“Hardwood Floors: Why Do They Develop Gaps in Winter?”

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors usually look beautiful year-round, shining in the warmer months and providing a warm natural detail in the winter. However, the seasons can also bring some unsightly changes to your hardwood floors. Hardwood floors can shrink up to 1/32nd of an inch during the winter, which may not sound like much but it can look like there are huge gaps in your hardwood floors. For more on this phenomenon and how to fix this problem, read on to learn why you have gaps in your hardwood floors during the winter.

Why Winter Causes Unsightly Gaps In Hardwood Floors

Many people think that the cold weather is the reason why hardwood floors tend to shrink and cause gaps during the winter. However, the weather has very little to do with it. The actual reason that these gaps pop up during the winter is due to the heating systems that get turned on when the outside temperatures plummet. Heating your home causes the air to lose its natural moisture. This, in turn, dries out the wood in your hardwood floors, causing them to shrink. Due to the grain of the wood, hardwood typically only shrinks width-wise, leaving you with those unsightly gaps in the floorboards. This natural drying process occurs even if the wood has been treated with a sealant, but there are several steps you can take to help your floors avoid forming gaps due to the heat being turned on.

How To Prevent Hardwood Floors From Gapping In The Winter

There are a few different strategies you can use to help prevent this from happening, take a look at a few of them below:

Choose Engineered Floors

Because engineered hardwood floors only have a very thin amount of real hardwood on the top of the floorboard, they are less susceptible to shrink and expand with the moisture in the air, as the wood is not natural hardwood.

Opt For Narrower Boards

Narrower hardwood boards are less susceptible to gapping because they already have much less width than a wide board. Additionally, narrow hardwood has many more pieces, creating a busier appearance that disguises any minimal gapping that will occur during the winter months.

Reduce The Moisture Changes

Since the main reason that hardwood floors are forming gaps during the cold winter months is due to the moisture temperature in the home, caused by running the home’s heating system, the best way to fix this problem is to reduce the amount of seasonal moisture change. This means running a dehumidifier during the hot and humid summer months and adding some moisture back in with a humidifier during the winter months. If you are not a fan of humidifiers, you can add some moisture, and great scents, back into the air using an essential oil diffuser, though this method adds minimal moisture back into the air.

Whether it’s summer or winter in Pensacola, the best place to get your hardwood floors year-round is Troendle Hardwood company. With over a century of experience, Troendle is the name to trust with the sustainable refinishing of your hardwood floors. Call or fill out our online contact form today to get started on new hardwood, hardwood refinishing, hardwood stair installation, and so much more.