Moisture can be especially troublesome with wood flooring installations because the wood will shrink and swell depending on the moisture content and the fiber saturation point. Imagine getting a beautiful brand new hardwood floor only to have the planks separate and press together causing unevenness with your floor. Because moisture can cause such significant damage to floors, it is imperative that you hire a certified and experienced installer that will properly test and address the moisture content present.
Unfortunately, we at Metro Atl. Floors have seen countless cases of wood flooring installations gone wrong because of improper reading and addressing of moisture. A good amount of these botched jobs could have been avoided if moisture would have been measure prior to installing the wood floors. Metro has even experienced flooring installations costing several thousands of dollars that need to be replaced due to moisture issues. We aren’t trying to scare you into thinking moisture is lurking behind every corner waiting to prey on your precious hardwood floor, but we want you to make it a point of emphasis when starting your home installation process. If the proper steps with measuring, addressing, and preventing moisture are taken then you can rest easy. We suggest making sure that your installer is a member of the NWFA so you can get some assurance that they are knowledgeable. Many steps involving kiln drying, milling, storage and installation are necessary for a proper floor installation. Metro will delve into specifics regarding the steps in a later blog post.
Moisture content is crucial to measure because the wood planks will swell and shrink depending on the fiber saturation point and the climate the wood is in. If there are elevated levels of moisture present then there is a likelihood of mold and decay being and issue. Issues can also arise from wood that is too dry. If the wood is dryer than the local climate conditions of where it is being installed, the wood will eventually start to swell. If the proper steps are taken an installer can predict how much the wood will expand by using the expected moisture content increase and swelling tendencies of the species. From those measurements an amount of field expansion can be calculated and prevent issues that will arise as the wood acclimates to the local climate.
If you have any questions or stories to share about moisture content please get in contact with us, or leave a comment below. There will be supplemental information coming soon about measurement and prevention of moisture, as well as other pre-installation rules.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL THE MOMS OUT THERE!