Who isn't familiar with a hoarse throat in winter, when the central heating is running on full steam? The dry air and stirred dust strain our breathing and it can be as unpleasant as high humidity levels. A superior building material buffers and balances moisture independent of whether it is extremely humid or dry. Untreated wood has a large inner surface area where the countless pores, capillaries and micro-tubules react to changes in the moisture levels of its surroundings.
While the humidity rises, wood absorbs moisture and dries up the air. When humidity levels drop and the air dries up, wood releases some of the retained moisture back into the atmosphere and maintains balance. Timber is the ideal moisture buffer for any building. The more natural wood there is in a house, the better the buffering effect.
"Whoever still has concerns about untreated wood being suitable for bathrooms will be surprised by the following story. It is true, bathrooms have the most extreme climatic changes in any home and in the early years of manufacturing, I too declined to build bathroom floors. I was afraid about the spaces and movement between the floorboards.
However, the following experience led me to a vital realization:
One day a carpenter, also a colleague, ordered cherry tree floors for one of his clients and didn't tell me who or what it was exactly for. As promised, we delivered his cherry tree floorboards and a little while later, he rang to let me know that the floor turned out very nicely. I asked him if his clients were happy with it and he said: "very much so!"
A few months later, I went to visit him and was greatly surprised to find out that he was the client himself. He led me into his bathroom and showed me his cherry tree floor which was very neat and tightly installed, with no signs of gaps and movement between the boards. The carpenter told me with a grin on his face that he knew about my cautiousness and he wanted to spare me sleepless nights. But he always knew that untreated wood could be used even in bathrooms, as long as it has been harvested at the right time.
From the result of the bathroom floor inspections resulted in three happy faces: his wife's, looking proudly at her beautiful & natural cherry floor, the joyful carpenter's and my own face which must have looked rather surprised, judging by his chuckling. Since this event, we have delivered and installed many natural wooden floors for bathrooms and found that natural and untreated wood balances the air humidity in all cases.
For example, if the humidity in a room rises from 35% to 65%, 1M² of spruce cladding absorbs up to 10 grams of moisture in 12 hours and dries up the air. This works the opposite way too. If the air in a room is suddenly very dry, wood slowly releases moisture back into the air.
We found that after installing natural wood ceilings, wall claddings and/or floors in the bathroom, the mirror rarely fogs over and hardly any condensation water appears when you have a shower. You can try this experiment too!
You need to be aware though, that plywood, chipboard, and wood component panels that are sealed and laminated completely negate this buffering effect of wood. These advantages only take effect when you use solid, untreated, adhesive-free wood like Holz100 which is able to breathe freely on its own."
- Dr. Erwin Thoma, Founder & Inventer of Thoma Holz100
Holz100 Canada Inc.