Why Wood Floors Fail in February

Many wood flooring companies dread calls from their clients in February telling them that their wood floors are cupping and cracking and even delaminating. February is the most likely month to get these sort of calls. Why?

Wood floors expand and contract as they absorb and then lose moisture to the environment. Floors tend to pick up moisture through the summer and then lose moisture in the winter months when heating systems are being used. By February lots of floors reach the limit of the amount of moisture that they can lose and start to have gaps open up between boards and then crack and fail.

Flooring companies know about these issues and do their best to warn their customers. Almost all wood floors come with warranty conditions that floors should be kept in conditions between 40 – 60% Relative Humidity (RH) and floor temperatures should be kept below a surface temperature of 27 Deg C.

When floors start to fail the clients look to blame everyone involved in specifying and installing the floor; the flooring supplier, the installer, the builder, the architect, the heating engineer. They usually start with the flooring supplier.

When the flooring company gets the first call they usually know what has gone wrong, but until now they often found it really difficult to prove what has gone wrong. This then leads to protracted arguments and everyone involved is unhappy and reputations are damaged.

This problem is overcome by the use of the Fidbox electronic monitoring device which is a small box fitted under the floor which logs the temperature and humidity conditions from the point the floor was fitted.

The Fidbox can be read wirelessly by the flooring supplier, or by the homeowner using an Iphone App which will warn him if conditions are too hot or dry. The Fidbox produces clear and concise data to both prevent problems happening in the first place, or diagnose what has gone wrong.


If you would like to find out more about how the Fidbox can help you on your wood floor projects please call Jonathan Burch at Humidity Devices on 01522 253223.

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