Dry summers, unpredictable winters and an unusual balance of rain and humidity – the climate can be pretty erratic here in Kennewick. The constant variations in temperature and moisture levels can have a few unexpected effects on our homes. And our floors are sometimes among the most vulnerable areas.

Hardwood flooring is often chosen for its rugged design and perceived resilience. However, some hardwood selections include a few surprising weaknesses of their own. Namely, the impact of seasonal changes.

Extreme temperature changes (such as those we experience throughout the year) can cause solid hardwood flooring to expand and contract. Eventually, this can lead to warping and even buckling.

So does this mean that wood floors are a bad choice for our climate? Not necessarily. Sometimes, a few quick precautions are needed. But a few modern innovations have surfaced to overcome these challenges. We’ll take a quick look at both here.

Ideal Temperatures

Fortunately, the ideal temperature ranges are pretty reasonable. Most homes stay between the recommended 55 and 80 degree range even while the air is turned off during the day. Just remember to turn your heat low, rather than off, during some of Kennewick’s coldest weeks.

Humidity Levels

While our humidity remains pretty low throughout the year, it’s still worth monitoring. Granted, you probably don’t have to worry ab your home’s humidity level rising about 55% in Kennewick (unless you’ve installed wood floors in a basement), but it’s not unheard of for it to fall below 35%. This is especially true during these colder months. An easy way to tell: if your hands are dry, chances are, your hardwood flooring is also drying out. This can weaken your wood floor’s integrity and even cause it to splinter over time. Fortunately, an inexpensive humidifier is enough to do the trick.

Stabilitek Core

Modern flooring innovations start with the core. The Stabilitek Core (and others like it), is specifically designed to maintain hardwood’s integrity during seasonal and temperature shifts. This also includes moisture resistance, where it even helps protect the subfloor. So, if the previous care instructions sound a bit tedious, you may want to consider wood flooring featuring this core.

Protective Finishes

Surface layer finishes, such as the ArmorMax Aluminum Oxide Finish, protects woods floors at their most vulnerable place – the point of contact. By covering the surface and penetrating the sublayer, protective finishes prevent moisture absorption while also enhancing the wood floor’s integrity. As an added bonus, they also help prevent dents and scratches.

Engineered Hardwood

If searching for just the right feature set while maintaining specific temperature and humidity ranges is too much of a hassle, consider engineered hardwood flooring instead. Although composed of real wood, engineered hardwood is designed with a layered construction. At its core,

Learn More

For expert advice on proper floor care, or the best options for your home, visit Kennewick’s leading flooring experts at COLORTILE today!

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