Floors Direct North – Education Centre
Humidity: Your Floors And The Golden Rules
First and foremost, humidity is always the responsibility of the home owner 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).
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. Whilst engineered tends to be more stable than solid, it is still susceptible to moisture, albeit less. Laminate can also warp.
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 but you need to make sure it is working properly.
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 levels fall much below 35% in the winter) or above 55% in
the summer, then you need make adjustments accordingly as stated above.
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.
*This sheet applies to laminate too!