How Climate Effects Hardwood Flooring

Isn’t it great to have these comfortable days  when the humidity isn’t so overbearing? My friend had a great response when I mentioned that I didn’t “remember it being so hot when I ran around all summer.” He said – “Yeah, because you were young and didn’t complain as much.”


Humidity and Hardwood Flooring are not friends. Double trouble if you get any kind of sitting water or leaks and plumbing problems (and if you do, check for lingering moisture after they clean up).

With the focus today being wide plank Hardwood Floors, the general level of humidity in a home is a major consideration. Prior to an install, a professional Hardwood Flooring contractor should always do a moisture-meter test to ensure the temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees (pretty normal) and relative humidity from 30% to 50%. This is especially important when installing wide plank hardwood floors.


Anything over 3 1/4” wide can be problematic.

Throughout the seasons the floors can expand and contract causing unsightly gaps or sometimes even buckling.

Certain species, especially the exotic ones, are more touchy than oak or pine would be.

The wider the plank the more susceptible it is to expansion and contraction. I’m sure some of you who represent new home builders have noticed them using or recommending engineered wide plank flooring. And obviously it’s more cost-effective than solid so that always helps.

This is why you can’t install solid hardwood flooring in a basement. Firstly, you can’t nail into the concrete slab and the floor would exist in an area where the level of humidity can be very volatile. Even as a hardwood flooring guy I must say, you’re much better with LVP or carpet down there.


Waterproof hardwood flooring has been around for a little while now but I can’t say it has caught on here in the Philly Metro Area. Like engineered, it’s a veneer of wood but with a mineral core which stabilized it. 

In these humid times, let your people know to keep their eyes on the ambient relative humidity so to avoid Hardwood Flooring headaches. If they don’t have wide plank hardwood flooring but want some, tell them who to call…