Summer is one of the best seasons to complete home improvement projects. While that may be the case for most renovations, hardwood floors are a different case. Although many homeowners have more free time over the summer, the season comes with hardwood plank’s greatest enemies. Humidity, moisture, and intense exposure to sunlight can impact the installation process and the floorboard quality. Find out how you can install hardwood floorings during the hottest months of the year with this complete guide.
Humidity is one of hardwood flooring’s weaknesses because of the plank’s natural wood composition. During summer, humidity levels increase due to frequent rainstorms in the evening and warm temperatures in the mornings. In this period, more water vapors are present in the air and on the subfloor for the wooden floors to absorb during transport and installation.
Solid hardwood floors are more susceptible to the effects of humidity as they’re pure hardwood. Engineered hardwood planks have interlocking cores and structures, making them more moisture-resistant. Despite that, installing either hardwood flooring type during the summer is still problematic due to their natural absorption qualities.
To ensure an issue-free installation day, monitoring and controlling the humidity levels in your home is essential. In addition, maintaining the same levels where you stored the planks is crucial. Having less moisture in your area means reducing the possibility of swelling and cupping of your new hardwood floors.
Many remodelers and DIY homeowners use a hygrometer or advanced thermostat to track the humidity inside their homes. Unlike other options, this equipment provides accurate data on the current moisture levels and controls them throughout the installation process. Keep the area cool and well-ventilated, and consistently track them to stay within 30 to 50 percent.
The acclimation process is one of the most important steps when installing hardwood floors. Acclimation allows your planks time to adjust and react to their new environment. However, acclimating hardwood floorboards during summer is trickier. With the humidity and heat, wood strips swell more than usual and can misshape when improperly laid out.
Despite the change in size, acclimated hardwood helps installers a better insight into a floor’s expansion dimensions. Whenever you install hardwood flooring, it’s an ideal practice to leave expansion gaps between the planks and the walls. Doing this creates a safety zone for expanded floorings.
In addition, expansion gaps minimize the risks of cupping, overlapping, and damaged planks. Whether you settled on traditional solid hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood strips, letting them acclimate for at least two days will help them adapt to their surroundings.
Many homeowners focus on controlling humidity and moisture during hardwood installations so that they forget the wood’s other weaknesses. Although they’re not much of a problem when installing wooden flooring for the rest of the year, sun bleaching creates severe damage on your floors during summer. On top of that, sun damage can be more evident if you plan to install planks with dark-brown tones.
Your house gets more sunlight during the summer months, and sun rays are at their most intense. With longer days and stronger UV rays, wood bleaches, sun damage, and pigment fading can be problematic. Shading or covering the room beforehand can help lessen the area’s exposure to the sun. Remember to keep the room well-ventilated by using curtains or covers that won’t stuff the room.
When you buy one too many hardwood planks, knowing how to store them is critical. Hardwood is a natural material that is susceptible to any damage. Depending on the factors present and their exposure, it can affect their quality, appearance, and functionality.
Proper hardwood plank storage preserves and protects your extra wood strips until you need to use them. Even when acclimated, spare hardwood can expand or contract, depending on the storage’s condition. Overly dry or moist environments can change their shape and appeal.
When you store spare hardwood planks, ensure that the space is cool, clean, and well-ventilated. It’s also better to have it in a room with controlled humidity levels and little to no sunlight exposure. You can also ask your trusted professional hardwood flooring services for advice, especially if you have exotic or high-maintenance hardwood floorboards.
Putting elevated placements on the place you’ll store the planks is also helpful. They maintain the quality and keep them safe from scratches or scuffs. You can also wrap them in plastic or cloth to protect them from external influences.
Hardwood flooring installation is never an easy task, especially during summer. While there are more challenges when laying out your new wooden floors, they’re manageable. The best way to avoid any issues when doing your project is to understand the weaknesses of hardwood floors. In doing so, you’ll know how to control humidity changes, protect the area from sun damage, and prepare the planks before installation.
Learn more with the help of the best hardwood flooring services in Austin today. Contact Kelly Hardwood Floors now!
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