Preparing for Hardwood Flooring
Proper site conditions that must be met prior to hardwood material delivery and installation are as follows and are required to avoid failing floors:
1. Relative humidity is between 35-55%. It must be ensured that the humidifier is active and HVAC system is on and running properly. Please see the picture depicting the issues that can occur if Relative Humidity (moisture) is too high or too low:
2. All windows and siding are installed.
3. Downspouts are installed moving water away from the house.
4. Painting is completed and dry.
5. Basement is over 30 days old.
If the conditions are not met what can happen includes but is not limited to: separation, buckling, and cracking (cracks).
Color: Beach House
Cupping takes place when the sides of the boards become higher than the center – it becomes bowed or curved in shape. This picture is an example of hardwood flooring in a room that has been affected by high humidity.
Delamination issues usually occurs when one or more layers on an engineered floor separates. Here are two examples of what delamination looks like under dry conditions.
Gapping occurs when wood floors lose their moisture content. These are examples of gapping under dry conditions with engineered floor.
Hardwood flooring enhances the appearance, style and versatility of your home decor, it "should" increase the value of your home. Make sure your hardwood flooring is installed correctly and is maintained under the right humidity to prevent cupping, delamination, and gapping to take place.
Have you had cupping, delamination, or gapping occur on your hardwood flooring? Leave a comment below and share some of your experiences.