Hardwood flooring is a natural material, and like all natural materials, it reacts to the environment. One key characteristic of wood is its propensity to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. This phenomenon is often referred to as "wood movement."

How seasonal changes affect hardwood

As seasons shift, so do the temperature and humidity levels in our homes. Higher humidity can cause wood to absorb moisture and expand during warmer months. Conversely, the air tends to be drier in the colder months, causing wood floors to release moisture and contract. These fluctuations, while completely natural, can lead to noticeable changes in your hardwood flooring, such as:

  1. Gapping: Small gaps might appear between floorboards during the drier months. This is due to the wood contracting.
  2. Cupping: This occurs when the edges of a board are higher than its center, usually due to increased moisture.
  3. Crowning: The opposite of cupping, crowning happens when the center of a board is higher than its edges, often due to an imbalance in moisture levels.

Tips to minimize seasonal effects

Fortunately, homeowners can take measures to minimize the effects of seasonal changes on their hardwood floors:

  1. Maintain consistent humidity: Invest in a humidifier for the winter months and a dehumidifier for the summer. Ideally, indoor humidity should be kept between 35% and 55%.
  2. Avoid direct sunlight: Extended exposure to sunlight can accelerate the drying of wood. Use curtains or blinds during peak sunlight hours to protect your hardwood floors.
  3. Choose engineered hardwood: Engineered hardwood flooring is designed to be more stable than solid wood, making it less susceptible to seasonal changes.
  4. Regular maintenance: Clean your floors with products recommended for hardwood and refinish them when necessary to maintain their protective layer.

Embracing the natural beauty of wood floors in Hartford, CT

While seasonal changes can affect hardwood flooring, it's essential to remember that these are part of the wood's natural charm. With the right care and understanding, homeowners can enjoy the timeless beauty and warmth of hardwood floors year-round. By being proactive and following the above tips, you can ensure that your floors remain in top condition regardless of the season.

Elite Flooring Specialist is here for your flooring needs. Our showroom in Hartford, CT, serves West Hartford, Avon, Glastonbury, Farmington, Southington, Simsbury, and Cheshire.