Why moisture content matters

Posted: April 1, 2024

Click here to view our extensive line of sustainable hardwood floors.

Click here to receive a delivered price to your project. 


Hardwood flooring is a timeless and elegant choice for any home. However, to ensure its longevity and durability, it’s of the utmost importance to pay close attention to the moisture content in the wood before installation. Hardwood floors, like in our range of sustainable wood flooring, with optimal moisture content are more durable, standing up to daily wear and tear with resilience.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of having moisture content in your wood floors between 6-8% before installation and discuss the benefits such as reducing shrinkage, cupping, and movement.

Minimizing Shrinkage

When wood loses moisture, it shrinks. If hardwood flooring is installed with a moisture content higher than 8%, it can shrink significantly once it dries, leading to gaps between the boards. These gaps can be unsightly, compromise the structural integrity, and become traps for dust, dirt, and crumbs. By ensuring that the wood flooring has a moisture content of 8% or less, you’ll minimize shrinkage and help avoid potential problems.

Preventing Cupping

Cupping occurs when the edges of a hardwood board are higher or lower than its center, creating a concave shape. This phenomenon is caused by moisture imbalance, with the top of the board losing moisture faster than the bottom. When hardwood flooring is installed with a moisture content of 8% or less, the risk of cupping is significantly reduced, as the moisture content is more consistent throughout the board.

Limiting Movement

Wood naturally expands and contracts with changes in moisture content. If hardwood flooring has a high moisture content at the time of installation, it can move and cause issues like buckling and warping. By keeping a content of 8% or less, you’ll minimize the potential for movement and ensure a stable, long-lasting floor.

Maintaining Structural Integrity

Hardwood flooring with a moisture content of 8% or less is unlikely to suffer from issues like warping, splitting, and cracking. This not only preserves the appearance of the floor but also helps maintain its structural integrity. A well-maintained hardwood floor can last for generations, providing warmth, charm, and value to your home.

Enhancing Aesthetic Appeal

Hardwood flooring with a consistent moisture content will have a smooth, even surface that is free from gaps, cupping, warping, and other imperfections. This enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the floor and creates a polished, professional, and refined look. A stable moisture content is important because it makes the floor easier to maintain, reducing the likelihood of repairs or refinishing due to issues caused by excessive moisture.

To conclude

IEnsuring that your wood floor has 8% or less moisture content at the time of installation is of the utmost importance for its longevity, performance, and appearance. By minimizing shrinkage, preventing cupping, limiting movement, and preserving the structural integrity of the wood, you’ll enjoy a beautiful and durable floor for years to come.

Our knowledgeable and educated staff is here to answer any additional questions you may have. Please call us today for a free quote: Ph# 406.642.7120 or click here to submit an inquiry online. We look forward to working with you on your next project!




Posted In: All NewsPosted In: Our Products