Can Hardwood Flooring Get Too Dry?

Can Hardwood Flooring Get Too Dry?

We often hear concerns about excess moisture damaging hardwood floors, but what about the opposite? Can your floors get too dry? The answer is yes, and it's essential to maintain proper humidity levels to protect your hardwood investment.

Problems Caused by Dry Hardwood Floors

  • Shrinking and Gaps: When humidity drops, wood fibers lose moisture and shrink. This can lead to noticeable gaps forming between planks.
  • Cracking and Splitting: Severe dryness can make the wood brittle and prone to cracking or splitting, especially along the wood grain.
  • Cupping: If the edges of a board dry out faster than the center, it can warp into a concave shape known as "cupping".

How to Prevent Your Hardwood Floors from Getting Too Dry

  • Maintain Indoor Humidity: Aim for a relative humidity level between 35%-55%, especially during dry winter months.
  • Use a Humidifier: A humidifier adds moisture to the air, protecting your floors and improving indoor comfort.
  • Choose the Right Flooring: Some hardwood species handle dryness better than others. Consult with flooring experts like those at First American Carpet & Floors in Woodbridge, VA and Stafford, VA for recommendations based on your climate.

Can Damaged Hardwood Be Restored?


Minor issues like small gaps may correct themselves once humidity levels normalize. However, more significant damage like cracking or severe cupping may need professional attention. Flooring specialists at First American Carpet & Floors can assess your floors and recommend solutions, which might include repairs or refinishing.

Protecting Your Beautiful Floors

By understanding the impact of dry environments and taking steps to maintain optimal humidity, you'll preserve the beauty and longevity of your hardwood floors. For expert advice or if you have concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to the team at First American Carpet & Floors!