Winter and Hardwood Flooring


Winter and Hardwood Flooring

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the hardwood flooring inside is delightful.  What do you need to know to keep your hardwood floors safe and cozy this winter?

Colder temperatures bring on various joys like snow, fireside cocoas, and the holiday season.  They can also affect your hardwood floors.  

Dry Air

Cooler temperatures generally mean drier conditions.  In some areas, winter brings about moderate moisture conditions that are perfect for hardwood floors.  In those locales, winter can actually be one of the best times to install hardwood flooring, as the flooring should easily acclimate to the new space.

In other areas, winter means very dry air.  Just as too much moisture can cause hardwood flooring to expand in unsightly ways, too little moisture can cause hardwood flooring to contract beyond normal limits, leaving gaps and sometimes even cracks in the wood.

What can you do to keep hardwood flooring at the right humidity level?  In very dry areas, you might consider purchasing a humidifier to bring the ambient moisture into the normal range for hardwood flooring.  Be careful though—don’t over-humidify the flooring, or you’ll start to have problems related to high moisture.  Remember that hardwood is happiest between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 35% to 55% relative humidity.

Salt, Slush, and Snowy Paws

Perhaps you, your children, or your pets have been bounding out in the snow all day before returning home.  It is very likely that, on entry, your clothes or shoes are dripping with cold water, packed with snow, or coated with road salt and grime. 

To minimize the amount of moisture and grit that reaches your floors, place mats at each entrance.  Don’t let water pool onto the floor or seep through a porous rug, as it can damage the flooring.  Clean up any slushy residue or grime immediately, and place any wet items in a place where they cannot drip onto the hardwood floor.

If your pet returns from the yard with wet paws or little balls of snow in their fur, have a warm towel ready to wipe them down, melt any snow, and clean them off before they track water throughout the house.

Ask guests and family members to remove their shoes at the door and place them in an area where dirt and water won’t transfer from the shoes to your hardwood floors.

With these tips and tricks, enjoy the coziness of the winter months with family and friends on your beautiful, warm hardwood floors. 

Bring beauty into your space.

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