No question about it: the right flooring in the right place adds function and beauty to any building. That is, as long as excess moisture is never an issue.

Unfortunately, all too often moisture does become a serious issue. The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and other industry experts have estimated that at least 75% of all flooring installation failures—such as warping, cupping, cracking, shrinking, adhesive failure, gaps, and even mold and mildew growth—are the result of moisture issues.

It is imperative to pay special attention to moisture during the design and installation of a flooring project. One important aspect of this is to measure and monitor moisture levels in the various flooring materials.

If a concrete floor slab is involved, always conduct an in situ relative humidity (RH) test of the slab before installing the finished floor, then be sure to compare test results to the RH specification provided by the manufacturer of the finished floor product.

When hardwoods or other wood materials are used in the finished floor, make sure to assess the wood’s moisture content prior to installation. Handheld moisture meters are typically the tool of choice for taking moisture measurements in wood flooring.

However, not just any moisture meter will do. Insist on using a meter with proven accuracy and reliability because inaccurate readings could mean arriving at wrong conclusions about moisture levels. And this could result in a flooring failure, costly legal claims, and the significant cost of tearing out and replacing flooring materials damaged by moisture.

One great option is our new Orion series of pinless moisture meters. All Orion meters—including the Orion 910, 920, 930, 940, and 950 models—offer an On-Demand Calibrator that provides on-site calibration capability. It’s your assurance that your meter is fully calibrated to factory standards and always ready to provide trustworthy measurements of the moisture condition of your flooring materials.

With on-site calibration, you can keep an Orion meter on hand at all times and be assured the meter will maintain consistent accuracy throughout its lifetime. The On-Demand Calibrator is an external calibration device that can be used anytime and anywhere to quickly check and then recalibrate the meter as needed. It’s a surprisingly fast process that only takes about one minute.

Our Orion meters offer other valuable features for ensuring successful flooring installations, including dual-depth readings. The shallow depth feature (1/4-in. deep) allows you to read moisture content in thin samples such as wood flooring or to check the dryness of waterborne finish coats between applications. With the deep depth feature (up to 1 1/2-in. deep), you can measure moisture in subfloors to check for wet spots or problem areas.

Each of the five models in the Orion lineup offers an increasing range of features and functions:

  • The 910 features deep depth readings.
  • The 920 offers shallow depth readings ideal for monitoring waterborne finishes or other surface applications.
  • The 930 provides both deep/shallow depth readings.
  • The 940 offers deep/shallow depth readings plus a unique data collection capability.
  • The 950 offers all of the above, also features a built-in temperature and humidity sensor, and it comes Bluetooth/app-enabled.

Learn more about Wagner Meters’ new Orion moisture meters at or call Wagner Meters at (800) 207-2486.