Gaps in Hardwood Flooring & Normal Temperature Changes
LESLIE: Alright, flooring repair is on Ken in North Carolina’s mind. What can we help you with?
KEN: We moved into a home that is a custom home last summer and it’s on a crawlspace and the first floor is completely hardwood floors. There are some different elevation changes throughout the floor and I started noticing a couple of months ago, in our eating area, where the hardwood seems to be separating in a couple of places and I was really trying to figure out what might be happening that’s causing this …
TOM: Life is happening, Ken. It’s expanding and contracting because of temperature changes and humidity changes in your home and there’s not a lot that you can do about that. You know it happens more with some flooring; less with others. It also has to do with the installation. But if the maximum gap is a quarter-of-an-inch I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Sometimes in very old homes it gets very large and we’ll tell people to fill it with jute or something of that nature and then finish over that to fill big gaps, but a quarter-of-an-inch max in floor that’s not too old; I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I think that’s fairly typical.
KEN: Now would you expect the flooring to expand in more humid types of conditions?
TOM: Well, it depends. Typically it’s going to be tighter in the summer and wider in the wintertime.
LESLIE: When it’s drier.
TOM: But you know, the floor being as dynamic as it is and all of those pieces being interlocked, you never know where the movement is going to show up.