Humidity and Hardwood Floor Installation


Hi all, looking for some help here from people in the know. I'm about to have select grade 3 1/4" yellow birch hardwood installed throughout my house. The wood has been delivered and is getting acclimated in the house. I understand that ideal humidity should be somewhere in the range of 45% - 55% all the time in a house, according to the company that sold it to me. Problem is, my home humidity ranges from a low of 20% to no more than 30%. I've been testing it with a hygrometer in various spots. Its clear to me that I just live in a very dry house.
I live in Canada, and in winter particularly (the heating season), humidity can be low.
My question is this: if it is installed in low humidity, and the humidity ALWAYS stays relatively low in the house (summer and winter), will there be a problem down the road with shrinking, expanding, or cracking of the hardwood?
Thanks for any help or insight.
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Sean,
Once the wood is acclimated to the low humidity it shouldn't move much, shrink, swell, or crack. The question is, how long must the wood sit before it acclimates. I'm guessing that the installer knows this and that if the wood does crack due to dryness it will happen within the first year so the installer can be called about repairs. Rent a wood moisture meter and check a couple of pieces. I bet that the wood is already quite dry since it has been sitting in a lumber yard for a while.
Dave M.
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No, _changes_ in humidity cause the problematic movement. However, bear in mind:
1. Since your home is so incredibly dry, give the new floor as long as possible to dry out before installing.
2. The installed floor will get subjected to rather high but very localized increases in humidity from time to time. i.e. every time you spill something ;-) Be very diligent about cleaning up any spills quickly and thoroughly.
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Just buy a humidifier everything in your house will benefit
Sean wrote:

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I realy dought your humidistat is accurate, does everything spark , I mean you would notice excessive static with 20% humidity. Analog are usualy sold 10-15% off, the better units state to calibrate every 6 months by wrapping in a wet rag and setting to 94-96%. Digital are better but some are inacurate. Once the wood aclimitised it wont matter, buy yourself a moisture meter to see when the wood equals your home, A Pro installer would have one all the time, a hack wont.
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I've been running a couple of hygrometers, both digital. One portable, and the one built into my thermostat. They seem to be measuring very similar.
I notice the odd bit of static when clothes come from the drier, no shocks touching anything though.

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