Solid timer floors, the so-called solid floorboard, are natural products and their properties include expansion and contraction, depending on the change in air humidity. These changes are often noticeable. For example, during warm and humid summers, wood expands (swells) and, in winter, when the air in the house is dry, wood shrinks, creating gaps between individual elements. This phenomenon is referred to as the seasonal size change, which is specific to all wood species. However, it is easy to learn how to adjust the humidity in a house or flat to minimise these changes so that they are completely unnoticeable.
In winter, when houses are heated and the air in rooms is dry, humidity sometimes drops to 30%, or even lower. In such conditions, wood starts to release the contained moisture and, as a result, it “dries”.
Depending on the type of floor, small gaps may appear between floor planks or boards. The gaps in a parquet floor usually occur as soon as the humidity level of less than 45%. However, this should not be a cause for concern.
In spring, the dry microclimate in the room will change to humid; the gaps will be closed. The only issue here is the aesthetics of the floor. However, gaps between individual parquet planks can be avoided provided that air humidification is used inside the building throughout the dry period. For this purpose, special air humidifiers are used; these are designed to handle different room volumes. The humidity in the room should be between 45% and 60%. It is a comfortable humidity level for the human body. Therefore, installation of an air humidifier at home not only increases the durability and quality of your floor, but also improves your health and the health of your family.
WE RECOMMEND THE USE OF PROFESSIONAL HUMIDIFIERS AVAILABLE AT DISTRIBUTION POINTS.
DO NOT USE ULTRASOUND OR OTHER MIST HUMIDIFIERS OFFERED IN SUPERMARKETS DUE TO THEIR VERY POOR HUMIDIFICATION QUALITY AND DEPOSITION OF WATER SCALE ON THE FLOOR AND HOME APPLIANCES.
In summer, when the weather is warm and humid, the humidity in rooms can reach up to 95%. Then, wood starts to absorb moisture and expands as a result. If a solid timber floor is exposed to very damp air within a few days, a visible effect of cupping (“waves”) may occur; the side edges of the floor planks rise, and the centre of the plank remains below the edges. The same effect can be observed when the floor is flooded with water unless it is immediately and completely removed to dry the floor (wood absorbs water).
It is very important that the humidity in the room does not exceed 60% during the installation and use of the floor. Optimal humidity is 50%. In order to ensure such a level of humidity, it is necessary to install an air conditioner or an air dehumidifier (humidity absorber). In particularly difficult cases, when the wood on the floor absorbs too much moisture, there is a lack of space for the floorboards to expand. In this case, they push against the opposite walls, and the high stresses inside the wood may be the reason for the appearance of longitudinal gaps in the parquet floorboard.
If cupping appears on the floor, first of all you should find a source of moisture as soon as possible and remove it. The causes can be various, e.g. leaking water in the basement, poorly installed stormwater drainage or a high level of humidity just in the room due to weather conditions (the most frequent situation).
Once the source of moisture is removed, cupping usually disappears. Moderate cupping disappears completely because the wood dries naturally, which can take from a few to six months. In case of significant cupping, the original state of the wood is usually not restored. After drying, gaps will remain between the floorboards due to wood deformation. When renovating, it may be necessary to sand the floor completely and reapply the protective coating. Before renovating, make sure the floor is completely dry and the moisture content is appropriate.
Should you encounter any problems with your floor, please contact your local PARKIET HAJNÓWKA distributor for assistance before taking any action.