The vast amount of calls made to the National Wood Flooring Association’s hotline have to do with questions concerning moisture related issues like cracking, shrinking and warping. It would make perfect sense that anybody who deals with hardwood flooring should carry a tool that can accurately measure the moisture content of the wood. The moisture meter is a simple tool, yet mistakes can be made when utilizing one. Here are a few mistakes people make and ways to avoid them.

Different types of meters are calibrated to test different types of materials. That is, testing both concrete and wood with one type of meter will produce incorrect readings. Utilize both concrete and wood meters and learn how to properly use each for the most accurate readings.

Another mistake people make is not properly maintaining their moisture meters. Not that there is much that can be done here, except changing out the pins as needed, but you should at least test your meter periodically to ensure it is giving you proper readings.

In order to make accurate readings, you need to take multiple readings. Don’t fall into the habit of testing a section of flooring and assuming that reading will be the same for the rest of the floor. The more tests you take, the more accurate your readings will be.

All your measurements are completely meaningless unless you know how to properly interpret the data. It is recommended you consult a chart to get correct moisture readings.

Lastly, the biggest mistake people make is not using a moisture meter at all. Many contractors rely on outdated methods of feeling the wood or trusting that the acclimation time was enough.