Hurricanes + humidity and wood floors

Q: I’m considering putting 5″ maple engineered floors on the 2nd story of my house (plywood subfloor). But I’m worried that when the power goes out for a week of two after a hurricane the humidity in the house will cause the floors to be ruined. If so, will they come back to normal?

Also, is engineered flooring much better resistant to buckling etc.? Is there a particular species of engineered wood better then another?

A: I’ve never been to Florida, nor suffered a hurricane…thankfully. However, a few tips might help. The best engineered floor I have ever seen or worked with is Mirage. Engineered flooring is designed to be more stable than solid wood, which is why it is fine to install below grade also. If you follow the installation recommendations, and leave a small gap between the last board and wall I don’t think you will have any problem with this floor. I would give you a word of caution. The wider the board, the greater the chance of cupping, especially due to excessive expansion. Some species are more likely to react badly with humidity fluctuations than others. Maple is one of these, and you are thinking of a very wide plank. I wouldn’t go wider than 3″ or so and would likely stick with oak. White oak, quarter sawn would be most ideal, since it is most stable on side to side expansion.