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How to Prevent Wood Floor Gapping?
We often discuss professional wood floor services like gap filling and strive to help you better understand how these can be very beneficial for the overall condition of every wooden floor. However, today's hot topic is all about what you can do in order to prevent wood floor gaps from appearing in the first place. Gap filling is neither a complex nor time-consuming or expensive professional service. It can be even done as a DIY project, in case the gaps between the wooden floorboards are not that wide and big. However, it will be even better for the floor and for your budget to prevent wood floor gaps from occurring on the first place and don't have to deal with such later on.
When it comes to real wood flooring, it is important to remember one main thing about this type of flooring. Wood is a natural material and even when cut into floorboards, it still has its natural response to the environment and to changes in the environment. No matter the quality of the floor, its condition, price, or the wood species used for the manufacture of the floorboards, wood's porous structure will absorb moisture and nutrients during the whole lifecycle of the floor. In result, the fibres of the wooden material will constantly change in density, flexibility, solidity, and tension. The good thing is that wood controls these natural changes and the "movement" as a response to increased moisture, humidity levels and temperature fluctuations itself.
However, over time the ability of the wooden floor to control all that and be back to its initial shape and form without getting damaged and by withstanding almost everything will decrease. This is when gaps start occurring in between the flooring wood boards. Especially in the winter months when the warm air coming from the heating system at home will make wood lose from its natural moisture content, this is when the floorboards start contracting and gaps appear more often. However, we want to prevent gaps from happening and keep the structural integrity and solidness of our wood floors in tip-top shape. Here is what you can go in order to avoid wood floor gaps for a long time.
After the timber is cut into floorboards, here is when the manufacturer starts preparing the surface of the future floor. The right finish of the wooden floor is extremely important. The right finish choice is crucial not just for improving the appearance of the wooden floorboards and enhancing the natural beauty of wood, but also for ensuring the best protection of the wooden floor and preventing issues and damages. Since wood is a natural material and most wood species come with a distinctive natural pattern, including rings, lines, and other markings that make the appearance of the wooden floor so unique and adds a lot of character to every space where the floor is installed.
The right wood floor finish will bring out all the natural beauty of the wood. Different finishes produce different appearance in the wood. Some finishes can change the natural colour of the wood and add different undertones and shades, others come clear. Some will create the effect of glossiness and shine, while others will add a matte touch to the surface. No matter what type of finish you are going for, always make sure it is high-quality one with a long-lasting protective power that will help the floor withstand a number of issues and protect it from damages. In addition, the wood floor finish can help a lot in this mission of preventing gaps from occurring.
The proper installation of the wooden floor and the best preparation before the floorboards are fitted is crucial for the longevity and hard-wearing power of the floor in the longer term. One of the most essential aspects of this process is making sure the wooden materials are properly acclimatised in order to ensure the durability and sturdiness of the floor once it is installed.
By acclimatization, it is meant that the wooden floorboards should be left out of their packaging and in the room where the installation is planned to happen for at least a few days before the installation service starts. This allows the humidity content and temperature of the floorboards to match the ambient humidity and temperature of the property. Usually, failing to allow the wooden floor to acclimatise before fitting it can lead to a number of potential issues. The floor may start contracting and expanding to such an extent that gaps may start appearing between the boards very soon.
Humidity Factors On-Site
One of the major factors that will affect the condition and structural integrity of your wooden floor is the humidity content in your home or wherever the floor is installed. Increased humidity level often leads to expansion and contraction of the floorboards. If this is something that happens constantly or too often to your wooden floor, you can expect gaps occurring very soon. The best solution is creating the right atmosphere at home that will keep the humidity content as recommended and prevent gaps appearing between the boards of your wooden floor. First off, make sure to reduce ventilation, since the drafts of air from outside the house go through the ventilation channels and the air gets heated quickly once it enters the house.
From this moment on, the air starts losing its relative humidity, which drops in proportion to the amount of constant ventilation in the house. As a result, gaps often start appearing between the floorboards. Another solution could be adding moisture. On a daily basis, most of the household activities we do add an additional level of moisture to the indoor environment of our home. However, a recommended relative humidity of your home should be maintained around thirty-five to fifty-five percent. If it is impossible to reach this level of moisture and humidity at home, make sure to use a humidifier as a simple yet effective solution.