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Engineered floor - why is relative humidity important?

16 years ago

Hi there -- we have a split-level house where the first floor is at-grade, concrete slab. Said first floor has had carpet over plywood, a terrible (now smelly) combo. So we are ripping it out and are considering our options for new flooring. FWIW, this is the floor where our master bedroom and family room are.

We love the idea of engineered flooring so we can have wood floors, but I've read the relative humidity needs to be at or under 60% and in the summertime our first floor is routinely at 70%+ (yuck). [Yes, we have gutters and just redid the drainage around the house, so we've pretty much done what can be done externally to take care of moisture.]

My question is: If we want to go with an engineered flooring product, are we going to have to solve the humidity issue? Why is humidity important, and is this an issue only during installation or ongoing? We can solve the issue for installation by running a dehumidifier, but in the summer it makes things awfully hot. We'll have to buy an air conditioner if it's more of an ongoing thing. Can this partially be solved by sealing the concrete slab, or putting in a moisture barrier?

Thanks for your advice!

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