Wooden Floors – Suitability for Kerala climate and lifestyle

  • One of the often asked questions when wood is introduced as an option for their flooring needs.
  • Wood has been used as an option for generations in Kerala – For e.g., traditional houses and tharavadu
  • A properly installed wood floor will last more than a life time.
  • Things to take care while selecting the wooden floors are
    • the species of wood. Not all species of wood are suitable for wooden floors.  Just like not all species of wood are suitable for your doors and windows.
    • that the wood is properly seasoned to match the equilibrium moisture content ( EMC ) of Kerala which is around 12% to 13%.
    • You use the services of a specialist in wooden floor. There are too many things to be considered before and during the installation of wooden floor which a general carpenter or contractor might not.
    • Wooden floor installations techniques have advanced over the years. Now you have specialized adhesives for wooden floors, specialized finishes, sanding techniques, maintenance products.
  • In Kerala, the humidity levels reached the high 80s and 90s during some seasons. And the levels drop to 40s and 30s during our so called winter times in December and January. This will of course create movement in all wood. You might have noticed that some of your solid wood doors are hard to close during monsoons and then they become alright during the summer. This is because the wood gains some moisture from the air and expands. The same thing happens to a solid wood floor also. But since the individual strips are rarely wider than 5 inches, the effect is minimal on a floor. Further, the tongue and groove system of a properly machined wooden floor will have a provision within the tongue and groove to take care of the expansion of the individual strip. This is another reason why we should use professional companies to supply and install the wooden floors for your house.
  • The modern wood floor finishes (polishes as it is called in Kerala) are meant to take on the use and to certain extent the misuse of day to day living. In fact the wooden floors are used world over in much more tougher and testing situations like airports, restaurants, schools etc.
  • And keep it mind that wood floors once sanded and refinished will give you a brand new floors which is rarely an option for other types of floorings. Typically the finishes on the floors last quite long. Under normal conditions, wood floor finishes should last more than 15years.

This post is meant to educate on wooden floors, wood floor selection, maintenance and other wood floor related questions specific to India. You can visit my company website Westwood Floorings to have more information on wooden floors.

 

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