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Choosing the Right Flooring for Nashville’s Hot, Humid Climate

Woman turning on air conditioning.

Nashville is a city known for many things, but its summer heat and humidity are nobody’s favorite features. If you’re looking for new flooring in the Nashville area, you need to take the climate into consideration to ensure your floors last and perform as they should. 

Choosing the Right Flooring for Nashville’s Humid Weather

How Weather Affects Flooring

Floors are exposed to a lot, from high foot traffic to spills—but the only constant stress they’re under is the air. Warm summer air in Nashville holds a great deal of moisture. While you can’t see it, this moisture adds up, especially as it settles onto or into your flooring. Almost any material, be it concrete, hardwood, or carpet, is affected by warm, humid air. Materials expand when heated, and that expansion can become even more intense if the material is porous and absorbs humidity. In hardwood flooring or laminate, moisture absorption and heat can lead to warping and unsightly swelling. Determining the best flooring for a humid climate is simple—it’s opting for options that are the least affected by the temperature and moisture content in the air. It can be tempting to choose engineered hardwood flooring in your Nashville home or business because it’s affordable and stylish, but it’s the most negatively impacted by humidity. 

Best Floors for Nashville Heat and Humidity

So if engineered hardwood isn’t the best bet, what is the best flooring for hot and humid climates? Let’s think of the most humid room in a home: the bathroom. Tile is a very popular choice for bathrooms because it’s non-porous and waterproof, eliminating the risk of mold or moisture damage to the home’s subfloor. Tile works well in other rooms of the home or in a commercial space as well, from kitchens to entryways. In a similar vein, concrete flooring is a durable option because of its hardness. While slightly affected by ambient temperature, concrete is still very hardy and adaptable to temperature and humidity fluctuations. This makes concrete a great choice for basement floors, kitchens, garages, and outdoor spaces. When you can’t control the environment of an area in a humid place like Nashville, concrete is able to stand up to the elements and give you peace of mind. 

Vinyl is likely the most popular option for residential and commercial flooring in Nashville, especially due to its water-resistant qualities. When properly installed, vinyl plank flooring is waterproof, protecting the subfloor from moisture. Vinyl is also not very porous, meaning it won’t change in size much from even extreme heat or humidity. Vinyl flooring is durable and resistant to a great deal of foot traffic, and it’s a softer, more affordable option than tile flooring. 

Fortunately for us, modern technology has made many flooring options possible even in the harshest, hottest summer weather. Hardwood flooring is popular in Nashville for its aesthetic quality, and it’s been used for hundreds of years in the city. The main reason for hardwood working in Nashville despite our humidity is that it’s indoors. Inside, we can exert a great deal of control over the air temperature and relative humidity. Thanks to innovations like dehumidifiers and improved whole-home ventilation, we can enjoy hardwoods without worrying about the outside humidity. It’s still important to monitor your home’s humidity and prepare for more humid weather. Air conditioning helps to lower the overall humidity of your home as well, so don’t be afraid to cool down your home this summer. 

In the end, choosing the right flooring for Nashville’s hot, humid climate isn’t too challenging, provided you’re ready to care for your flooring’s unique needs. If you’re ready to explore your home’s or business’ flooring options this summer, call the pros at Ozburn-Hessey.

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