When deciding on hardwood flooring for your home, it is important to understand the importance of relative humidity (RH). Relative humidity is a way to describe how much humidity is in the air, compared to the amount that there could be. RH is written in percentages and 0% would mean that the air is completely dry, and 100% means that the air is so saturated that mist or dew will form.
Hardwood floors will change and react to temperature and humidity. If it is too humid or too dry in your home, your hardwood floors will react to the environment which will cause damage to your hardwood floors.
Normal living conditions are considered 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity between 30-50%. The human health chart is pictured below and shows the effects of relative humidity below 30% and above 50%.
Because hardwood reacts to the environment it lives in, it is recommended to maintain the 30-50% relative humidity in your home. Below is a chart that shows the moisture content of wood at various temperature and relative humidity readings.
Inside the 30-50% RH normal issues may still occur, but once they fluctuate outside the preferred RH area, wood will behave like wood. When the air is dry, wood shrinks. When it is moist, wood expands.
Even though it may require more attention to your home's environment, there is nothing quite like a hardwood floor. The uniqueness of wood is hard to find in other hard surface flooring options. Hardwood flooring remains the most aspiration flooring product and can increase a home value by 2.5%.