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Moisture Level Requirements & Standards

Today, we will discuss what is the best way to lay London flooring. Usually, the problems arise from the fact that there is not sufficient knowledge of timber flooring so we will pay attention to that. In its most recent edition, The British Standard (BS8201:2011) states that for subfloor dryness before installing the timber is now below 65% rh (relative humidity). It is described in Annex A and it is tested with hydrometer method. The problem appears from the fact that many London flooring contractors believe it is not possible to achieve such low percentage especially in new buildings. They have the right to state so as it can be quite a challenge to achieve that naturally – it requires good planning and good drying conditions.

  • Before the last edition of the standard the relative humidity was 75%. But why it was reduced? London flooring specialists explain that subfloor moisture can increase the moisture content of the bottom of the face board more than that of its top face. This concerns more the wide solid wood boards. Flooring contractors in London point out that more and more people have started to prefer wider widths and this is why the standard was changed. As this affects more the wider boards if the relative humidity was kept 75% the moisture content at 15 Degrees Celsius would be around 16,5%. Now that is reduced it is about 14.5%.
  • But where is the problem? Flooring experts in London say that if we compare this with the moisture content during winter months when the heating is on, the relative humidity can drop to 45%. and the top face of the board would have a moisture content of 10%. This difference of the moisture through the thickness can result in cupping. No matter the fact we can use engineered floor boards, there is still a risk of some defect.
  • TRADA (Timber Research and Development Association) found out that timber with a width to thickness ratio less than 4:1 has the structural stability to handle the effect of moisture differences which otherwise, it will result in cupping.

Choose wisely you flooring products and make sure you follow the aforementioned tips so your London flooring solution would not suffer the moisture fluctuations!

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