Wood flooring is beautiful and trendy. It needs to invest a significant amount of money to install hardwood flooring and having a gap between the boards or deformed planks in new wood surface is not pleasant at all!
Do not panic! It is fixable!
Here is some information about the cause of shrinking in hardwood flooring and some tips about how to prevents this problem.
From a technical point of view, hardwood’s reaction to moisture in the air or humidity causes wood to lose moisture and shrink. That is why sometimes gapping can be the result of the flooring installation in the warm season and during the periods of higher humidity. After few months, during the cold season, wood floors dry out and may shrink. Gaps starts to show up and again in seasonal shift they close back. But larger gaps between the boards that not close in the summer could be result of too much moisture in the space.
The natural amount of moisture in wood must be managed to remain in planks in order to achieve stay stand in their normal shape. Therefore, when humidity raise, wood absorbs moisture from the air and when it falls, wood lose moisture back into the air. The natural process gives wood its strength and beauty, but excessive moisture content can cause possible shrinking problem with your wood floor.
When shrinking occurs, planks start to move. In some cases, moisture and drying out deforming the wood by making cupping (when the edges of a board are higher than its center), Crowning which is the opposite of cupping, or bucking (when the wood lift from the subfloor) which is the most extreme reaction to moisture.
How to avoid the shrinking problem?
The first and the most important step is to hire professional wood flooring installation company. Ask for their advice to help by choosing the good quality flooring. An important advised is to buy certain type of wood flooring that is known for its durability and stability in winter time and drying out issue.
Or to chose narrower planks instead of going with very wide ones. Narrow boards will shrink less than wide board for a given change in moisture content. 5-inch- wide plank will shrink twice as much as a 4 inch.
There is a vast verity of wood flooring in the market and depends of the manufacturer’s recommendations and warranty, professional flooring installation company can lead you to go with the better option.
Second important step is to inspect the subfloor before flooring installation. Installer should spot the wet aria on subfloor (in case of water leak or..,) or fix any kind of uneven part before flooring installation.
In concrete subfloor it is a must to make sure if concrete is completely dry, even and ready for installation.
Third step is indoor humidity balance. Ideal humidity level for wood flooring is between 30 percents to 50. And ideal temperature range is 60 to 80 degrees.
What to do with large gap in the planks?
In this case the professional installer will be needed to repair the floor. If you are planning to call for repair, due to avoid gapping or shrinking problem, it is better for job to be done in the months of April to October.