Tuesday, August 21, 2018

How to dry a wood floor?          

How to dry a wood floor is a complicated answer because of the many types of flooring that people consider wood and it isn’t actually.  There are three main types of “wood floor” and some of them can be dried and some can’t.  They are laminate, engineered, and real wood.

Laminate is actually not wood but rather a composite material with a picture of wood laminated to the surface of the material.  This product is not water proof and will swell up when wet.  Once it is wet it will need to be replaced.

Then there are the engineered wood floors.  These can be identified by looking at the end of a board and it will look like layers of plywood with a veneer of real wood.  These boards can be installed over a plastic or foam padding or glued down directly to the subfloor.  Sometimes on a direct glue installation these floors can be dried in place by pulling a vacuum on the floor.  If it is installed as a “floating” floor with a piece of plastic or foam under it then you will have to replace the floor.

Lastly, there is solid wood flooring.  This can be installed as glued down directly to the subfloor or built up on screeds.  Either way these floors should be able to be dried and reused.  To dry a direct glue solid wood floor in place the restorer will need some drying mats that allow a vacuum to be pulled through it thus drying the floor.  You will never dry these by blowing air across the top.  With a wood floor up on screeds, the best way to do this is to dry the floor from the underneath.  To do this it is necessary to remove one to two boards the length of the room to blow hot dry air under the floor.  Then go to the opposite side of the room and remove a board or two for the air to come out of.  After the floor is dry the boards can be replaced, then the floor can be sanded and refinished. 

To be able to dry either an engineered or solid wood you will need to have the proper equipment.  Either an LGR or a desiccant is a necessity to dry these.  Without the proper dehumidifier or a mat style drying system trying to dry these in place will not happen.

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