Hardwood flooring looks fantastic and has countless benefits when it comes to your home. From ease of cleaning to adding property value, hardwood is a popular flooring choice. However, one of the issues that can arise is opening of gaps between the boards. Due to the piece-by-piece nature of a hardwood floor, this is something that is hard to avoid, but it is entirely possible to overcome. Hardwood Perfect Flooring has some tips to help prevent gaps in and increase the longevity of your floors.
Gap prevention begins when your floors are installed. There are two extremes that determine how your floors will react once they have been laid down. The first is a dry situation, implying that there is less moisture in the air than normal when the boards are being installed. Because the boards will be smaller than normal, the usual conditions will lead to these planks expanding and causing the opposite problem of floor gaps. However, the issue that will lead to floor gaps is a high-moisture situation. If the conditions during installation provide a greater amount of moisture than normal, the boards will shrink when equilibrium is reached.
Over time, as the compression of boards occurs with the moisture ebb and flow, gaps will surely form. To avoid this, try as best you can to have your hardwood flooring installed at a time of the year when you believe your home is at its average level of humidity. This will give your floor the proper acclimation period, allowing for natural contraction and expansion without too much permanent change.
Applying Finish Quickly
Speed and accuracy are common themes in trying to prevent hardwood floor gaps. A good way to prevent the expansion or contraction is to stain and finish within a short window following installation. Doing so quickly following laying your floor will give everything the chance to set in the most optimal conditions for longevity. Applying finish will also slow the escape or entry of moisture and provide even more barriers to the development of flooring gaps.
Using a Humidifier
If push comes to shove and the humidity level of your home is difficult or impossible to pinpoint and maintain naturally, there are some technological interventions that can help. If you are noticing more contraction of your floors than expected, a humidifier is a good tool to help stop this before it gets out of hand. A humidifier will inject moisture into the air, allowing your floors to absorb what it was lacking beforehand. This will give the planks a chance to re-expand and settle back into proper place, avoiding letting the gap space become permanent.
Protecting your hardwood floors can require a great deal of work. Even so, the Hardwood Perfect Flooring team wants to ensure your hardwood does not suffer from gaps or any other potential ailments. If you need some help with this or another project, give us a call and see why we are the best hardwood flooring team in the New York City area!