The environment where you keep your solid wood dining room furniture is critical to the lifespan of the pieces. In an unfriendly home environment, dinette sets may fade, crack or swell. Not to worry—all of these degradations are avoidable! Below, we offer tips for maintaining spaces with the right temperature, humidity, and sunlight exposure so that your dining room table and chairs can last to become beautiful antiques.
Buy a hygrometer.
Your solid wood dining room furniture exchanges moisture with the air, shrinking and expanding in response to changes in relative humidity. A hygrometer (which costs around $20) will allow you to measure the relative humidity inside your home. Humidity is very difficult to measure accurately, but the relative humidity in a room gives an approximation of how much water the air is holding. A relative humidity level of between 25 to 45 percent (some furniture care experts recommend up to 55 percent) is recommended for a room with solid wood dining room furniture.
Use a dehumidifier in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer.
This will help to keep the humidity level in your home stable year-round. A dehumidifier is especially useful for removing excess moisture from the air (leading to furniture expansion) during times of heavy rain.
Watch out for extreme temperatures.
Wood dining room furniture doesn’t fare well in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Keep your home’s temperature around 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature itself is not as important as avoiding radical swings in temperature (which affects the moisture in the air), so bear this in mind when opening up, for example, a vacation home that has been closed for months.
Avoid heat sources.
Keep dining room furniture as far away as possible from direct heat sources, such as radiators or fireplaces.
Steer clear of direct sunlight.
Over time, direct exposure to the sun will fade the finish on your dining room table. Prolonged exposure may even cause the finish to crack. Make sure your dining room has heavy drapes or blinds that you can close when the sun is strongest to prevent sunlight from hitting your dining room furniture.
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