Timber floorings look glorious and bring charm and warmth to the room. There is nothing better than the feeling of timber flooring under the feet. The good news is they are easy to maintain and can stand the test of time for decades if properly maintained. However, Timber floorings are not cheap. You have to invest a lot of money at the time of installation. On the other hand, there are a vast variety of species, patterns, types and installation methods to choose from. Most people overlook the impact of local conditions where they live such as weather changes when choosing a timber floor. Factors such as climate and materials type strongly affect the quality and durability of a timber floor. Here, for your convenience, we provided all you need to know about timber flooring in Melbourne. Weather Timber floorings are made of dead trees. They react to humidity and temperature changes as if they were alive. They display all of the natural wood behaviors such as shrinking, warping, cracking and expansion when exposed to temperature swings and changing humidity levels. That’s why flooring manufacturers state that timber floorings should be installed and maintained in a stable environment. That means to keep a timber floor in a good condition indoor humidity and temperature should be continuously controlled within a certain range. It is important to know that it is often a homeowner ‘s responsibility to provide a stable temperature and humidity condition inside the home so that floorboards are not damaged. Pops or cracks caused by temperature and humidity fluctuations usually is not covered by manufacturer’s warranty. The range of allowed humidity and temperatures for timber flooring is slightly different by manufacturer and flooring type. It is best practice to ask your supplier for temperature and humidity range of your flooring. Typically, a timber flooring requires temperature between 60 to 80 degrees and relative humidity range of 35 to 55 percent. If the relative humidity level stays below 30% for a long time, this can lead to noise in your flooring first. This is because the flooring is started to lose its moisture and shrink. If the dryness left unnoticed, it can lead to a permanent crack, pops and snaps in the floorboards. Timer floors don’t like sudden weather changes. Melbourne is known for its fickle weather. You can experience four seasons in one day, especially during spring. October is the wettest month with an average of 10 days of rainfall. It is recommended not to install a wooden floor on a rainy day. Let’s see what effect has a winter cold night or summer hot day on a timber flooring and what is the condition like in Melbourne.

How Cold Weather Affects Timber Floors

In the winter (June – August) weather is often cold and cloudy in Melbourne. Nights can be accompanied by frosts. If you head towards north-west Victoria known as High Country you can see snow falls and freezing temperature. In this time of the year, heating systems kick into high gear in our home. Heating the air evaporates the water and makes it dry. When the air is dry it absorbs the moisture from floorboard too, causing the planks to shrink and possibly even crack. It can cause problem for your timber flooring unless your home is equipped by a whole-home humidity control system.

How Hot Weather Affects Timber Floors

Because Melbourne is a costal city it has high relative humidity level all around the year. The average annual relative humidity is 55.8% and average monthly relative humidity varies from 48% in January to 67% in June. The top temperature in Melbourne is usually in January and February when it can soar 86oF. As the air gets warmer its capacity to absorb water vapor is increased and so relative humidity level in the air. Therefore, in summer your timber flooring can absorb moisture in the air and begin to swell and expand. The gaps opened in the colder weather close in the summer. In turn, this can result in boards warping, lifting, or cupping. A good air conditioning system can bring the temperature and humidity to a reasonable level, but sometimes it is not enough. It is recommended to always monitor the temperature and humidity of your home and use humidifier and dehumidifier systems when it is necessary.

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