Hardwood floors have long remained the favorite for homes and offices. There are obvious reasons why people like solid hardwood so much. This flooring material is not just long-lasting, but also very easy to maintain. Many homeowners plan to spruce up the look of their home or apartment during the winter season. So, how does winter affect hardwood installation in homes?
Every season affects hardwood floor installations in a slightly different manner, as far as the plank movements are concerned. Wood has a characteristic of soaking in moisture, hence termed hygroscopic. If you plan to lay down hardwood flooring in your home during the winter months, you should definitely remain aware of how the season can impact the installation procedure. At Minuteman Floors, we specialize in the installation of solid hardwood material in residential and commercial properties all across Manchester, New Hampshire. As flooring installation contractors, we also like to educate property owners about the step-to-step installation procedure and what kind of benefits and challenges a particular season can bring.
What Winter Installations Mean
When it comes to the installation of wood material, moisture is considered to be a big concern. That is why it is always best to carry out hardwood floor installations under moderately humid conditions.
Extreme humid conditions can create several issues. Even if the hardwood material is of premium quality, high levels of humidity can cause the material to swell. After humidity levels come down, the planks shrink. This creates gaps between planks, taking away the aesthetics of the covering. On the other hand, too low humidity levels cause the hardwood planks to change shape when the humidity levels shoot up again. So, the level of humidity plays a key role.
During the winters, the air inside homes is almost fully dry as the furnace keeps running constantly at full speed. Dry air with little or no moisture in it can impact the installation of hardwood as a result. The installer, therefore, needs to regulate the humidity levels for a successful installation.
Hardwood Flooring Installation Procedure for Winters
Overall, it is a good idea to lay down hardwood floors during the winter season. High levels of humidity are not ideal for the proper installation of hardwood material. Winter is a season, which is known for low humidity levels. This means you don’t have to worry about lots of moisture getting trapped underneath the covering. Though installation in the winter months does offer many benefits, it also brings some challenges for the flooring installation contractor.
At Minuteman Floors, we have a great deal of experience in installing hardwood floors during the winter months.
Getting Ready for the Installation
Certainly, the air has less amount of moisture during the winters as compared to the summer season. These conditions are suitable for carrying out the flooring installation in your home, office, or apartment. However, some areas inside a property may contain a lot of moisture even in winters.
Therefore, a professional installer will first check out the installation area in a proper manner. The best practice is to spread out a plastic sheet. Then we have to duct tape on the floor where the wood flooring will be installed. After a week, remove the plastic sheet and see if it has moisture trapped underneath. If there is moisture underneath, it means the level of humidity is high there. These are not ideal conditions for installing wood floors in that area. So, the flooring contractor will give the surface some time to dry up before getting started with the installation.
Using a Dehumidifier to Lower Humidity Levels
Many times, the moisture in the air in a particular area or room of residential property will not go away on its own. If the subfloor does not dry out even after many days, the contractor will use a dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier is a highly useful tool to bring down the level of humidity in the house. If you have the tool in your home, the contractor will use it to get rid of the high amount of indoor moisture. Or else, the flooring contractor will bring their dehumidifier to get the job done. If the home feels humid and the indoor air has a lot of moisture, laying down hardwood floors will not be proper. Too much moisture will lead to the growth of mold and bacteria later.
Acclimatization of Floorboards
Wood floorboards need some time to adjust to the humidity and the temperature of the environment where they will be installed.
When the boxes of hardwood planks arrive at your property, the planks require some time to absorb some moisture as well as release their moisture content in the process. That is why the installed or the contractor will not start laying down the boards or the planks as soon as they are delivered. Instead, the installer will first move the wood flooring material into the room or the area where the products will be installed. Not just that, the professional will either cut open the boxes or take the boards out of the package for proper acclimatization.
In fact, the hardwood floorboards need to be left in the area of installation for 8-10 days. In this way, the product will have adequate time to adjust to the temperature and the humidity level of the room. Professional installers place the product boxes on the floor in various ways for acclimatization.
If you choose a professional flooring installer, he will guide you with some useful tips about the acclimatization process. There are some important points that must be kept in mind to allow the floorboards to properly adjust to the environmental conditions of the site of installation. For example, the boxes, as well as the interior plastic wrapping, will need to be cut open. If you only open the boxes and do not cut the plastic cover inside, the flooring will not get the required exposure. Likewise, the boxes should not be placed on concrete or bare concrete, as this will cause the floorboards to soak in additional moisture from damp surfaces.
It is Easier to Find Installers in the Winter Season
Think of this as an added, but important benefit. It is difficult to find and hire the services of professional installers in the summer season. Most homeowners plan the renovation or remodeling work of their property during the winter season. You can hire flooring installers to complete their work even while you are away to enjoy your family vacation in some other place. During winters, you can have the installers peacefully complete the entire project.
It is only that you need to find a reliable flooring contractor to lay down the hardwood floor in your home or office. If you are in need of a flooring installation company you can trust, you should head straight to Minuteman Floors, which operates throughout the Manchester area in New Hampshire.
Protection for Wood Floors Post-Installation
After the installation of hardwood flooring material in your home, it is time to give the floors proper care.
In winters, it is common for family and friends to bring inside snowmelt and salt. They stick to their boots and shoes. Remember that this winter mess can ruin the newly installed wood floors in the house. So, it is a good idea to make some rules in this regard to give the floors proper care. If you still see any salt particles on the wood floors, wipe them up quickly. This will keep the finish quality intact.
For more winter care tips, you should talk to an expert flooring installer or the flooring contractor you have hired. Professionals will equip you with some practical advice to protect the wood finish.
Are You Ready for Hardwood Installation?
Winter is an ideal time to install wood floors in your home or office. It is just that you are aware of the challenges and prepare accordingly for the process. If you plan to enhance the floor aesthetics of your home in winters, you should head over to Minuteman Floors for premium quality products and installation services. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, our company has been serving a wide range of residential properties with professional hardwood installation. Hardwood flooring material is available in a wide variety of eye-catching styles. Let our experts help you pick a style, which is the perfect match for your home decor.