Hardwood Flooring in a Dry Environment
Do’s and Don’ts
Desert, Mountain, & Prairie Regions - Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Wyoming, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba.
Make sure the flooring is properly acclimated. Most hardwood floors will perform well in a really dry environment as long as they have had the chance to reach the proper moisture content level for the environment. Our hardwood flooring is kiln dried between 6-8% moisture content which is ideal for relative humidity levels between 30-50%. If the relative humidity where the flooring is to be installed is consistently 30% or less, the wood would need to sit on site to adjust and dry out. Ideal flooring options for a dry environment would be Live Sawn Walnut, Live Sawn White Oak, and Quarter Sawn White Oak.
If solid hardwood flooring is not properly acclimated to a dry environment, the flooring will shrink and Gaps between the boards can occur. Engineered hardwood flooring generally doesn’t perform as well as solid hardwood in a dry environment. It is constructed to keep the wood from expanding so the plywood base will control the surface layer. In a dry environment, the surface layer wants to shrink but the plywood below doesn’t let it, which leads to checks in the wood. Small checks in the surface would likely not be noticeable in a rustic, textured, and low sheen floor. However, a smooth surface with a gloss would magnify each and every check. You will want to avoid smooth, glossy finishes especially on woods like maple that have minimal grain.