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Can I Store Hardwood Flooring in a Garage?

Can I Store Hardwood Flooring in a Garage?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I am getting ready to install my brand new hardwood flooring and couldn’t be more excited! I know I’ll have a good amount left over. We bought extra just in case something goes wrong during the installation. Can I store hardwood flooring in a garage or do I need to keep it in my house?
– Meredith M.

Dear Meredith,

How exciting! Getting new flooring can change the look of your home. We’re excited for you!

It sounds like you made a smart choice in purchasing a little bit of extra material just in case something goes wrong during the installation. Having extra hardwood flooring on hand is a good idea so that no wrong cut or measurement will delay your project.

Storing hardwood flooring in your garage might work but only if it meets a few requirements.

Climate Control 

The room you store your leftover flooring in must be climate controlled. The climate where you store your hardwood flooring will impact how well it holds up. Temperature and moisture levels have a dramatic impact on your floors integrity. It’s a little like the story of the three bears. If it gets too hot, too cold, too moist, or too dry, you’ll run into problems with the flooring contracting or expanding. This will cause more havoc when you go to install your flooring and it readjusts to fit your room’s climate. On the extreme side, your hardwood floor can warp, making it unusable in any installation.

Grade Level

If your garage is below grade, or has at least one of the walls covered by ground (such as is the case with a walkout basement), you should not store your hardwood flooring there. This room will inevitably exposed to excess moisture, which can cause your floors to warp.

Long-Term Storage Tips

It’s a good idea to expose your hardwood floors to as minimal change as possible. If you need to store your hardwood flooring in the garage, make sure you acclimatize it before installing it in the room where it is going for at least 48 hours. This might mean stopping your project for a few days while the wood readjusts to the indoor temperature and humidity levels. If you’re storing your extra flooring for a long period of time, make sure it is stored flat. Leaning your extra boxes against a wall can cause the floor to warp and curve over time.

We also recommend getting a professional to install your hardwood flooring. This is not a good project for a DIYer. Professionals will know how to measure and will create as little excess as possible. This might mean you have more product left over but that’s better than not having enough during the installation process.

Good luck and happy installation!

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