When To Avoid Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid Hardwood

When Is It Unwise To Use Solid Hardwood?

The beautiful look of solid hardwood meshes well with a wide range of room designs and decor schemes, and as a bonus it’s very durable and easy to clean. You might think it’s a reliable choice in any type of room, but there are actually some situations where it could cause serious problems.

One example is placing it over a radiant heating system. Moisture is always going to be an issue to consider with any type of wood construction, and having a heat source immediately next to the wood greatly exacerbates the problem. You’re virtually guaranteed to see cracking and potentially even color change, depending on the type of the wood. It is possible to have solid hardwood over radiant heat, but it will require the use of more expensive quarter-sawn lumber.

On the subject of moisture, areas that are prone to either very high or very low humidity are generally not a good idea for solid hardwood flooring. When humidity levels are consistently over 55%, problems with hardwood are virtually guaranteed to develop. You’ll run the risk of swelling that will in turn lead to warping and cupping. Conversely, when the humidity consistently stays at about 30% or lower, it may dry the wood out. Problems arising from this include splintering and damage to the finish.

It’s also generally not wise to install solid hardwood in basements or any other room that is below grade. This is, again, a problem of higher moisture at this level, compounded by the possibility of water leaks.

While hardwood can be a fantastic choice, sometimes carpet is the better way to go. If you are interested in installing new carpeting or switching out old carpeting, contact us to learn about our exceptional service, free carpet padding and extensive standard warranty!