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  • Writer's pictureBryan Kelly

Winter is Coming!

Actually, it’s already arrived. And on Long Island, Winter means one thing in the flooring business. The resurgence of pesky Winter/Seasonal gapping. At Oldfield Flooring, we get several calls per week this time of year from homeowners concerned about seeing gaps in their wood floors.

So, what exactly IS Seasonal Gapping?

Winter gapping in hardwood floor

Hardwood floors expand when the humidity increases, and contract when it decreases. As outside temperatures drop, homeowners turn up the heat. The increased temperature draws moisture out of the air, resulting in lower humidity levels throughout the house, and contraction of the floorboards.

According to the National Wood Flooring Association, “This type of expansion and contraction is considered to be normal and expected with wood floors when exposed to seasonal variations.”

Seasonal gaps are gaps that appear between the boards in hardwood floors in sync with the expansion and contraction of the individual boards. The size of the gaps can increase and decrease with humidity changes and is directly proportional to the size of the boards - so wider boards can experience wider gapping.

Even though seasonal gapping is a normal and common occurrence, there are ways to minimize it. First, consider the temperature and humidity of your home. It’s important to create consistent conditions within the home. Keep your temperature between 60 and 80 degrees year-round and your humidity at 30-50%. Use humidifiers and dehumidifiers as needed to maintain a consistent humidity level.

If you have any more questions about winter gapping give me a call. 631-606-6260

- Bryan

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