Wood is a living species that has a water content to it. Water is the compound that drives nutrition transport in plants like a tree, and is absolutely essential for its existence. However, this same water is something that is not so useful when we want to turn this wood into a product that can be used for your home. Wood is a dynamic material that can readily absorb and expel water from its environment until it finds a balance that it can sustain. Since it carries that capability, the wood must be dried by the manufacturers before being processed into planks for flooring. This process is known as air drying, and is simply done by leaving the wood in a dry open-air area where water can passively escape over time with the aid a controlled air flow. Another method that is used to dry wood is called Kiln drying. A machine kind of like a furnace is set up underneath the wood and provides a set heat to it. This method is a lot faster, and can adjust wood to a desired moisture content. However, this thermally insulated chamber is expensive, often used by large manufacturers that deal with high volumes of wooden products daily.
Hardwood Floor Sale Toronto: What about the Moisture Content in Wood?
Wood is hygroscopic. This is probably a word you have never heard before. It basically means that wood is a material that fluctuates in its moisture content with respect to the surrounding environment’s humidity and air temperature. Wood can actually decrease in moisture as the humidity in the surrounding environment decreases, and vice versa. When its water content decreases, the loss of volume causes the wood to shrink. The opposite is true when humidity rises as the wood ends up expanding with its new water content. This problem is normally resolved by leaving enough space at the edges of the wooden floor to allow for this expansion. Also, making sure that the wood is not fully reinforced unto the subfloor can allow natural expansion to occur. If the wood is not given enough space to expand and contract, it can cause it to buckle out of shape. This is a problem that is all too common faced by those that install the floors themselves. We are not saying it is a bad idea to do it yourself. Just make sure you consult an expert to learn about details such as the moisture retaining qualities of wood before installing.