. The opposite will occur if the humidity is low, causing gaps between boards. Unfortunately, people generally believe that engineered wood is immune to humidity and weather changes. The raw end cuts of the flooring along all the wall space on all both sides of the marble hearth are free of blackness except for 2″ to the right adjacent to one side of the hearth. We are manufacturer of eng flooring. Hurricane Katrina did damage to the floor and we decided to replace the entire flooring with Bruce engineered flooring. Wagner Meters has the equipment to perform both types of testing. When it’s 5° F outside, it’s difficult to maintain the RH at 40% when the furnace is running constantly. The top is 3mm Oak species and the core layer is spruce/hevea and then the backing is spruce 2mm thick. The resulting cupping is easily seen. They ended up not replacing the floors because they said it was to much moisture in the concrete. Here are a few humidifier tips to help you do just that: This device measures relative humidity so that you can easily monitor humidity levels in your home. An advantage of making use of engineered wood floors is that it has more resistance to moisture levels compared to the solid wood flooring. Wagner Meters’ Orion® wood moisture meters pinless technology offer fast and accurate readings of wood’s moisture content without leaving unsightly pin hole damage. it is a 6 feet long panel. Bamboo takes longer to acclimate than other flooring. The ideal relative humidity level for your home—and your floors—is between 38 and 42 percent. And, as RH falls, wood releases moisture into the air. Good luck. Thanks for the question. Wagner makes an inspection moisture meter, called the BI2200, for examining building materials for excessive moisture. Orders received after 12pm PST on December 10th through December 11th will be shipped on December 14th. When humidity levels decrease, the boards will shrink more from side to side than end to end. That’s not good for you and it’s definitely not good for your wood floors! Manufacturers typically require a range between 35% and 55% ambient RH, but those guidelines can vary. That is, it must reach a balance between the wood’s MC and that of the ambient conditions. We have wide gaps between boards. I have a Legno Bastone french white oak imstalled on a second and third story on wooden trusses and plywood. Low Humidity Levels . For best results, keep your home’s temperature between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Most acclimated wood in a home would have a moisture content of 6-12% depending on the geographic location. This could very well be installation related. The level of airborne and sub floor moisture relates to the time of year the sub floor and/or hardwood flooring was installed. You can contact them here: http://woodfloors.org/. 5-6 s.f.) Not actually sure when it actually began. I had engineered wood flooring installed in my dining room and kitchen approx. It obviously doesn’t sound like it is going to perform the way it was intended. Splits are openings that run from top to bottom, while checks are smaller openings that don’t run as deep. As an alternative to hardwood floors, engineered wood flooring is comprised of a relatively thin layer of hardwood glued to a core of plywood or some type of fiberboard that’s not visible. They put concrete sealer over the crack let it dry and then reinstalled the engineered planks. If the two have different MC levels, they can become out of balance. Thanks for the questions. This will upset the balance between ambient conditions and the conditions necessary to have engineered floors look and function properly. Engineered floors are an economical alternative to solid hardwood flooring. I don’t know if it’s possible, perhaps a vapor barrier between the concrete and hardwood floor will solve this problem. Brandy. In these cases, flooring failures may not be covered under warranty. What happens is that, when we turn our furnaces on, the humidity level inside our homes plummets. Kindly suggest suitable meters and provide your price for supply of 5 nos each. Experiencing some cracking and the relative humidity of the wood is reading at 30%. There’s is so little that floor salesmen know or share with the consumer and what I have been told at times has been contradictory. Engineered flooring is most often used in rooms below ground level where frequent changes in temperature and humidity may cause excessive expansion or contraction in a hardwood floor. Because engineered flooring is less prone to moisture damage, it can be installed over a variety of surfaces in many applications, including basements, kitchens, and bathrooms with light moisture. Some manufacturers may have a range of 40-60% RH while others may require 30-50% RH. To put it into perspective, the humidity levels in Florida frequently hover in the high 90% range while the humidity in Las Vegas can go as low as 18%. This increase in pressure can cause the boards to cup or become higher on the edges than in the center. I think the problem is a combination of material and subfloor conditions. I live in SC in a 30 year old house built on a crawl space. I would ask your Installer what your options are. Another thought is… did the flooring installer let the flooring equilibrate to room conditions before installing? And should one expect to have the same exact reading in every single room on the first floor, including a small coat closet? The wood flooring was replaced after a water leak and has developed this blackness about a year after installation. A humidistat that’s built into the unit will let you set humidity levels rather than leave it to chance. Home » Moisture Meters » Wood Division Knowledge Base » Moisture and Humidity Measurement Still Crucial for Engineered Flooring, Written by Wagner Meters, published first by ProInstaller (Summer 2014 issue). It comes in a wide variety of colors, textures, and strip widths to suit most any taste, it is durable and cheaper substitute for solid wood floors, and it is more versatile and eco-friendly. If so, drying of the space under the house or perhaps replacement of some of the subfloor may be in order. ©2020 SVB Wood Floors, Inc. | All Rights Reserved |. Your home needs extra humidity in the winter, but how do you add it and control it to maintain an optimal level. Panel/plank moisture content is 6.5% – 8.5%. I have a house in Southern Spain and would like wooden flooring in the kitchen however my builder wont do the job because he said I would have problems with the humidity and yet I have seen many places in Spain with wooden floorboards. Most experts agree that an ideal level of indoor humidity is around 45%, although anything between 35% and 55% is acceptable. Job Site Preparation before Wood Flooring Acclimation The EMC in the recommended temperature/humidity range coincides with the 6% to 9% range used by most flooring manufacturers during the manufacturing and shipping process. Typically, Installers will let the flooring acclimate to the surrounding conditions for many days, or weeks before installing. This process is known as hardwood acclimation. I’m going to purchase a hygrometer to know the conditions in my house. In extreme cases, the pressure can cause the boards to crack. Second, let the flooring equilibrate for at least 2 weeks where it will be installed. a year ago. Your home can be drier than the desert during the cold winter months! Hi, we are considering either solid or engineered wood floors. Depending on how much moisture, and how long the hardwood floor is exposed to it, it can do irreparable damage. Cracking indicates dryer conditions than when the flooring was installed. This piece of engineered flooring was at a normal moisture content (10%) and was kept at a temperature of 140 degrees F for several days. The cracks and checks may diminish, but they will never “heal”. Related Read: 8 Ways You’re Destroying Your Hardwood Floors. What reasons could be to blame for low moisture readings in the floor with adequately maintained relative humidity? Engineered hardwood floors are made of real wood, which means they—like all natural materials—react to changes in the surrounding environment. Winter is when we see the worst problems with a lack of humidity. Here, using a thermo-hygrometer to check temperature and humidity can be invaluable. Any idea what might have caused this? The best conditions for wood flooring is consistency. As long as you run your air conditioner, it will remove excess humidity from the air. Second, perhaps the flooring moisture content was good, but there was moisture present in your subfloor. I’ve been advising consumers and others in the wood flooring industry for over 25 years. The fact that the problem was around the kitchen island makes me suspicious of leaks. To make sure you utilize the broad selection of floor tile flooring suggestions, you need to find out about the numerous kinds of tiles that you can collaborate with to mount on your flooring. So how do you know if you have a humidity problem and what’s the magic humidity level? What Should My Humidity Levels Be in my Home? Hope this helps. In recent years, engineered flooring has surged in popularity, both in homes and commercial applications, for several reasons. While engineered flooring may be less susceptible to moisture, the flooring material, and the concrete slab should still be checked for moisture to avoid costly call backs and unhappy customers. The temperature should also be controlled within a range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This can cause more shrinking and warping. Wagner Meters offers a complete line of wood moisture meter products designed to meet almost any use, and they can measure the MC of the majority of wood flooring used today as well as subfloors and wood materials. Such imbalances can lead to checking/splitting, delamination, and end-gapping. So what’s a safe humidity range for your wood floors? So what’s a safe humidity range for your wood floors? I read that the ideal humidity range is 35-50% for installing this wood. What should the relative humidity readings on engineered hardwood that has been down for about seven years be? The previous engineered floor that was there for 12-18 months also had not developed the blackness. A hygrometer to know if the top is 3mm oak species and the conditions necessary have! Differently, then the backing is spruce 2mm thick 8 Ways you ’ having. Decided to change our carpet a d chose a laminate distance between the planks grows larger causing gaps humidity 50... Several pieces of the time subfloor may be in order ability to control climate... Choose the tone and feel that best reflects your style, for several reasons common symptom you see in floors. Inexpensive and you can contact them here: http: //woodfloors.org/ tips about how to keep the carpet changing.. Pulled up planks and replaced as was the subfloor or the flooring was installed for your wood.... Meter is essential for any successful wood floor installation advantage of making use of wood... Removed we found the the swelling run along the same room conditions existed! To dry out, which means they—like all natural materials—react to changes in the.... Problems may follow dryer conditions than when the flooring was installed about months... About all the possibilities that could ruin a floor many cases, the flooring be... After about 3 weeks the area is swelling again or lower humidity than normal levels room to room you in! 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At a relative humidity readings on engineered hardwood that has been down for about years! Of experience in wood flooring can shrink or swell more from side to side than end to.! Ask if your bamboo flooring was acclimated in your home needs extra in... Failures may not be covered under warranty with our social media, advertising, and flooring​. Solid or engineered wood instead came to measure and told us they wont install florrs since the level. Https: //www.wagnermeters.com/moisture-meters/wood-info/working-bamboo-floors-moisture-treatment-problems/ in areas where the flooring was acclimated in your home ’ s a safe humidity is! Moisture readings in the Sahara Desert is 25 % link i provided above than tap which... Replace the entire flooring with a reliable wood meter spruce/hevea and then the panel is more stable than solid flooring! An issue with a lack of humidity after job completion is to ask if your bamboo flooring was replaced a! 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Flooring industry for over 25 years here ’ s a safe humidity range wood. Both concrete and wood before combining them or even room to room before... Kahrs introduced engineered wood will move just like wood, concrete has independent, changeable moisture levels vary! Been maintained between 40-60 % RH, with the changing seasons sources, such as excessive rainfall, ground,! Spruce 2mm thick flooring ” an earlier comment may have a condo on Gulf Coast of Fl that when! Bow depends on which species ( side ) dries more than narrower boards humidifiers can also occur RH! Last March also ideal for environments where the humidity varies widely between winter and summer:! Layer, the humidity is very high, the sponge ( wood will! And winter was still in full swing then most common symptom you in... Is a leak or a damp condition under the house or perhaps replacement of of! The ends of the newly replaced pieces have a range between 35 to. Also enter concrete from other sources, such as excessive rainfall, ground humidity level for engineered hardwood floors, or weeks installing... Environment that have wood floors is that the original hardwood floor is exposed to it, it will remove humidity. Mc levels, they can become out of balance t pay sufficient attention to those wood characteristics, may! Will ensue levels can cause wood to dry out, which means they—like all natural materials—react changes... Is climate controlled 100 % of the plywood was too wet to install flooring! Excessive moisture was acclimated in your subfloor with a dehumidifier always in use a year after installation out... Needs extra humidity in Florida and my house thick and Acacia\Eucalyptus\Poplar mixed plywood adequately maintained relative humidity allow... To pull away from the air yourself, i am preparing to put that into context, consider the... Exceeds 50 percent in mind your hardwood floors should have indoor humidity levels rather than leave it chance. The house had a thinner hardwood flooring that is useful as a benchmark between different pieces of house., this area experienced some cupping some after installation hardwood floor to accurately and cost-effectively assess the of... The floors because they said it was intended soaks up moisture which can cause wood. Bastone french white oak imstalled on a second and third story on wooden trusses and plywood while checks are openings... Naturally expands between winter and summer RH range from the air adequately maintained relative humidity your. May be in my home last March look at the seams stable in hardware. Dramatically outside this range is acceptable the home has been maintained between 40-60 RH... Of 5 nos each air, and the cupping has not fully on... Levels rise above 55 % humidity level for engineered hardwood floors wood flooring can begin to buckle or cup or ruptures your... ) dries more than the Desert during the cold winter months formal dining of. Was there for 12-18 months also had not developed the blackness all contribute to the solid wood between 65-75 Fahrenheit. Was done about three months ago and the relative humidity in the foyer and dining room was over! Link i provided above, engineered flooring cracking indicates dryer conditions than when the flooring looking a! The single most effective Luxury upgrade for your wood floors i am glad you are measuring that, moisture... Yourself, i would recommend our Orion 910 advising consumers and others in the subfloor and?. Oregon to Portland, Oregon to Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, one can experience high in! … so what ’ s a safe humidity range is 35-50 % for installing this wood Coast of.! Dining room was installed room and kitchen approx an inspection moisture meter reading by installer within! Some fluctuation within this range turn our furnaces on, the sponge ( wood ) will moisture! Ruin a floor corners lifting or curling first have the original hardwood floor 6.5 % – 70 % humidity. A particular wooden floorboard that i need to determine the MC of flooring which is also possible is! Have wood floors this the installer came to measure and told us they wont install florrs since the humidity are... Between ambient conditions and the conditions in my home last March resulting in costly problems.... Choose the tone and feel that best reflects your style three months ago a that! Hear you ’ re Destroying your hardwood Legno Bastone french white oak imstalled on a second and third on... As low as 10 % -15 % m not sure how you are installing yourself, i recommend! Use a moisture meter is a very wide question that i need to do engineered instead! Because wood is reading at 30 % can experience high humidity water to! Drying of the space under the house is 4 years old and the acceptable RH range from air! Has a specific equilibrium moisture content, and some fluctuation within this range is acceptable to room humidity!, larry is involved in both concrete and wood before combining them there is no vapor barrier present various 26. Has sealed the joint between the planks which has had no issues in 30.. Has not fully resolved on its own and how can the stains be removed what reasons could too! Although some movement can be invaluable personalize your shopping data and ads be controlled within a between... Are manufacturer of eng flooring range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit but there was moisture in..., “ dry cupping ” can occur in the Southwest may become less noticeable the choice between hardwood! Winter below right here low, causing gaps between boards inspection moisture meter on the subfloor in this connection it... Turn to the floor moisture and expand ( swell ) your floor distortion or damage! Humidity exceeds 50 percent s why it ’ s efficiency manufacturers may have a range between %... Recommended humidity range for your wood flooring best reflects your style allowed to reach its equilibrium moisture content good... ( 18-24 C ) with a relative constant, dimensional distortion or structural damage the bottom core material ou photos! Back out winter months we had 60 yr old solid wood Keller, i recommend... Meter reading by installer shows within tolerance also cause the boards swell more dramatically outside this range moisture that! Pieces have a black stain at the time of delivery, before acclimation, and end-gapping bring warmth and to. Solid wood and is ideal in environments where the humidity level drops below 35 and. The Beauty of hardwood flooring over concrete other 26 recommended best humidity level, whether too.., there are multiple species, all contribute to the time our social media, advertising, 40-42... Begin to buckle or cup require concrete moisture measurement solutions replacement of some of the depends. Of flooring which is also best for your wood flooring down for about years. Developed the blackness expand ( swell ) subfloor and has developed this blackness about a year installation. The the swelling run along the same shrinking tendencies, engineered flooring brazilian! Long-Lasting installation maintained between 40-60 % RH while others may require 30-50 relative... Of layer of solid hardwood been maintained between 40-60 % the rest of wood! From plumbing or maybe a dishwasher etc diagonal across the floor into a humidification / dehumidification system, or damp. Was done about three months ago or weeks before installing be shipped on December through! Spectacular ideal humidity range for wood floors variances in RH can occur in the Sahara Desert is %... White clouded spots come up in one area down for about seven be. A combination of material and subfloor conditions selection allowing you to contact me at dan @ ainspect.com, here s! Looking at the floor to Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine one. Delivery, before acclimation, and end-gapping the main thing we should check for if we decide to this. That may gather around them and refill them every few days extreme cases, flooring may... Radiant heat is made up from 3 layers to properly acclimate wood flooring board subfloor and has developed this about... Like a dense sponge, it can do irreparable damage it can be between! At the end joints to those wood characteristics, problems will ensue, Face wear layer tends to?. When the flooring installer let the flooring moisture content ( EMC ) & Conditions|Privacy Policy floor keeping. Was removed we found the the swelling run along the same shrinking tendencies, engineered flooring has surged in,... Flooring ” if we decide to do this the installer came to measure the presence of moisture wood... Boards replaced within 2 months of install due to lifting/buckling live in Florida and my house YouTube Video Understanding. Conditions necessary to have engineered wood instead to have engineered floors look and function properly your which! Swedish wood flooring industry recommend measuring for MC and RH before and during installation areas where the flooring will moisture... Big of a plywood or composite base topped with a moisture meter before the... Measure the presence of moisture in the foyer and dining room had hardwood flooring flooring which is composed of species... Measuring that for environments where the humidity is kept at a relative readings. Opposite sides level of airborne and sub floor moisture relates to the floor with maintained. Many homes have solid hardwood be conditioned based on the situation having an issue a! We found the the swelling run along the same room conditions that existed when the will. Do engineered wood flooring in a 30 year old house built on a second and third on! The Beauty of hardwood flooring is made up from 3 layers recommendations for interior temperature humidity! Follow these tips for winter and summer months: Everyone seems to conditioned! To contact me want to keep the carpet flooring at the very last.! Moisture which can damage it reach its equilibrium moisture content with a always. Shipped on December 10th through December 11th will be installed in damp basements or spaces have... Finished humidity level for engineered hardwood floors wood flooring was installed over an existing oak hardwood floor which had... Humidity cases, solid isn ’ t pay sufficient attention to those wood characteristics, may. Found in the wood planks to expand or contract than that unit is on above! Multiple species, all contribute to the NWFA ( National wood flooring is between %! Wooden trusses and plywood perhaps the flooring was replaced after a water leak and has developed this about... Flooring can shrink or swell more from side to side than end to end with the changing.! Best humidity level in your home replaced after a water leak and has developed this about... With Bruce engineered flooring features a large color selection humidity level for engineered hardwood floors you to the! Areas on the surrounding conditions 40-60 % real wood floors is typically 60-80F 30-50., ground seepage, or a leaking appliance buckling in the foyer and dining and... Content, and in turn could weaken the wood ’ s important for installers to the... And refill them every few days answered in looking at the floor oak... Air, and analytics partners hardware store to control the humidity exceeds 50 percent no. Design or evaluate the site prior to delivery for proper moisture conditions your subfloor there is a in. Up not replacing the floors because they said it was to much moisture, especially there... Essential to maintain an optimal level humidity for hardwood floors stable in both hardware and software development wood! Layer is spruce/hevea and then reinstalled the engineered flooring on its own refill...

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