Hardwood Acclimation

When installing solid hardwood floors, to ensure the long-lasting beauty and structural integrity of your floors requires a crucial step: acclimation.

Read on to learn what hardwood acclimation is, how it’s done, and why it’s important.

What is hardwood acclimation?

Hardwood acclimation is the process of allowing hardwood flooring to adjust to the temperature and humidity conditions of its intended installation environment before it is actually installed. Hardwood is a natural material that contains a certain level of moisture. When exposed to different humidity and temperature levels, it can expand or contract, leading to potential issues like warping, buckling, or gaps in the flooring.

Acclimation aims to minimize these potential problems by allowing the hardwood to reach a moisture content equilibrium with the environment it will be installed in. This involves placing the hardwood planks in the room where they will be installed and letting them rest for a specified period of time, usually a few days to a week or more. During this acclimation period, the hardwood adjusts to the moisture and temperature conditions of the room.


Why is it important?

Proper acclimation is a crucial step in ensuring the long-term stability and durability of hardwood flooring. It helps prevent issues that could arise if the flooring were installed without giving it time to adapt to its surroundings.

Different hardwood species and environmental conditions may require varying acclimation periods, so it’s important to follow manufacturer recommendations and consult with professionals to ensure the best outcome for your hardwood installation.

The Acclimation Process

Acclimation involves allowing your hardwood flooring to rest in the installation area for a specific period before installation. Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Unboxing and Stacking: Remove the flooring from its packaging and stack the planks horizontally in the installation area. Leave spaces between planks to allow for air circulation.

  2. Environmental Conditions: Maintain the room’s temperature and humidity levels close to the conditions the space will experience regularly.

  3. Duration: The acclimation period can vary depending on factors like humidity, climate, and the specific hardwood species. Generally, acclimation takes around 3 to 7 days.

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Acclimation Best Practices

Some important things to do or keep in mind, for proper climate acclimation, include:

  • Measure the moisture content of both the hardwood flooring and the subfloor to ensure they are within the recommended range.
  • Use a moisture meter to assess moisture levels accurately.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for acclimation duration and humidity/temperature recommendations.

Expert Installation, Lasting Beauty

Proper acclimation is a hallmark of a professional hardwood installation. Skipping this step can lead to costly issues down the road, such as warped or uneven flooring. For best results, be sure to hire a professional flooring installer to install your floors.

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