Floor moisture meters for testing on wood & concrete flooring

Wooden floor

How to use floor moisture meters before, during and after floor installation

Why do you need a floor moisture test?

Excess moisture in a concrete subfloor or floor covering can lead to floor failure. High moisture content levels can have a negative effect on the installation of a new floor covering and also damage an existing floor covering.

Each part of a floor, such as the subfloor and floor covering, requires specific moisture testing methods and tools. The moisture test methods depend on the stage of the flooring installation process or on the level of investigation needed in a remediation procedure.

By diligently conducting moisture testing and taking appropriate remedial actions based on the results, you can safeguard the integrity of the flooring and avoid costly failures in the future.

Moisture testing before installation of a floor covering

It is essential to measure the moisture content and relative humidity of a subfloor to make sure that it meets manufactures’ specifications and industry standards to be considered dry enough for the adhesive or floor covering to be installed.

Moisture content testing of a concrete subfloor is usually carried out and completed before the flooring installer arrives on site. The concrete subfloor is inspected to see if it meets the ‘dry’ recommendations set by the flooring covering manufacturer. These tests can be carried out with Tramex concrete moisture meters, RH probes, moisture content probes and surface thermometers. These are available in specifically designed concrete moisture test kits.


Moisture testing during installation of a floor covering

It is vital to check moisture content levels and ambient conditions at and during installation of a floor covering to ensure conditions are conducive for a successful job completion.



Even when a subfloor has been pre tested and deemed dry enough to receive a floor covering it is important to remember that concrete moisture levels fluctuate and are heavily influenced by ambient conditions. A change in ambient conditions, such as temperature, RH and dewpoint, could cause condensation to form on the slab surface which in turn might lead to major issues with the flooring adhesive or the actual floor covering material resulting in a costly floor failure.

Flooring installation quick check test

It is therefore important to carry out the Installation Quick Check Test before laying the floor or applying a coating. This moisture test can be carried out fast and effectively with the Tramex Installation Quick Check Kits

It is crucial to check the manufacturer's guidelines regarding moisture content and ambient conditions specific to their floor coverings, adhesives and coatings.



Floor boards are generally stored in the room where they will be laid, so that the wood acclimates to the ambient conditions. Wood should be left to acclimate so as to eliminate the chance of warping, shrinking or any other kind of damage.

It is important to follow flooring manufacturers guidelines concerning the acceptable moisture content on the subfloor and the moisture content of the flooring material. Hardwood flooring materials can be tested with a pin probe such as the heavy duty pin probe and the Concrete Moisture Encounter CMEX5 or with the non-destructive Moisture Encounter ME5 or Moisture Encounter MEX5 using the wood scale. Making sure that both the subfloor and the flooring material have the recommended moisture content readings, helps ensure a successful flooring installation. Check out the Tramex Flooring Inspection kits to find a kit suited to your testing requirements.

Measuring moisture content in floorboard with pin probe and Tramex Moisture Encounter MEX5

Moisture testing after installation of a floor covering

A moisture inspection on an installed floor could be part of a general home or building inspection. It should also be carried out in the case of floor failure. This may be due to an incorrect flooring installation, or some form of water intrusion as a result of flood or water damage. It may be required to inspect both the flooring material and the subfloor to find the cause of floor failure. In the case of water damage, elevated moisture content levels in both the subfloor and the floor covering need to be measured, recorded and analysed until the drying goal has been achieved. 

When conducting a moisture inspection on a floor it is most logical to start with a visual check to see if there are any obvious signs of damage due to moisture issues, such as delamination, warping, buckling or shrinking. It is advisable to always inspect the wider floor area as the origin of the moisture problem might not be visible and could even be in a different location to the damaged area.

Tramex Moisture Encounter MEX5 on wooden floor with shallow depth

The advantage of a dual-depth pinless floor moisture meter is that measurements at different depths and over a large area can be taken in a short period of time. 

The benefit of the shallow depth feature on the Moisture Encounter 5 (ME5 or MEX5) is that it allows for non destructive testing of installed floor coverings. Because the shallow depth setting reads about 3/8" deep it is not overly influenced by the substrate but can detect moisture just under the floor covering giving you the ability to determine if moisture is causing the floor failure. 

Measurements can be recorded and saved into color-coded moisture maps through the Tramex Meter App and display a visual presentation of the moisture content in a specified floor area. The Tramex water damage restoration and flooring inspection kits contain reliable and accurate moisture meters for both concrete and floor covering materials and have the tools and accessories for further investigation when needed.

Importance of Moisture Mapping in Floor Testing

Moisture mapping capabilities are hugely beneficial to visualise moisture content readings over a large surface area. 

ME5 on wooden floor with moisture map

This process can reveal hidden elevated moisture content under the flooring material and help trace the moisture issue to its point of ingress. The maps can be used to record the drying progress up until the desired end result and could be shared in reports.

The Tramex Meters App offers the ability to save readings, create visual moisture maps of the area under test and share reports.

How to find the best flooring moisture meter

The best flooring moisture meter incorporates reading scales for the different layers of flooring structures. These structures could contain:

  • Concrete and cementitious screeds; a quantitative floor moisture meter provides actual moisture content readings. These may be needed to follow flooring manufacturer’s recommendations. The Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter CME5 and CMEX5 are calibrated to provide quantitative concrete moisture content % readings.

  • Wooden and wood type floors; the wood moisture reading scale on a floor moisture meter can measure moisture content %. The scale can be adjusted to read different types of wood. The Tramex Moisture Encounter ME5 moisture meter provides pinless wood moisture content readings and the Concrete Moisture Encounter CMEX5 or Moisture Encounter MEX5 can be used with a wood pin probe to obtain wood moisture content % readings.

  • Laminate flooring; as laminate flooring consists of several different types of materials a Wood moisture equivalent value is provided. The pinless, dual-depth Moisture Encounter ME5 and MEX5 provide comparative moisture value readings.

  • Tile; moisture readings in tile will be on a reference or comparative scale and the impedance is adjusted to the material’s density. The pinless, dual-depth Moisture Encounter ME5 and MEX5 provide comparative moisture value readings. 

  • Carpet; readings on carpet are comparative. The pinless, dual-depth Moisture Encounter ME5 and MEX5 provide comparative moisture value readings.

  • Vinyl flooring including LVP, LVT, SPC and WPC. The pinless, dual-depth Moisture Encounter ME5 and MEX5 provide comparative moisture value readings.

For carpet, vinyl and low density floor coverings, when inspecting installed floor covering for moisture related failures the Moisture Encounter ME5 and MEX5 can be used to look within and beneath the floor covering. Testing will be done on a comparative basis.

The ME5 and MEX5 have scales of varying sensitivity and the scale to use will be determined by the density of the materials (both the floor covering and the substrate). It is advisable to use one of the shallow depth scales as this is best for taking readings in and just beneath the floor covering.

Tramex flooring moisture meters

Explore our range of meters calibrated for different materials and depths, designed for precise moisture measurement in various flooring types.

Concrete Moisture Encounter CME5
Concrete Moisture Encounter CME5 Non-destructive
  • Concrete Moisture Content %
  • CM Anhydrite 0 - 1.9
  • CM Concrete 0 - 4
  • Reading depth of approximately 20mm (3⁄4")
  • Works with Tramex Meters App
Concrete Moisture Encounters CMEX5
Concrete Moisture Encounters CMEX5 Non-destructive
  • Concrete Moisture Content %
  • CM equivalent Anhydrite readings
  • CM equivalent Concrete readings
  • Gypsum Readings
  • Reading depth of approximately 20mm (3⁄4")
  • Ambient Relative Humidity
  • Optional port for RH sensors and Pin Probes
  • Works with Tramex Meters App
Moisture Encounter ME5
Moisture Encounter ME5 Non-destructive
  • Wood Moisture Content %
  • Calibrated for Drywall - Roofing
  • Calibrated for Plaster - Tile
  • Calibrated for Masonry
  • Shallow-depth readings, up to 10mm (⅜”)
  • Deep-depth readings, up to 30mm (1¼")
  • Works with Tramex Meters App
Moisture Encounter MEX5
Moisture Encounter MEX5 Non-destructive
  • Wood Moisture Content %
  • Drywall Moisture Content %
  • Calibrated for building materials
  • Ambient Relative Humidity
  • Shallow-depth readings, up to ⅜” (9mm)
  • Deep-depth readings, up to 1¼" (30mm)
  • Optional port for RH sensors and Pin probes
  • Works with Tramex Meters App

Tramex flooring moisture inspection kits

Tramex Flooring Inspection Master Kit

Our comprehensive Flooring Inspection kits offer instruments for non-destructive concrete moisture testing, evaluation and monitoring of ambient conditions, and wood moisture content measurement, ensuring thorough inspections.


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