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Reasons for Installing Wood Floors during the Winter

by in Hardwood Materials
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There are many reasons to install your new flooring in the winter; here are a few of them...

1. Winter dryness means less moisture will get trapped underneath hardwood flooring.

Here at Happy Floors, we recommend installing wood flooring in extremely dry conditions for a couple of very important reasons. First, if the underlying concrete slab or subflooring is moist during installation, it is possible for the floorboards to buckle and warp over time. In addition, mold and mildew thrive in damp subflooring. Even though interior air is often dryer in the winter than in the summer, here on Cape Cod we tend to have plenty of moisture all year long. Therefore, you want to be especially careful about preparing the area where your floor will be installed. We also recommend running a dehumidifier if you’re unsure as to whether your subfloor is dry enough or not.

Additionally, it’s important to let hardwood flooring materials acclimate before installing them. Acclimation involves storing the flooring in the room where they will be installed. A week should be enough time to ensure that the wood has adjusted to the surrounding humidity and temperature conditions. This will minimize gapping, buckling, cracking, etc. (We have a whole article based on acclimation. Check it out!)


(This is the kind of thing we avoid at all costs! This picture shows damaged subfloor due to moisture and water damage.)

2. Floorboards expand in heat and shrink in cold temperatures.

Wood naturally expands in heat and contracts in cold. Similarly, hardwood swells in humid conditions and shrinks in dry settings. Because of this, significant problems can arise if you don’t take humidity and temperature into account when installing your hardwood flooring. It is harder to properly space flooring in the summer, since boards are enlarged during that time of the year, and if the boards are placed right next to each other during a summer installation, they will inevitably shrink in the winter, creating gaps.

That being said, the opposite situation can also arise if you install floorboards in the winter and leave no gaps for the wood to grow with heat. The boards will swell if they have room to or not and will eventually run in to each other and could buckle or crack later on. Therefore, Happy Floors hardwood flooring experts will maintain a small gap between boards when installing wood floors in the wintertime.






3. It is often easier to schedule installation to occur over winter vacation.

In addition to offering superior moisture and temperature conditions, wintertime is also a good time to install wood flooring because many families go on vacation, or go home, during this season. Cape Cod is a seasonal community and the winter time is an ideal time to have work on your house done as you and your family won’t be there. It will lessen inconvenience for you and your loved ones, not to mention eliminate the risk of small fingerprints in the finish or pets running across the unfinished flooring and dirtying it up. As with many home improvement projects, installing a wood floor can turn any home into a chaotic mess, therefore, it’s best to have it done when you won’t need to use the space.

Even if you will be staying in town while your hardwood flooring is placed, winter is a great time to have it done because the installation process will feel far less hectic and stressful if you have an oasis where you can retreat and refresh. The holidays are also a great time for a face-lift before family comes to town.



4. Due to the seasonal lifestyle of Cape Cod, you’re likely to get better pricing off-season.

As we mentioned before, Cape Cod is busy in the summer and quiets down significantly in the winter. This not only has an effect on the locals here, but on the businesses as well. Many businesses close during the winter and reopen only when our tourists come back. If you do find companies that stay open year ‘round like Happy Floors, you’re more likely to get discounted pricing and faster installation and finishing when they’re not as busy; the same way that a wedding at a major beach resort will cost you half the price if it’s not during the peak season.





Bottom line: Winter hardwood flooring installation is a good idea because hardwood boards are at their smallest during the dry, cold winter months; because your family might not mind you crashing at their place as much during the holiday season; and because you can spend more money on presents and less on your floors!

Call Happy Floors to schedule your FREE ESTIMATE today!