You’ve picked out your planks of wood and can’t wait to lay them out — we understand the enthusiasm! But first, remember the importance of flooring acclimation is the key to a successful installation and long-lasting floors.
Acclimation is an essential step in the flooring process, but it’s one that the everyday homeowner might not be too familiar with. Skipping this step can ruin your investment, as acclimation is pivotal to ensuring your floors are sturdy and ready to be correctly installed.
Acclimation might be a new concept for some, so we will be covering (1) the significance of acclimation, (2) how you can best prepare, and (3) what to expect.
What is Flooring Acclimation?
Acclimation is a process over time that lets new planks of wood get accustomed to their installation environment. Different kinds of wood have different moisture content levels (MC), most between 4 and 13%. The humidity of your region or water vapor in a given room will vary. As such, it’s necessary that your wood first get acclimated to your space’s MC to be sure your flooring installation is most sound.
How Does It Work?
Before you begin laying down planks in the installation process, you will want to arrange them properly. You are giving each plank time and space to adjust to their new environment. This preparatory process helps the wood take in your home’s moisture and slightly swell to become its full width. If you don’t do this and just install the wood tightly, you’ll deal with issues like buckling and warping over time. Take the time before an installation so you do not have damaged or uneven floors—thus, the importance of flooring acclimation!
How Much Time is Needed?
That depends on the kind of wood you have and the MC of a space. However, these notes offer a quick overview:
- Solid hardwood (like bamboo and eucalyptus) needs 5 to 10 days. Remove them from their respective boxes and unwrap each plank. Then proceed by stacking them to get used to the added moisture absorbed in the air and beside each other.
- Manufactured flooring such as cork or engineered wood will not respond as much to seasonal changes. As such, it will need less time — about three days. No stacking is required here. However, you should remove the planks from their boxes and open up the plastic ends so they get to breathe.
Does That Cover Everything?
Unless you’ve successfully installed floors before, there are many tricks to the trade that professionals know about and handle when acclimating and laying down hardwood. As flooring experts, ACS has years of experience with acclimation and installation, guiding clients to choose and treat the best wood for their homes to ensure long-lasting floors. Get in touch to learn more!