Humidity and wood floor infographic

Now that spring is here in Missouri, you are most likely turning off your furnace from the winter and preparing to turn on your air conditioning as the heat of summer approaches. If you have hardwood flooring in your home, there are a few things you need to know about how humidity affects hardwood.

Hardwood flooring is a porous material, making it extremely vulnerable to humidity. Moisture causes hardwood to expand and contract, and this happens when seasons change. Now that we are in the transition from winter to spring/summer, it is a great time to pay attention to this movement your floors may experience.

The experts at JRK Flooring, a hardwood floor company in Jackson County and a leading wood flooring refinishing company, will share a few tips and information about humidity to keep your hardwood floors in excellent condition.

  • Hardwood and Winter
    During this past winter in Missouri, we experienced some frigid temperatures and snowstorms, forcing us to turn on our furnace to stay warm. However, when a home is heated, the humidity levels drop, causing the wood to shrink from side to side, resulting in gaps. 
  • Hardwood and Summer
    Where low humidity levels in the winter cause shrinkage in floorboards, the excess humidity in the summer cause the opposite to happen. When humidity levels are high, wood expands, resulting in cupping. Cupping is when the edges of the floorboard are higher than the center.
  • Acceptable Humidity Levels
    As a hardwood floor company, we are often asked by customers who experience expansion and contraction of their floorboards how to fix it. Because humidity and moisture is the culprit, it is good to know the safe humidity range for your wood floors. Many hardwood flooring experts for suggest keeping the humidity in your home anywhere between 35% and 55%.

JRK Flooring suggests purchasing a humidistat or hydrometer to check the humidity levels in your home. If you notice high levels, then turn up the air conditioning, and if you need to raise the humidity, try a humidifier. Additionally, never regularly clean your hardwood floors with water! Professionals at a hardwood refinishing company in Jackson County like JRK Flooring can recommend proper cleaning products to use instead.


If you notice humidity-related problems due to seasonal changes with your hardwood floors, contact JRK Flooring today for more advice about how to go about repairing these issues before they become an even bigger problem.