How to Protect Wide Plank Hardwood Floors from Humidity

With summer comes trips to the beach, days off from school, and….humidity.

Did you know that excessive humidity can damage your wide plank hardwood floors by causing them to expand and split out? This is especially a threat if your floors are installed in a home near the beach, as coastal areas tend to experience more dramatic changes in humidity.

That’s not all. Summer brings a few other threats that could leave your floors looking a bit lackluster.

How does someone protect their hardwood from not only expanding, but other possible summer-related threats to wide plank floors? We’ll share three simple tips you can use to keep your wide plank floors looking great this summer and for many summers to come.

Consider installing a humidity control system

One of the best safeguards against humidity and expansion is the ability to control the humidity in the interior of your home. Though it is an added cost, an indoor humidity control system can save you money in the long run, and it is a far better alternative to the potential damages caused by Installing a humidity control system may help prevent wide plank floor humidity problemsunmitigated humidity, which may call for the reinstallation of your flooring if the humidity fluctuations are particularly extreme.

An added benefit of having a complete humidity control system is that it can help you control humidity not just during the summer, but during the wintertime as well, when boards are prone to contracting in response to the extra-dry air.

It’s important to note that a humidity control system or a similar system such as a dehumidifier attached to your furnace can only go so far. There are limitations to what these systems can do, and they may not be able to prevent issues in your flooring if your home has a problem with excessive moisture.

Opt for engineered wide plank flooring

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Pictured: “Southport Fishing Village” White Oak

Another failsafe would be to install engineered flooring instead of solid hardwood. Wide plank hardwood floors are especially vulnerable to changes in humidity due to their width. Opting for an engineered wide plank floor would help restrict the expansion and contraction of the floor because engineered wood is more stable than solid hardwood flooring.

You can choose from a variety of stains for engineered wide plank floors. Whitewashed and graywashed wide plank floors are especially popular for beach homes, making an engineered floor with one of these finishes a great choice for accentuating the cabana-esque aesthetic appeal of an already breathtaking ocean front exterior.

Be mindful of sand and salt

Two more threat that could potentially damage your wide plank flooring are salt and sand. Both salt and sand are gritty, abrasive materials that can and will damage the finish of your wide plank Sand and salt can damage the finish on your wide plank floorshardwood floor, especially with increased foot traffic during the summer. Damage caused by salt andsand can be prevented using simple tools such as doormats and runners.

The combination of salt and sand with foot traffic essentially turns every step into sandpaper, and simply wiping your feet before entering the home can neutralize any damage, potentially saving you thousands in the costs to repair a damaged finish.

Using runners and doormats with diligence and removing your shoes by the entryways or––better yet, outside––can change how quickly your wide plank wood flooring finish deteriorates by minimizing the possibility of sand and salt particles traveling inside with you.

Take control and minimize damage to your wide plank floors

These simple techniques, which are not as costly as a reinstallation, have more efficacy in damage mitigation than any of the new-fangled techniques you’ll come across.

So, let’s reiterate:

  • Install a humidity control system
  • Opt for engineered wide plank flooring, especially if your area is prone to excessive humidity
  • Use doormats and runners in entryways and remove shoes upon entering the house

These are three simple, yet extremely effective steps to maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your wide plank hardwood floors this summer and during many summers to come!

Posted In: Blog, Interior Design

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