Hardwood floor acclimation,also known as conditioning, is the process of allowing your hardwood floor to reach its equilibrium moisture content (EMC) inside your home. Acclimation is a vital step in ensuring that you install your hardwood floors successfully. If you don’t acclimate the wood flooring, it may expand, shrink, or warp. In some cases, the wood could suffer from other types of structural damage.
Below, we cover the steps to making sure you acclimate the hardwood floor correctly before you install it in your home.
You want to create normal living conditions in your home before you install the flooring. This generally means turning on your heating or cooling system for at least five to seven days prior to the installation. This gives the hardwood time to get used to the environment and acclimate properly.
Now that you have established normal living conditions, it is time to bring the wood into your home. Try to deliver the entire batch of hardwood into your home at the same time. This way, it can acclimate all at once. Make sure you check the moisture levels of the wood as soon as you bring it into the home.
After you initially check the moisture of the wood, you want to check it again every couple days. The moisture content of the hardwood should equal the humidity and temperature of the inside of your home. Allow the wood to get to optimal condition before you install it.
The best way to allow the wood to reach optimal conditions is to separate the hardwood slats into smaller groups. This will allow the moisture to evaporate as necessary and the wood to acclimate to its surroundings.
Acclimate the wood in your home. Once the wood is acclimated, which is usually after 3-5 days, it is ready to be installed.
In addition to the hardwood flooring, make sure the subfloor moisture content also reaches normal levels. If you install the wood onto the subfloor when there is still moisture present, the moisture can damage the hardwood. The subfloor must also reach its equilibrium moisture content.
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To find our more about our products or order your flooring, check out our prefinished hardwood flooring options.