Baby its cold outside, and dry inside.

During the winter heating months - particularly bitter cold winters like the one we are currently enduring  - our homes, offices, shops, and restaurants, all become very dry as we hunker down and run our heating systems for warmth and comfort.

When this occurs, the relative humidity inside these spaces drops dramatically causing adverse reactions not only to wood floors - but also to trim, cabinetry, furniture, etc. You name it, if it's wood, it can be adversely affected by this dryness. Wood is a hygroscopic material, which means that it will swell and shrink as it absorbs and loses moisture. This happens as a direct result of the environment it is installed in.

As heating systems are turned on and ran for extended periods, any humidity that may have been lingering from the more humid months starts to dissipate. When this happens, moisture is removed from the floor causing it to cup, crack, shrink, gap, bow, etc.

Clients that installed their floors most recently, i.e. in the cool & humid fall months, potentially on open job sites with no HVAC running, are at the most risk. As this has been a brutally cold winter, their floors are more likely to be shocked by the rapid removal of humidity in the space. While it is not written in stone, a floor that was installed before last years relatively mild winter & heating season may not be as susceptible to these issues this time around.

The only way to slow this down or attempt to stop these issues from happening it is to add humidity to the space. Most people use store bought humidifiers for this, but in some cases, it is also possible to add humidification to the central HVAC systems. This is a relatively low-cost addition that makes a serious impact on your home's health and your personal health, and is highly recommend if possible.

Every day at LV Wood we work hand in glove with clients that are striving to design beautiful spaces. Every detail is considered and planned in advance, and the idea of sticking a bunch of humidifiers into the design is not always well received. So, we set out to find some beautifully designed modern humidifiers that might fit the bill a bit better, see below for our 3 favorite picks (click through to view more)

View full post