Humidity and Wood Furniture

With the fall and winter months rapidly approaching, we thought we’d take this opportunity to give you some tips for caring for your wood furniture during the colder months. Believer it or not, winter can affect the condition of your furniture if the proper steps aren’t taken.

Winter can be tough on any type of wood. This isn’t because of the temperature, but it’s actually due to humidity. Wood acclimates to its environment and will expand and contract depending on the conditions it is exposed to and the humidity level. As the level of humidity in your home drops, the wood your furniture is made out of loses moisture. Like your hands, if wood gets too dry it will shrink and crack. Wood is very sensitive to changes in humidity and in your home the level of humidity is constantly changing, meaning your wood furniture is always expanding and contracting.

Our tables are built out of the highest quality wood available and we build them to tolerate and adjust to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. A typical Rustic Elements Furniture table top will expand and contract up to ¼ – ½ an inch throughout the season without any effects. In cases of super dry conditions, the wood can shrink and crack as a result, but we rarely see this happen.

To prevent your wood furniture from cracking, warping, or drying out, keep the following tips in mind:
  • Wood does best in moderate temperatures of around 70 – 72 degrees fahrenheit and about 50 – 55% humidity, so this is what we recommend keeping your home set to in order to keep your wood furniture in top condition.
  • Watch your humidity in your home and make sure your humidifier is working properly to prevent any and all issues, especially during the winter months.
  • Avoid frequent and sudden changes in humidity, as they can be damaging to furniture.
  • Don’t store wood furniture in the basement, attic, garage, or a warehouse, if at all possible, as this will cause it to age more quickly.
  • Avoid excess heat or dryness, as this can cause wood to split and crack.
  • Be sure to keep your furniture away from heat sources such as fireplaces or radiators.
  • In damp rooms or during wet, rainy seasons, use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.
  • Keep furniture out of direct sunlight.
  • Keep table leaves as close to your table as possible to ensure they are exposed to the same humidity conditions.

If you hear a creaking or popping noise coming from your table, don’t be alarmed! It is normal for some noises to come from wood as it adjusts to temperatures and humidity levels. If you follow these tips and keep an eye on your wood furniture during the winter months, you should have no problem with your wood tables, chairs, benches, or entertainment centers.

For more information on our furniture, please visit our FAQ. If you’re interested in browsing the different types of furniture we offer, take a look at our furniture gallery.

Contact Rustic Elements Furniture today to start designing a piece of custom furniture!

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