Home Laminate Flooring Humidity and Laminate Flooring: What You need to Know

Humidity and Laminate Flooring: What You need to Know

by Bestlaminate
Published: Updated: 39 comments 3 minutes read

You might already know that water and laminate flooring don’t mix, but what about humidity and laminate flooring?

The wood materials in the laminate flooring expand and contract with moisture. Depending on how humid your home is, the flooring could change widths. Too much humidity could impact your floors integrity if it’s not installed correctly.

Manufacturers generally recommend that you install your laminate flooring in no more than 60% humidity and no less than 30% humidity. This middle range will give your flooring time to acclimate so that you get the best fit possible for your home.

What Happens When Humidity and Laminate Mix

As the humidity levels rise above 60%, your flooring expands. Because laminate is installed using a tongue in groove, click to lock system, this expansion can push the sides of each plank into each other causing them to buckle.

Low humidity levels can also have an impact on your flooring. When it is extraordinarily dry (below 30% humidity), the flooring shrinks pulling each plank away from the other. This can cause your floors separate and expose gaps.

Installation Phase: What You Can Do To Prevent Damage From Humidity

The installation of your laminate flooring is the critical time to think about humidity.

Before you install your flooring, you must acclimate your laminate to the environment where it will be housed. To do this, arrange your boxes of flooring with flat and side by side. Don’t put them flush against the wall. Give them room to breathe and become used to the humidity level in your home. The full acclimatization process takes 48 hours.

After your flooring has sat at least two days, you’re ready to install. During installation, humidity should still be taken into consideration. Manufacturers suggest leaving ¼ inch between the flooring and the wall to allow room for expansion and contraction.

By following these steps you’ll be able to prepare your flooring for the humidity levels in your home, minimizing your risk of damage from moisture in the air.

Acclimate your flooring by cross stacking the boxes
Acclimate your flooring by cross stacking the boxes

Have another flooring question? Ask our experts before you start your installation! With our help and guidance, you’ll become a DIY installer in no time.

Learn More About Humidity And Laminate Flooring:

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DiscoverNet | Mistakes People Make When Flooring Over Existing Floor April 29, 2022 - 10:08 pm

[…] Certain materials, like laminate flooring, require a specific humidity: no more than 60% and never going under 30%. When humidity rises above that point, the floor expands and can cause planks to buckle. Low humidity makes the same flooring shrink and can cause planks to separate and gap. Of course, you want neither of these things to happen. There are a few things you can do to address this, so research the materials of the flooring you want to use to ensure it’s appropriate for the space. For instance, acclimating laminate flooring for 48 hours helps the planks adjust to your home’s humidity level (via Best Laminate). […]

Robert Workman January 13, 2021 - 1:13 am

Nice! The information I got through this blog has really helped me in understanding this how relate humidity to laminate flooring. That was something, I was desperately looking for, thankfully I found this at the right time.

How to Repair Swollen Laminate Flooring | The Complete Guide | All Things Floor November 11, 2020 - 11:59 pm

[…] Bestlaminate: Humidity And Laminate Flooring All You Need To Know […]

Courtney April 7, 2020 - 7:40 am

Good morning. I have vinyl/plan flooring. I used a sponge with soap and water to clean them last night and notice that it looks like they are lifting from random places. They’re not completely lifted yet. What is the best way to clean the floors without them buckling? And, how do I get these “bubbles”, or lifts, to stop popping up/fix them? Would a humidifier work, to dry up all of the excess water that may be trapped underneath?

Alana Kane April 12, 2020 - 2:02 am

Hi Courtney, thanks for the question. Vinyl planks are waterproof, so you shouldn’t have these issues with water. If it was laminate, then yes, you may have issues. It is hard to say what may be happening without seeing the flooring. It could be expansion if they are having issues at the seams or if the subfloor wasn’t level. Usually vinyl doesn’t expand and contract as much as a laminate would.

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