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Hardwood floors have been a popular choice ever since the 17th century and they add value and style to any home. Whatever material you choose for your flooring solution, hardwood has certain properties that can affect its successful installation. Laying your hardwood floors during the winter months has many advantages that make it an easier proposition than attempting the same during summer.
With help from timber merchants, BUILT/, we have rounded up a few of the reasons you should consider winter for your new hardwood floor.
Any manufacturer of hardwood flooring will tell you that moisture is the bane of hardwood floors. Too much moisture underneath the flooring is likely to lead to warping and buckling, creating an uneven and unsightly surface. Even with aesthetic considerations left behind, having a damp subfloor provides the ideal conditions for mildew and mould to develop.
A benefit of installing in winter is that the humidity levels are low, resulting in less moisture being left beneath your flooring. That said, it remains important that you pay attention to humidity levels as some houses remain humid all year round. Always check the subfloor a few days before installation. The easiest way is to secure a plastic sheet over the subfloor for a couple of days and then see if it is damp underneath. If it is, it might be worth delaying your flooring project for a few days whilst the floor dries out, possibly utilising a dehumidifier to speed up the process.
It is vital to a good finish that hardwood boards can acclimate prior to being installed. It’s a simple case of bringing the floorboards into the room where they are to be laid between a week and 10 days prior to laying them. The floorboards will then be able to adjust to the regular humidity and temperature levels of the room. This is another benefit of installing in winter, as temperatures tend to fluctuate less than they do during the rest of the year.
Hardwood floors, like many organic materials, tend to expand in high temperatures and contract in low temperatures. For once the chill of winter proves to be of benefit! It is far easier to install a contracted board and leave slight gaps to allow for natural expansion as the weather warms up than it is to install boards that have expanded in the heat of summer and will never match expectations. Indeed, a well-planned winter installation can result in a solid, tight fit that looks spectacular in your home.
If you’re planning your hardwood flooring as a solo project, this may not be of concern to you. However, if you intend to utilise a professional flooring contractor, you’ll find that it is often easier to find one available during the winter months than the height of summer. Many large-scale home improvement and renovation projects take place during summertime, so fitting services are at a premium. Conversely, in winter, you can pretty much take your pick.
And there you have it, four simple and compelling reasons to stop putting off that hardwood flooring and getting it installed while it’s still cold enough to feel the benefit. If you are planning on laying your own hardwood flooring this winter, there are plenty of building supplies online to choose from.