As a natural material, hardwood can be affected by changes in humidity in your home. In bathrooms or rooms below ground level, humidity and the potential for pooling water can create problems. Solid hardwood flooring is not recommended for these areas. It’s natural for hardwood flooring to yellow, darken or lighten over time, depending on the wood species. Exposure to direct sunlight greatly accelerates this process. Discoloration doesn’t always equate to water/mold damage on your flooring.
While wood floors are made from “dead” trees, the flooring reacts to temperature and humidity changes inside your home as if it were alive. Your skin reacts to low humidity, so does wood flooring. High humidity and high temperatures affect your skin. These conditions also affect your wood floors. What is comfortable for you is also ideal for your wood floors. It doesn’t matter if your wood floors are solid wood, engineered wood, or laminate. It doesn’t matter if the wood is oak, mahogany, or bamboo. It doesn’t matter if the wood is nailed down, glued down, or floating. Regardless of the installation method, all wood flooring absorbs or loses moisture as conditions change slowly or rapidly inside your home.
Every wood flooring manufacturer only allows their products to be installed indoors, with a stable, maintained environment. This means that, in order for the wood flooring to perform as designed, the temperature and humidity conditions inside of your home must be kept continuously within a certain range. This range varies slightly depending on the manufacturer and type of wood flooring. Generally, the required range is between 60-80 degrees with a relative humidity range of 35 percent to 55 percent.