What does running a dehumidifyer do to hardwood floors?


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Old 10-05-06, 02:51 PM
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What does running a dehumidifyer do to hardwood floors?

I think that I'll try my hand at a nail installation of some rustic or country grade 3.25 inch red oak in our beach house. It is always so humid however, even in the winter, I was thinking I should put in a Dehumidifyer and run it year round after the floor goes in. If I were going to do this to control humidity should I start running the dehumidifyer while equilibrating the exposed subfloor and the hardwood flooring or as long as everything is equilibrated for moisture content prior to putting in the floor will everything, the flooring and subflooring change proportionally should I want to run a dehumidifyer at a latter time?
 
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Old 10-05-06, 03:23 PM
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Wink

You dont say. Is the new floor going to be over a crawl space? Is that why the humidity is so high are just from the air. Id have the wood for the floor in the home there for a week before I layed it . Make sure to let room by all walls around the rooms.

ED
 
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Old 10-06-06, 04:55 AM
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Temperature and humidity should be maintained year round at constant levels. Temperature should be around 70 degrees. Humidity level should be between 35-55%. Track humidity levels with hygrometer (sold where thermometers are sold). Wood should acclimate for several days in the rooms where it is to be installed. A moisture meter to test moisture content of wood and subfloor before installation is important. For 2 1/4" strip flooring the moisture content difference should be no greater than 4%. For plank floors the difference should be no greater than 2%. If difference is greater, continue to acclimate the wood until recommended difference is achieved. Note: Humidity levels tend to vary among rooms.
 
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Old 10-06-06, 08:06 AM
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If the hunidity under the subfloor is higher then the interior of the home, you can expect cupping. It is best to dehumidify both the areas, if humidity levels increase from what the flooring was acclimated and installed at.

Meaning, a dehumidifier, can cause cupping, if you don't understand moisture and its relationship with wood.
 
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Old 10-09-06, 12:11 PM
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Ed Imeduc- The house is on a small island on the Texas Coast. This pretty much means year round high temperatures and the humidity outside rarely drops below 80 percent. There is not really any crawl space per say but the floor joists are not exposed on the bottom either. This house is built up on pilings about 18 feet up in the air. The plywood subfloor( inch) is nailed to 2x12 inch floor joists and on the bottom of the joist waterproof sheetrock has been screwed/taped and painted completely across the bottom footprint of the raised house.

twelvepole-. Most people around here keep their homes around 78 to 84 degrees. I wanted to install a dehumidifyer to reduce the interior humidity and make the house feel more comfortable when it is at 80 degrees but I started wondering how this might affect a hardwood installation.


If I allow equilibration for multiple weeks and install over 15# or heavier paper do I need to worry about humidity fluctuations from opening doors and windows or about not being able to dehumidify the floor joist space from under the house? Is it possible that the sandwich of plywood subfloor/floor joist/sheetrock will stabilize the humidity fluctuations such that, once the flooring is equilibrated, the tar paper makes this a non issue?
 
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Old 10-09-06, 01:34 PM
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Predicition of the performance of hardwood flooring if temperature humidity are not maintained at nearly constant levels is that it will likely not perform as desired. High temperatures and high humidity will produce expansion. As indicated, humidity below and above flooring can cause expansion and possible cupping or crowning of boards.

Perhaps porcelain tile would be a better option. Porcelain tile can withstand extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations.
 
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Old 10-09-06, 07:27 PM
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If you don't mind a cupped appearence and some gapping or buckling issues later you will be fine. All the older homes down at the coast are built with wood floors. That was before carpet became affordable. That knew the floor would cup during the winters, when they had heat burning all the time and not just for cooking and drying the tops of the boards. And if you notice, the older homes built before 1960 when HVAC was nowhere to be found, all room transitions had a big humongous T moldings. Also you can see in those old floors if original, have suffered much movement, and are not perfect.
 
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Old 10-10-06, 09:31 AM
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I was thinking that the aesthetics of Tavern or Rustic grade wood would fit in perfectly with this location. The attractive pricing is also a plus; $2.50 to $3.00 per square foot. Knots, worm holes and mineral staining also seems like it would fit right in with nautical themes. Although a structural engineer indicates that the house is fine one can feel the house sway and we have given up on the idea of tile thinking that even with flexbond/hardy backer board/flexbond/tile that we would continually be dealing with cracked tile and grout lines.

I have been told that the cupping is less pronounced if one installs narrower hardwood, 2.25 inches instead of 4.25 inches. I was going to try 3.25 inch hardwood but was wondering if it is only a matter of personal preference or are there more issues to consider when selecting a width.
These grades of wood usually come is a wide variety of lengths as well. I am assuming there will be a large percentage of shorts. Does this create any special installation issues that I should consider?
Lastly, I currently live in the house and was going to select prefinished wood. Does prefinished wood increase the difficulty of refinishing at a latter time over unfinished wood that is processed onsite?
Thanks in advance
 
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Old 10-10-06, 10:25 AM
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2 1/4" strip flooring is more dimensionally stable than wider boards. Strip flooring will, however, also cup and crown due to moisture issues. Engineered wood floors offer greater dimensional stability than solid hardwood flooring. Even so, manufacturers recommend year round maintenance of temperature and humidity. There are new vinyl planks available that look like wood which may be even better for your conditions.
 
 

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