Parquet | relative humidity

To add humidity or to take it away?

Relative humidityBefore, during and after installation, the relative humidity and the room temperature must be taken into account. Before installation, the greatest danger is that there is too much humidity in the air—due to a damp floor base, moisture in the walls etc.  After installation, there is a greater risk of too little humidity.


The relative humidity is the percentage of water in the air relative to the maximum amount possible at a certain temperature and atmospheric pressure. Be aware that the relative humidity can even vary within one single room. There is greater humidity by the windows than in the centre of the room or by the heating source. When the air humidity is 100%, condensation is formed.

Wood always achieves equilibrium with its surroundings; therefore adequate control of the indoor climate is very important. The risk in the winter months is especially high.

Surface crack parquetIf the relative humidity is low, the wood will release humidity into the air and shrink. This can result in irreparable cracks. When the relative humidity is too high, the wood absorbs water from the atmosphere, and the planks will spring; in other words, the planks expand and the boards warp.

Lamett recommends the Oskar humidifier from Stadler Form. With its integrated humidistat, it measures the humidity in the air and, by means of cold water technology, humidifies the room if necessary. This humidifier consumes little energy and is suitable for rooms up to 40 m². Moreover, it is very quiet and is not a nuisance even in the bedroom.
Humidifier OskarLuchtbevochtiger Oskar

The relative humidity can vary greatly between summer and winter (varies between 90% - 20%). The parquet will therefore also expand and shrink according to the time of year. The most difficult period for wood is the winter—at extreme temperatures below the freezing point, there is a good chance that the relative humidity is extremely low (as low as 20%). If, at those times, the rooms are not provided with some extra heat, the parquet floor releases the last of its humidity and can react by springing completely out of its joints.

It is important to be aware that wood is a natural product and that the chance exists of warping and the formation of cracks or open fissures in the joints and that these characteristics are part of the parquet itself.

Important tips:

  • Regularly measure the relative humidity. Often it will be necessary to install an electric humidifier in order to maintain an adequate humidity level (45 to 65%). When purchasing a humidifier, take its range (in cubic metres) into account. We recommend placing the humidifier in the middle of the room, as far away as possible from any heat source (radiator, stove).
  • Rooms that are left unoccupied in the winter must be heated to a minimum of 10°C.

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