At the time of manufacturing for all flooring grades, checking is permissible as it happens during the Kiln drying process. The areas where the separation of the wood occurs is segmented into three different categories.
- Surface Checking
This type of checking occurs in the early parts of the drying process when the outer core which dries quicker tears apart from the wet swollen core
Similar to surface checking, end checking occurs when the ends of the boards dry more rapidly than the centre and the stress of the opposing moisture levels causes fractures in the wood, this time however it happens to the end of the wood rather than the face therefore giving it the name end-checking.
- Internal Checking
As the name alludes to, this category of checking takes place in areas not seen until a later point in the flooring production (internally). These checks can become exposed once the boards are milled or sanded or if the moisture levels or relative humidity change after installation. Another term for this type of checking is “Honeycomb Checking”
How Checking Occurs
Checking happens when the wood is put under stress at various times such as the following
- During the drying process as displayed in the various categories above where the moisture levels in the different areas of the wood happen more quickly than the other areas
- Improper maintenance practices like using excessive moisture to clean floors (standing water or steam cleaners) or improper relative humidity control within the home such as fluctuations or reducing humidity levels below recommended amounts. Learn more here.
- Improper management of direct heating sources (HVAC, radiant heat or registers)
- Extreme weather conditions (seasonal moisture and humidity fluctuations)
- Checking may also develop through the process of drying a flooded floor with an improperly monitored or misused on-site moisture remediation system and procedure.
How to Avoid Checking/Cure Checking (After the manufacturing state)
- Maintain the home environment humidity levels and temperature between our recommenced amounts. A temperature between 60-80°F (16-27°C) and relative humidity between 35%-50% for Solid and 30%-65% for Engineered and Enhanced. Learn more here.
- Correct or redirect heating sources from the flooring.
- Increase the moisture levels within the home (if low) by use of a humidifier to reduce the visible appearance of the checks.
- If you have aesthetic concerns make use of repairs such as: wood fillers, colour matched wood putty, etc.
- Board replacements may be necessary to the affected boards that are beyond repair.
A Superior Note: Checking is permissible in all flooring grades at the time of manufacture. Checking is acceptable in our Heritage and Rustic Grades. Along with small surface checks being acceptable in our Select Grade