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Which is the Best Floor Type in Humid Climates or Areas?

Posted on May 16, 2017

You finally decided to remodel your home, which comes with many unforeseen issues that you will inevitably encounter along the way. In order to ensure that your remodeling experience goes as smoothly as possible, you can plan ahead by researching what types of materials will be the best fit, not only for your home and your aesthetic, but for the region and climate that you live in. Too many times have home owners gone through with a remodel process and realized halfway through, or even worse when they are finished, that it will only be a matter of time before the materials they so carefully chose will begin to warp after a period of time.

Choose the right material

When we choose to remodel a home, we make tough decisions that sometimes many people must agree upon; however, it is more efficient to first figure out what materials will work best for the climate you live in, and then narrow down your options from there. Humid climates present a unique challenge, especially when it comes to flooring: what is the best type of flooring for climates that have a larger quantity of moisture in the air? If the wrong materials are chosen, this could lead to long-term damage that will be expensive to fix, and ultimately throw your hard-earned cash right down the drain. So, let’s look at some of the flooring options that will work best in humid areas, or in rooms that are susceptible to humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

Don’t use solid wood flooring

For humid climates, it is generally best to stay away from solid wood flooring; the wood will expand and contract with the moisture it absorbs, which will ultimately cause significant damage to the flooring, and destroy the charm and beauty that attracted you to it in the first place. Solid wood flooring, of course, can be highly appealing and can increase the value of a home; however, keep in mind that the value of the flooring goes right out the window once it has been compromised by humidity. Therefore, your best bet is to go with a different material that is just as aesthetically appealing, but can withstand the climate.

Engineered woods vs vinyl planks

There are several types of flooring that work better than others in humid areas. A good substitute for solid wood flooring can be either engineered woods or vinyl planks. Engineered wood is not the most resilient to humidity, but it can work depending on exactly how humid it gets in the area. They can withstand up to 60% humidity, but that might not be good enough. Vinyl planks, however, can be designed to look like wood floors, and they resist water like nobody’s business. The pricing on these two options fluctuates, and depending on how much material you need, flooring can become expensive.

Laminate Flooring

Porcelain tiles are an excellent choice

Another option is porcelain. Today there are beautiful wood-like porcelain tiles that can fool the eye into believing that your floor is made of gorgeous solid wood material. Fortunately, porcelain is durable and an excellent contender for substituting other materials that withstand humidity best. These tiles come in a wide range of patterns and stains that mimic the grooves and charm of wood floors, but without the hassle of cleaning fussy wood, and dealing with the potential devastation that humidity can cause. Another option is laminate flooring; slightly less expensive, laminate comes in many patterns and styles that can accommodate your unique aesthetic while remaining moisture-free and relatively unharmed by humidity. However, when it comes to the best bang for your buck, porcelain tiles are an excellent choice—just make sure that you use the proper sealant on the grout that you use.

Consult with professionals

No matter your personal preference, there are many options to choose from within each of the above-mentioned categories of flooring. While these are general suggestions and guidelines, you should be sure to consult with experts in the field who can suggest the top-of-the-line options. Finding materials that won’t fail you in humid climates and that can offer the longevity that everyone desires when tackling a difficult, expensive remodel should always be the goal. Luckily, flooring is a huge market—there are many skilled professionals that can help you along the way.