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Commercial Flooring News

Wood Treatment Varies In Different Seasons

Craig Pawson on wood flooring finishes

DID you know that wood flooring may experience different changes in different climates?

The UK seasons are becoming more unpredictable, with cycles of warmer, cooler and arctic periods. With this in mind, it is important for contractors to think ahead and advise clients of precautions to take to ensure their wood remains in the best possible condition.

Homeowners become concerned when they start noticing about the gaps forming in their wooden flooring during the winter, or a squeaking sound in the summer. As this may be misinterpreted as shoddy craftsmanship, it is important for contractors to educate their customers about living with wood flooring and the changes they could expect.

One of the most important aspects with any wood flooring installation is the application of a finish. With the humidity levels varying significantly throughout the year, wood will respond to this change, expanding and contracting as the moisture content of the room and material balances.

Inordertoensureaflawless finish, it is essential to specify a finishing product that will penetrate the woods surface, rather than simply sitting on top of it. Finishes that form a protective layer without being absorbed are likely to be less adapted to the woods changing shape, and as a result will often crack and peel.

An advantage of a natural finish is that it allows the wood to breathe and respond appropriately to

the environment.

Moisture control is another important aspect to discuss with clients, particularly where wooden flooring is installed within a bathroom or kitchen, as the moisturecontentoftheairislikely to be increased. Using a dehumidifier or extraction unit will help balance the room’s moisture levels.

Excessive moisture can cause wood to warp, and in some cases, this will result in irreversible damage that may require the wood to need significant sanding, and in some cases, sections replaced entirely.

Where too little moisture is present, typically in dry winter months when the home’s heating is used, a humidifier is ideal. Applying a wax finish will help in this situation as it will limit the moisture movement, but will maintainbreathability.

Craig Pawson is Osmo’s wood and finishes specialist

T: 01296 481220

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at