What Flooring Is Best for Humidity?
Humidity. A lot of cities in the United States experience it; New Orleans, Jacksonville, San Francisco, and Seattle, just to name a few. Whether you love it or hate, humidity does cause you to think differently about things that wouldn’t normally come to mind. As a homeowner, humidity causes you to ask yourself: what kind of home energy efficiencies do I need to consider? Should I invest in a dehumidifier? What flooring is best for humidity? Are there moisture barriers I should consider?
Humidity simply refers to water vapor that is in the air. When it comes to flooring, humidity can cause several problems you should be aware of in certain flooring materials. Changes in humidity can cause solid wood floorboards to expand and contract, often times leaving gaps between floor planks or buckling. If you don’t have the right underlayment, your subfloor may also become compromised. We have narrowed down the top floors for humid or volatile climate areas.
Whether you live in a humid area or have a room that is prone to moisture (bathrooms and basements come to mind), luxury vinyl flooring is one of the best choices. Luxury vinyl flooring is categorized as a resilient flooring material and one of the best floors for humidity. Vinyl planks are essentially pliable PVC, which means their susceptibility to changes in humidity is minimal to none, making expansion and contraction a virtual non-issue. Vinyl planks are also a water-resistant flooring material.
If you just have to have wood floors, then we recommend selecting engineered planks for humidity. The layered construction of engineered woods makes them more stable than solid wood, resulting in much less expansion and contraction of the flooring. Engineered Woods work best with an environment of 30-60% relative indoor humidity.
Porcelain tile is another good hard-surface floor for humid areas. It’s also water-resistant, easy to clean, and durable. The thing to remember with all tile installations, especially an installation in a humid region, is to seal the grout. Grout is a porous substance; a grout sealer will help strengthen its water resistance. If you live in a humid region where escaping the heat is also necessary, porcelain tile does help keep rooms cool.
Laminate flooring comes in different Abrasion Classes (AC). If you plan on installing Laminate in a high climate area make sure that your AC classification is high pressure. High Pressure Laminate (HPL) is rated best for high humidity and climate areas. This high pressure classification simply means that the laminate floor was made with a special glue that reduces moisture absorption.
Before installing any type of flooring in a high humidity or high climate area, we do recommend consulting with a professional flooring installer. An installer can assess the installation area and provide the best recommendation on flooring material. Once material is selected, make sure to acclimate your floors to the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper installation. This acclimation process will help with installation and ensure the longevity of your flooring.
If you have any questions about what flooring is best for humidity or the floors we carry, please give us a call at 1-844-334-2877.