Understanding Hardwood Floor Movement

Who knew that your hardwood floors have a life of their own? Indeed, they do! It’s all about the fascinating dance of hardwood floor movement, a delicate ballet of expansion and contraction. This isn’t just a quirky characteristic—it’s science in action.

Our blog turns the spotlight on this captivating performance. We’ll explore the unseen factors pulling the strings—temperature, humidity, and more. Plus, we’ll arm you with practical insights for controlling hardwood contraction and ensuring your floors stay in tip-top shape. Keep reading!

The Root Cause: Expansion & Contraction

First, we need to understand what gets your hardwood floors in motion. Here are the main culprits behind hardwood floor movement

  • Variations in temperature can lead to expansion and contraction
  • Changes in humidity levels can cause wood to absorb moisture, leading to expansion
  • Conversely, dry conditions can make the wood to release moisture, resulting in contraction

Seasons Change, & So Does Your Floor!

Every season has its rhythm, and hardwood floors dance along. For example, Wisconsin is known for its humid summers, vibrant autumns, snowy winters, and unpredictable springs. But each season leaves its mark on your hardwood floors. 

Let’s explore how these seasonal changes can impact your flooring in the different Wisconsin cities:

  • Spring in Green Bay brings increased moisture from the thawing winter, causing hardwood floors to expand.
  • Summer in East De Pere is hot and humid, leading to hardwood floors soaking up the humidity and expanding.
  • With the arrival of Autumn, the cooler, drier air in Howard can make your hardwood floors start to contract after the summer.
  • Winter in Suamico is cold and dry, prompting further contraction of your hardwood floors.


Hardwood flooring


Signs of the Times: Detecting Floor Movement

Paying attention to your floors can help you catch movement issues early on. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Gaps between your floorboards could signal contraction
  • If your floors are warping or cupping, they might be absorbing too much moisture and expanding
  • Cracking or splintering could be a cry for help from your floors, indicating severe contraction due to dry conditions

Laying the Foundation: Preventative Measures During Installation

An outstanding performance starts with a solid rehearsal. Here are three key steps to take during installation to prevent future wood movement issues:

  1. Let the wood acclimate before installation to balance its moisture content, preventing wood floor expansion.
  2. Choose the right underlay that will act as a moisture barrier, providing cushioning and reducing the hardwood floor movement.
  3. Consider an installation method that allows the material to move naturally, helping in controlling hardwood contraction.

Dance Lessons: Expert Tips to Tackle Hardwood Movement Challenges

Now that you’re familiar with the dance, here are three expert tips to help you lead in preventing wood floor expansion:

  1. Regularly monitor and adjust humidity levels in your home
  2. Use a dehumidifier in summer months to control excess moisture
  3. In dry winter months, consider using a humidifier to prevent excessive drying out

March to the Right Beat with Badger State Flooring

At Badger State Flooring, we know you want a reliable stage for life’s everyday dance. However, being new to the principles of hardwood floor movement can be overwhelming. You deserve a trusted partner that helps you maintain the integrity and longevity of your surface.

Avoid unsightly gaps, warping, or even cracking! With our expertise, you can anticipate a well-preserved hardwood floor that’s always ready for the spotlight. As a full-service flooring company, we’ve assisted dozens of homeowners to get that. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!