Seasonal Expansion and Contraction of Bamboo Flooring

Seasonal Expansion and Contraction of Bamboo Flooring

Seasonal Expansion and Contraction of Bamboo Flooring

This entry was posted on January 30, 2023 by sam elliott

Like with a wooden floor, bamboo flooring will expand and contract with seasonal changes. Bamboo is, of course, a natural material which will adapt to its environmental surroundings.  Therefore, the planks or blocks of bamboo flooring will respond to the humidity and temperature of the room that it is in. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about.


With high levels of humidity in the air, your bamboo flooring will absorb that moisture.  In contrast, when the humidity reduces the bamboo will release the moisture.  In general, your flooring will expand with high humidity and contract with low humidity.  As already mentioned, this is a completely natural process and should not cause any damage to your flooring if you have prepared properly for it.


When will my bamboo flooring contract?

In the winter time when the humidity in your home decreases, your bamboo flooring will contract.  This is usually in the colder months when you put the heating on, which naturally dries out the air.  The bamboo slowly starts to release any moisture they have built up over the more humid months of the year.  You may notice very slight spaces appear between the planks of flooring as they marginally shrink.

When will my bamboo flooring expand?

In the springtime, your bamboo floor is likely to start expanding again.  The air naturally warms up and the environment becomes more humid.  The planks of bamboo will gradually start to absorb some moisture and begin to expand again. This cycle continues year on year.  Any gaps you noticed in the winter will slowly start to return to normal again.



How can I prevent damage?

A really important thing to do is to ensure your floor is fitted correctly in order to allow room for the necessary expansion and contraction.

• Make sure you leave an expansion gap of at least 10mm around the perimeter of the room. This includes, doorways, fireplaces and around pipe work.

• You should never fix a kitchen or wardrobe to your bamboo floor. It needs the ability to move as it expands and contracts.

• If you are fitting in multiple areas, using door bars will ensure there is a sufficient expansion gap between each room.

Another thing you can do is to use a relative humidity meter in your home. For your floor to be in a stable condition, the relative humidity should be between 45%RH and 65%RH.  Anything below or above this may be detrimental to your bamboo flooring.


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