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Are Hardwood Floors a Good Fit For All Climates?

One of the best materials for flooring is wood. Hardwood floors have been a staple of flooring ever since humans began building shelters with floors. It makes sense, since there are trees everywhere, and wood is a durable substance. But does that mean hardwood flooring is the best option for you? Well, it really depends on your climate.

What to Know About Hardwood Floors and Climates

The Moisture In The Air

If you’re concerned about whether hardwood flooring is the right option for you, the main thing you need to be concerned about is the moisture in the air. Humidity might not seem like an important thing to worry about, especially when it comes to flooring, but it could not be more important. The reason for this is because moisture is the number one killer of floors, and the cause of most flooring problems. For hardwood flooring, changes in the humidity and moisture levels can lead to extreme problems such as buckling, cracking, cupping, warping, and more. These problems exist in the winter time, too, so it’s not like this is a problem unique to the Nashville area, humid though it may be. 

Setting Hardwood Flooring for Success

If you live in a particularly humid place, or an area with a lot of moisture in the air, and still want hardwood flooring, don’t worry. The material can be used in your home or office with only a little bit of extra work. The key is to monitor the humidity levels of the air in the building. This can be done through the use of a humidifier, or by carefully monitoring the AC and doing your best to seal anywhere air is liable to escape. The rule of thumb for humidity levels should be between 30-50% humidity. Additionally, the humidity level can be a little lower during the winter time and a little higher during the summer time, to account for the natural changes in the air. 

That being said, there are certain types of hardwood flooring that are fine beyond this range; engineered hardwood flooring, for example.

Alternative Flooring Options

If that doesn’t sound like it is a feasible option, there are alternatives to hardwood flooring that check a lot of the same boxes without the extra work. Laminate plank flooring, for example, can be styled into a virtually undetectable facsimile, while providing an additional level of comfort beyond that of regular hardwood flooring. Due to the way the floor is installed, you don’t have to worry about the floor the way you wouldl with hardwood flooring. If you’re looking for something a bit more organic than that, bamboo flooring is a wonderful alternative, since it is coated with a special finish that protects it from moisture. 

At first glance, hardwood flooring might not be the best option in the world for every climate, but  it can work in any of them. Just keep an eye on the humidity levels, do your best to monitor the moisture, and if that doesn’t work, there are alternatives, including bamboo flooring and laminate flooring. If neither of those options are the right one, then your next step should be to call the professionals here at Ozburn-Hessey!

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