Hardwood flooring brings the beauty of nature indoors – so it should be the perfect choice for Sun City West, right? While hardwood perfectly reflects the setting and culture of our town, it isn’t always compatible with our environment.
In fact, we aren’t able to offer warranties on many of our hardwood flooring lines. That’s because our unique climate tends to push wood panels beyond their limit. Here’s how:
There are a few environmental factors common in Sun City West that can impact your hardwood floors. The degree of that impact will vary by flooring, so it’s important to always check the documentation. Here, we’ll take a general look at the most common.
Solid hardwood planks naturally expand as humidity levels rise, even if only slightly. Obviously, excessive humidity isn’t a concern in Sun City West. That, of course, is because humidity levels are low in the desert – which can also prove challenging for traditional planks. If indoor humidity is too low, hardwood panels will contract. This often leads to gaps between panels, but overtime, it can also cause cracks in the planks themselves. Even worse, humidity levels tend to fall drastically this time of the year.
In fact, our indoor humidity levels can even drop too low for engineered hardwood flooring. The bonding between layers can begin to break apart if humidity levels remain below 30%.
Although humidity levels can cause the number to vary, the most common temperature range for hardwood floors (including engineered) is between 60 and 85 degrees. This usually isn’t a problem for the typical Sun City home. However, sunbirds (those who migrate to cooler areas during the monsoon season) may find this concerning. If your HVAC system is shut down during our warmest months, the temperature inside your home can exceed 90 degrees.
Exposure to sunlight can also prove detrimental. For example, if your home has a window that provides uneven exposure to sunlight, it can quickly raise the temperatures of those planks higher than the ones around it. Over time, this can lead hardwood planks to buckle and warp out of place.
Floating Hardwood Floors
Installation also plays a role. To that end, floating engineered hardwood floors are probably the preferred option. As the name implies, these floors “float” over the subfloor (or, sometimes, even the existing flooring). These floors often click into place, so there is no need to nail or glue down planks. So, floating floors have more room to expand and contract as temperatures and humidity levels change. Floating floors also include a vapor barrier, which can help protect against a spike in humidity during the occasional rain storm.
Ultimately, engineered hardwood floors are suitable for the average Sun City West home. You’ll just have to pay a little more attention to indoor humidity and exposure to sunlight. If you would like expert advice on the best floors for your home, visit Sun City West’s top flooring professionals at Crown Carpet today!