For homeowners in southern Louisiana cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, humidity is a serious consideration in any home renovation. High levels of humidity impact energy efficiency, indoor air pollution, and even the structural integrity of your home.
When it comes to choosing a floor for your home, you’ll want to choose an option that bears up to the high humidity levels. For example, many hardwood floors warp, bend, and buckle due to moisture absorption. Even waterproof flooring materials such as porcelain tiles can still be problematic if the underlayment isn’t properly protected from moisture rising beneath your crawl space.
For the most resilient floors, try porcelain tile or luxury vinyl planks on top of a subflooring sealed against moisture, mold, and termite penetration.
Humidity Impact: Porcelain Tile
Porcelain tiles are ideal for humid environments like southern Louisiana. Porcelain is waterproof, resistant to chipping and scratching, and even helps to cool interior spaces during hot, muggy months. Porcelain tiles can be tricky to lay if you haven’t got experience, so it’s a good idea to let a professional do the job. However, once it’s down, the dense, strong material can last for decades with minimal care. It’s even fireproof. Since the grout that secures tiles is porous, be sure to seal it. Doing so will ensure water resistance throughout your flooring.
Luxury Vinyl Planks
Luxury vinyl planks offer a more modern flooring option for southern Louisiana. Made of pliable PVC, LVPs are water-resistant and extremely durable. Since LVPs are planks rather than sheets, it’s simple and affordable to make repairs if one or two planks become damaged. They can be laid on top of virtually any surface, and they even help to improve insulation and sound quality in homes, owing to their thickness.
Humidity Impact: Other alternatives
If you simply must have wood, you might try engineered wood flooring. It is superior to solid hardwood in terms of moisture absorption, but even engineered flooring won’t stand up well in extreme humidity as porcelain or LVPs.
Ceramic flooring is also a viable alternative. Porcelain tiles, in fact, or a super-water-repellent variety of ceramic tile. While ceramic isn’t quite as moisture resistant as porcelain, it comes pretty close.
Sheet laminate can be used in high moisture areas, but be sure to seal all seams. Water may not be able to penetrate the laminate, but it can easily squeeze between cracks and settling into your subflooring that way.
For the best results, start with an inspection
We recommend starting any renovation project – especially a floor replacement – with an assessment of the existing moisture conditions. In many southern Louisiana homes, subflooring with no vapor barrier deteriorates to dangerous levels. Placing new flooring on top of damaged subflooring is a recipe for disaster. We want your floors to be as strong as they are beautiful, so give us a call today to see how we can help with your floor renovation project.
Couldn’t be more thankful for the team at Sunlight Contractor’s. My wife and I found them on Angie’s list after 2 cold winters at home. We had a leaky subfloor that was letting in a lot of draft. Ira and his team came to the house and completely insulated our subfloors (1400sqft) in about 2 hours. They were professional courteous and punctual. There was a noticeable difference right away. Our floor felt warmer and more stable after they completed the job. They showed us pictures of the job from underneath to confirm the quality and they were even kind enough to come inside to remove excess insulation and color those spots the match the floor. We were very happy with their work.