Many homeowners are not aware of the fact that weather and temperature can affect the process of flooring installation. As a homeowner, you need to pay special attention to the flooring materials as well as the weather you choose. When taking an installation appointment, it is mandatory to keep in mind certain factors. If you are living in a humid environment, installing hardwood in the summer or spring can be highly risky.
You might not be aware, but there is something about the inside of your home. The interior of your home is sometimes muggy and sometimes cold and dry. This “microclimate” can affect you as well as the things around inside your home.
When it comes to flooring materials such as vinyl and ceramic tile, there isn’t much influence of the atmospheric changes. However, when it comes to wood-based floorings such as solid wood, bamboo, laminate, cork, or engineered wood, the physical changes in the environment, temperature, and humidity has a more significant effect on the flooring and their installation process. The same is true for carpets as well. These materials have a property of growing as well as shrinking according to temperature variations inside your home.
If you are also planning to furnish your home or give it a new look, this post can be helpful for you. It will guide you about various flooring options and how does weather affects one of them. Let’s begin!
Before you begin the installation process, you need to know the effect of the temperature of various flooring materials and how to use each material correctly. During the summers and the warmer months, most of the natural materials pass through a phase of “swelling” that creates serious issues later on when the material may distort or shrink.
The wood-based and carpet flooring is more prone to damage under various weather conditions. Due to this property, you need to treat them special and acclimate them to normal living conditions. The period of acclimation is different for each flooring type, and thus you need to treat each type differently.
Does the weather affect the flooring installation process?
Let’s talk about each flooring type separately to give you a clear idea about how to treat each one of them.
Carpet is famous and easy to install flooring that doesn’t absorb much moisture. However, if you use rugs in a high humidity environment, then its materials and fibers may relax or stretch. This condition is especially true when the carpet isn’t installed the correct way or too tightly. When not installed properly, you may also witness large bubbles and wrinkles on your carpet. These flaws can appear anywhere on the carpet, and they automatically disappear when the humidity levels drop. However, a wrinkled rug is not suitable for use as it can cause tripping hazards. Moreover, if you keep on walking on the loose areas, it can also result in the delamination where the carpet falls apart.
That’s how weather can affect the quality and life of your carpet flooring.
Flooring Type#2-Wood-Based Floors
When it comes to wood-based floors, weather and temperature changes can make things much complicated as compared to carpets. Wood-based floors are highly sensitive to the variation of temperature and weather in your home. High levels of humidity can not only decrease the quality of wooden floors, but you may even end up replacing the floor entirely.
If you have a newly-built home, then you need to make sure that you finish the wet work such as painting or drywall before you begin the flooring installation process. There should be a well-ventilated system, and windows must be installed. The minimum and the maximum temperature, as well as the humidity requirements, should also be met. Generally, the ideal humidity range inside your home should not be less than 30% or more than 60%. Even a slight variation in this percentage can affect your wooden flooring. Likewise, in the case of temperature, it should be maintained between 60 and 90 degrees. This temperature range is also comfortable for humans too.
As there is a significant impact of weather on the wooden floor, you also need to make sure that the materials you use are acclimating with the conditions of your home. Therefore, after making sure that the requirements of temperature and humidity are met, you need to start the process of acclimation.
Here, keep in mind that the acclimation period is different for different materials as well as according to the requirements of manufacturers. You need to check the installation guide before beginning the process. However, in any case, keep in mind that every material needs to pass through the acclimation process.
Another property that is associated with the wooden floors is “swelling.” No matter which installation method you use, your wood floor will always swell to some extent whenever there is more moisture in the environment. Although you can also use dehumidifiers inside your home, there is still a need for special precautions while installing the floor. When installing it, you need to use an expansion gap. This gap is usually left around the edges, and they are equal to the total thickness of your wooden flooring material. This expansion gap is primarily targeted to allow some amount of swelling. However, there is still a problem when the humidity levels increase. Under intense humidity, the wooden boards are starting to grow and expand. To better understand this, let’s take an example. Let’s assume that your space is 12-foot-wide, where you have twenty-four wooden planks that are six inches wide and ½ inches thick. Let’s say that there is an expansion gap of ½ inch along each wall that allows the “growth” or “swelling” of wood both in width and length of up to 1 inch. But consider a situation where each one of the 6-inch planks grows and swells to up to 1/16 inches only in width, then the entire floor will grow to up to ½ inches. There you go! You are out of your floor expansion gap, and now your wooden floor is going to be a big failure.
That is why it is essential to understand the effect of temperature and weather on the wooden floor if you want to have a happy environment. To have a livable environment, you need to have a well-maintained and well-planned construction that includes flooring as well.
Thus, now it is evident that if you want to use wooden-based flooring at home, you need to keep the inside of your home an ideal place. You can use a humidifier whenever you feel that the air is arid. Likewise, you should run an air conditioner whenever you feel the humidity in the environment. Moreover, you should also use a heater whenever its too cold inside your home. Keep in mind that all of these factors have a significant impact on wooden flooring.
Here is another thing you need to consider. If you are planning to go on an extended vacation, then you should consider keeping the ventilation system working inside your home. Leaving your home locker for a longer time also causes excess buildup of humidity and moisture, which is risky for the wooden flooring. Moreover, keeping it closed for an extended period may also result in severe climate swings. You don’t want to come back to the “unhappy-looking” floor!
The good thing about wooden flooring is that if you look after it, it can stay as fresh as new. The bad thing is, no flooring companies offer any warranty on the failures that take place due to climatic changes. Therefore, if you want “happy” floors in your home, you need to put your effort!
Why shouldn’t you begin the flooring installation process in cold weather?
When the temperature falls below the freezing points that is usually a tough time for anyone living in the northern areas. That is the time when our heating systems start working in their full gear. Now, if you are planning to install wooden flooring in your home in such cold weather, the chances are that the planks will shrink, and you will end up placing them wrongly. There are even higher chances that your planks might crack.
That is why it is not recommended to install your flooring in cold weather as you don’t want it to grow back again in summers and create a mess.
Why shouldn’t you begin the flooring installation process in hot weather?
Installing the flooring under high levels of humidity also transforms the planks. In hot weather, there are high chances of expansion and swelling of wooden planks due to the presence of higher amounts of moisture in the air. Although your air conditioner can lessen the moisture level, it is still not an ideal time to install the wooden floor.
Therefore, it is best not to install your flooring in extremely hot weather. You should wait for the right weather if you want your flooring to stay compact for a longer time.
Thus, climate changes have a more significant impact on the installation and outcome of your wooden flooring. If you choose the right weather, you can enjoy a happy home with radiant floors!
What’s the best time of the year for the flooring installation process?
If you are not sure about the best time of the year to install your flooring, then read on.
Ideally, the best time of the year when you should begin the process of installation is “fall.” It is the best time of the year to install any type of flooring with the help of an adhesive. We are specifically mentioning the “adhesive” here because using heat to install the floor is not considered ideal. Therefore, when the weather cools down during the “fall,” you should begin the process of installation.
Here comes another great weather when you can replace or install your flooring. Spring is the time when the weather starts getting cozy and a little warm. With the sun shining outside, you love to see your house full of bright colored flowers. The good thing, this weather is also a great time to install your flooring.
As you are aware that temperature and humidity play a significant role in the installation of your floor, that is why spring is the ideal time of the year. Other than a moderate temperature and humidity level, spring is also an excellent time for ventilation. Installation of floor requires constant ventilation where the windows need to be opened, and the house should be airy. Fortunately, in the pleasant weather of spring, no one will mind the opening and closing of doors. Thus, it gives the perfect environment for installation.
What is the ideal temperature if you are using adhesives for installing your flooring?
One of the most common methods of hardwood installation is through the use of adhesives. Generally, the ideal home temperature for these adhesives falls around 70 to 80 degrees. In hot weather, air conditioning disturbs this temperature range, while in winters, you might face difficulty in bonding and drying of your adhesives and hardwood floors.
That is why, once again, spring and fall are the ideal weathers for installing a hardwood floor.
Though you can install your floors any time of the year, colder weathers and moderate temperatures make fall the perfect time for you to schedule your flooring installation. That is especially true if you are living in a humid climate. Just like all other natural organic products, wood also has the property to absorb moisture and become porous. If you carry out the installation process in the months of summers, your floor might distort as it is the month of the highest humidity levels. That is why autumn is considered as the ideal weather due to its coolness and crispness that doesn’t expose the flooring to much moisture.
Now that you know the effect of the weather of flooring installation and the ideal time of the year when you should install your floor, schedule your appointment and impress others with your cozy and beautiful home!