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FAQ: What does it mean to acclimate flooring?

According to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), wood floor acclimation is “the process of adjusting (conditioning) the moisture content of wood flooring to the environment in which it is expected to perform.

How long should flooring acclimate?

Acclimation times vary by species and product, but a rule of thumb is to acclimate wood floor products for at least three days. You’re trying to reach an equilibrium between the moisture content of the wood materials and the air where the product is being installed.

Why do you have to let flooring acclimate?

Acclimating allows the planks to become unified in the temperature and humidity that is identical to the conditions found in the room in which they will be installed. Once acclimated, the planks will be uniformly conditioned and the locking system won’t be compromised.

How long does wood flooring need to acclimate before installing?

Wood flooring materials must be stored in the installation environment to acclimate for three days (72 hours) prior to installation. The installation site’s moisture levels will be measured twice: 1. When the installation site is initially measured and inspected.

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What happens if wood flooring is not acclimated?

Not acclimating hardwood floors can cause excessive gaps, warping, buckling or cupping after the installation is complete; the expansion joint may also be compromised, which will result in further damage.

Is 24 hours long enough to acclimate laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring material needs to acclimate (adjust) to the moisture and temperature conditions of the installation environment for 24 to 72 hours (depending on the product) before it can be installed.

Does hardwood acclimate in box?

It is possible to acclimate hardwood flooring in the box, but it will take much longer due to the lack of air circulation. Keep the boxes in the same room you plan to install the flooring or somewhere with a similar temperature and humidity level.

Does vinyl plank floor need to acclimate?

Vinyl plank flooring will be subject to some expansion and contraction due to to the temperature and humidity in a room. This means that acclimation is as essential with vinyl as it is with floors made of wood. If you don’t acclimate, your floor might expand and deform, or shrink and get gaps between the pieces.

How long does laminate flooring need to acclimate?

Acclimate the flooring in the house for 48 hours before installation. Stack the laminate flooring being used flat on the floor. Remove any plastic wrapping from the boxes and leave air space around each box to allow air to freely circulate around them.

What happens if you don’t let laminate flooring acclimate?

If you don’t acclimate laminate flooring before installation, you risk the planks compressing or expanding from its installed position as it adjusts to the current humidity and temperature of the room. This may result in buckling or gaps at the joints if the planks expand or contract.

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Can you walk on hardwood floors after installation?

We recommend waiting 6 hours before walking on your new floors in socks. After 24 hours you can walk through with shoes on. Allow 48 hours before setting furniture and returning pets.

Do prefinished floors need to acclimate?

Always acclimate your solid or engineered hardwood flooring to the home before you install it. Acclimation of traditional 3/4 inch solid hardwood, either unfinished or factory prefinished, is critical to the success of the floor.

Does engineered hardwood flooring need to acclimate?

It is still recommended by manufacturers to acclimate engineered hardwood floors at least 48 hours or until they reach their acceptable moisture content. Do this inside the room where they will be installed. Its plywood core helps mitigate dimensional changes but it does not totally eliminate it.

Can you install hardwood floors on a rainy day?

Sure. You’ll be letting them sit in the house for a week or so, and documenting the moisture % of the floors and subfloors with a moisture meter before they get installed. Or, that’s what should happen.

How long does pine flooring need to acclimate?

THE PROCESS OF ACCLIMATION A common practice is to cross-stack the materials with spacers (¾” to 1″ sticks) between each layer of flooring to allow air circulation on all sides of all boards. Most recommendations state that the materials need to acclimate from a minimum of 3 days up to no given maximum.

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