Protecting Hardwood Floors From Extreme Temperatures

Wood flooring is, without a doubt, one of the most common floorings across many homes in the country. It is elegant and comfortable and offers plenty of patterns to choose from. The flooring industry is diversifying the way our homes look and feel. Installed wood flooring makes the house look natural and composed, but this comes with its own challenges. Not only does extreme weather have an effect, but also the floor needs constant care and maintenance. Wood is a natural material that is affected by humidity and temperature variations even when processed and installed, and knowing how to minimize and protect the wood against the intensity of these variations is paramount to the homeowner.

Wood belongs to the category of hygroscopic materials, that is, it absorbs and loses water to the air to maintain equilibrium with the humidity as well as temperature levels of the surrounding environment. When wood absorbs moisture, swelling occurs and when it loses moisture to the atmosphere, shrinking will occur. Thus, protecting your floor against these extreme changes is vital towards maintaining a good looking and safe floor. Let’s discuss how you can protect your wood flooring from the two extreme seasons of the year.

Summer Time Protection

Summer presents us with a time when fun and outdoor activities are at peak. Mountain hikes, beach trips, and numerous days spent by the poolside are all hallmarks of the summer. Sadly, these months present homeowners who have wood tile flooring with unprecedented headaches if the floor is not equipped to withstand the high humidity, sunlight and hot temperatures. These tips may be helpful in protecting your wood floor during the summer.

? Maintain a safe range of humidity level

Keep the dehumidifiers or air conditioner running to keep the levels of humidity in the house between 40-60 percent. Even hardwood floors do not enjoy the high humidity levels during the summer. Keeping the humidity at bay may increase the energy bills for your home, but the long-term benefit far outweighs the few dollars added to maintaining the necessary humidity level.

? Keep the room out of reach of direct sun rays

The same way we get burned during the summer is the same way wood floors are destroyed by direct sunlight. Overexposure results in fast aging of the floors. You do not want your mahogany or that Brazilian cherry plank being discolored by the sun. To avoid this, add colored curtains to your windows so that they blend with the lively summer while protecting your floor from direct sun rays.

Winter Wood Floor Protection

In the winter, even the seamlessly strong wood floors are susceptible to shrinkage due to dryness. Gaps between the boards will begin appearing in no time unless good care is maintained throughout the winter. To control these unpleasant shrinkages, a few helpful tips can make the difference for your home.

? Utilize a Humidifier

Moisture is the number one enemy of wood floors; however, when low moisture levels experienced in the winter are not addressed, the floor might also experience damages. You will need to have a humidifier running nearly the entire winter and save yourself the hustle of conducting repairs on your floor.

? Reduce Ventilation

Winter is a tricky season. Increased ventilation will make the house drier than you probably think. Besides utilizing a humidifier, you will need to take extra steps to ensure the house remains warm and somewhat humid. Ventilation is responsible for bringing dry, less moist air into the room, coupled with the possible moisture from melted snow near entry ways (be sure to utilize rugs and dry these areas up quickly) can make this difficult to maintain times.

These methods are employable when the homeowner is not in a position to change the house design. House design changes can be costly, long-term projects, but that does not mean you cannot take care of your wood flooring. Follow the steps outlined above to maintain an elegant floor for decades to come.


This guest post contribution is courtesy of MacDonald Hardwoods, a Denver Hardwood Flooring company with a wide selection of woods to choose from including exotic hardwood flooring, oak flooring and bamboo flooring.

About Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

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I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

37 thoughts on “Protecting Hardwood Floors From Extreme Temperatures

  1. I’m not sure if wood gets creakier with age, but this last time my family visited my parents in the states, we stayed in my childhood bedroom, equipped with wooden floors and I couldn’t believe how crazy squeaky they’d become. Our baby was in the room with us in her bassinet and I felt like I was going to wake her every time I got outta bed. Should show my folks this post for sure!

  2. We arreswitching from carpet to hardwood in our dining room and living room. This is such great information I will be saving this to make sure I protect my investment.

  3. What a great post on caring for wood floors. My grandmother’s home has hardwoods from waaaay back when. She is about to have them replaced due to shrinkage. I’m sure she would find this post of value. Thank you!

  4. Those are good tips. We have a problem in the winter with our floors shrinking and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I am going to try those tips and see if I can get rid of that space in my kitchen floor.

    1. The whole floor!? Oh my goodness. Usually its just where the problem is at, unless you can’t find the right flooring to replace those sections with. I’m sorry you had to do that.

  5. What a great post! I’ve never really thought about how temperature effects my floors. We just moved in a home with all wood floors so I’ll have to pay more attention to this now.

  6. I love the look of wooden floors but they do require a bit of care and attention. There are some great tips here to help protect and maintain your hardwood floor. A great help.

  7. My husband and I have talked about getting wood flooring put in. But, I never even considered the weather conditions. We have very hot summers but mild winters. These things are good to know.

  8. This is indeed a great post with a lot of information about the care of hardwood floors. I didn’t know any of this about the hardwood floors but the thing that surprise me most was about direct sun light. Thanks for sharing all this great information.

  9. These are great tips for protecting hardwood flooring! We have hardwood flooring throughout our home and I found out the hard way about the direct sunlight!

  10. These are some fabulous tips!!! My whole
    House has hardwood floors!! They definitely are beautiful but Ughhh!!!! Such a pain to take care of lol

  11. These are very good tips to help protect my hardwood floors. I need to have more moisture by using a humidifier. I never thought about using this to help keep my floors in good condition! Thanks for sharing.

  12. These are some great tips. We have hard wood floor in our dining room. We also have electric heat. The seams are cracked because it is so dry in the winter time. Looks like we’ll be re coating it again.

  13. This is great info! I’m hoping I can have a home and have wood floors. I know many new homes the builder has a humidifier built into the furnace. They stress humidity as being very important

  14. We’ve bee thinking of getting rid of our carpet, because of my allergies and putting in wood floors. We live in IL where the temperatures fluctuate all the time. I did not know of all of this. I did know about using a dehumidifier, not about a humidifier. You learn something new everyday – thanks!

  15. I do have a small percent of square footage in my home that is hardwood floor and maintaining it a lot of the time is a pain. There are a lot of real good tips and advise in taking care of your floor on this page. Thank you.

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