A new set of solid wood cabinets should last for years, but optimally, they should be kept in a wood-friendly environment. Wood may seem sturdy and durable, but it is also more vulnerable to changes in temperature and humidity than you might realize.
Temperature & Wooden Cabinets
Generally speaking, the temperature in your home won’t change more than a few degrees throughout the year. Your HVAC system should obviously keep your home warm in the winter and cool during the summer. For the most part, you shouldn’t have too many extreme temperature changes. This consistency is a good thing because drastic temperature changes can cause problems for wooden structures. Like just about everything else, wood expands in heat and contracts in the cold. Having your wooden cabinets go from being incredibly hot to bitterly cold in a short amount of time could cause them to crack due to stress. You might think that this is an unlikely scenario. But, it could happen if your furnace were to go out in the middle of a frigid winter day.
To keep your wooden cabinets and other wood furniture in good working condition, try to keep your thermostat at a steady temperature, typically around 68-72°F. If you’re going to turn the temperature up or down, do so gradually. This way you don’t put too much stress on your wood.
While your new cabinetry likely won’t be destroyed by the regular temperature changes in a normal home that occur throughout the year, you should still check your thermostat to make sure that things don’t get too cold or too hot for your cabinets.
Humidity & Wood Cabinets
Extreme temperature changes can cause a lot of problems for your new cabinetry, including both kitchen and bathroom cabinets. However, it is nothing compared to what humidity changes can do. The humidity can change drastically in a kitchen as you do things such as boil water or turn up your oven, so make sure your HVAC system’s humidifier and dehumidifier are in good working condition if you’ve recently had new kitchen cabinets installed. The same goes with bathrooms that have showers in them – humidity levels can rapidly change when the shower is on. So, if you’ve recently had new bathroom vanity cabinets installed, make sure your HVAC system is working properly to keep the humidity level steady.
What humidity level is best for solid wood cabinets?
Overall, you should keep the humidity in your home between 40 and 50 percent if you want your bathroom and kitchen cabinets to stay in good shape. Anything higher than that might cause the wood to swell, which can damage the joints of your cabinets. Anything lower will dry out the wood, which can cause cracks to form elsewhere. Wood expands as humidity increases and shrinks as humidity decreases.
These reasons are why it is important to ensure you have controlled temperature and humidity settings in your home. They will ensure you comfort and the stability and life of your custom wood cabinetry.