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Hardwood Flooring Installation: Do it in Winter!

Hardwood Flooring Installation: Do it in Winter!

While hardwood flooring has been in existence for over three centuries, there is still quite a lot that people don’t know about its characteristics. For one, did you know that it is recommended to install said flooring during the winter? Well, it is. And today we shall unravel just why that is so by breaking down the many advantages:

The winter humidity is perfect for an installation
Flooring experts insist that low humidity, therefore low moisture, is vital during wood floor installation for the following reasons:

• The wrap and buckle effect caused by residual floor moisture will ruin the aesthetic appeal of the floor while making it look uneven.
• High moisture setting catalyzes mildew and mold growth

Before embarking on setting up that new floor, it is therefore important to keep in mind that while air moisture content is lower during winter as opposed to summer; certain places are humid all year round. Here’s a simple technique you can use to check if the moisture content is just right:

Apply duct tape on the subfloor in question then place a plastic sheet around it. Let it sit for a couple of days then lift the sheet to see if the underside is moist; if so, then that’s a red flag not to proceed with the installation. You can, however, use a dehumidifier to lower humidity level particularly if the subfloor is constantly moist.

Let the boards acclimatize
It is important that floorboards acclimatize with the new humidity levels and ambient temperature, therefore let the boxes sit in the installation room for preferably 10 days. If you opt not to take them out of the box, be sure to leave it open for fresh air circulation.

Hardwood flooring expands
I’m sure this will come as a surprise to many, but just like most organic matter; wood expands in conditions of high humidity or high temperature and contracts in dry conditions or low temperatures. This is due to the vertical tree trunk vessels tasked with water transportation that still remain intact even when the tree is cut. As a result, if the room air is damp, the said tubes are filled with water absorbed by the wood causing an overall increase in the size of the whole hardwood board.

The above pointers are vital and failure to adhere to them can result in an unappealing end product which might necessitate a reinstallation, hence extra costs, therefore be wary. Always take into account temperature levels and humidity before beginning installation.

man is repairing the floor in the house, laminate flooring in the style of old boards

man is repairing the floor in the house, laminate flooring in the style of old boards

Experts have also found that a summer installation can be a cumbersome affair as the wood is “swollen” making spacing the floorboards an uphill task. Moreover, if closely knitted together, the boards could leave unappealing gaps when they contract during winter.

However, there is a downside to a winter installation as well as leaving no spaces in-between the boards could lead to cracking later on as the boards try to expand. Therefore, professional hardwood flooring installation dictates that little gaps should be left between boards to allow for expansion when the temperatures soar.

Winter offers the perfect timing
It is a lot easier to get installers to do the work over winter than it is during summer hence another reason why you should install the floor at this time of the year. What’s more, it’s the perfect time for a vacation meaning you can have the whole process done and dusted while you’re away. Laying the hardwood floors and wall painting is painstaking and troubling whilst living in the same house so if you get a trustworthy installer, it’s best the installation be done in your absence.

Moreover, renovation works require some level of patience which is hopefully in abundance during the winter season. Therefore, the process will be completed accurately without the need to rush. Also, people tend to be more welcoming over the holidays, so it’s the best time to put up at your friends’ or family’s while the hardwood floor is being installed.

In a nutshell, there is no better time to install your wood floor than during winter. The process becomes simpler and faster as the boards shrink in size from the dryness and coldness of the air. And better yet, your friends and family always have their door open in the spirit of the holiday cheer. So, plan accordingly.


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