Installing New Hardwood Flooring? What You Should Know About Wood Acclimation

     Are you preparing to have new hardwood flooring installed in your home? A crucial step of the installation process will be to acclimate the new hardwood flooring material to your home. If you skip acclimating the wood, that can cause problems after the hardwood flooring is installed, which is why it is important to know about the process.

Why Hardwood Flooring Must Acclimate Before the Installation

The hardwood flooring that you will be installing is a porous material. It is capable of absorbing moisture from the air in your home, and the wood will continue to do so until it has adapted to its new environment.

If you have a home that is very humid, there will be a lot more moisture in the air for the flooring material to absorb. Moisture will actually cause the flooring material to expand to a slightly larger size. Dry homes have the complete opposite effect, with hardwood material shrinking slightly due to a loss in moisture.

Moisture of hardwood material will always be closer to the environment of the store you purchase them from rather than your home environment. So those floorboards must have time to acclimate to their new environment if you want to ensure a smooth installation and prevent your floor from shrinking after it has been installed.

What Happens If You Do Not Acclimate the Hardwood Flooring

The hardwood flooring material runs a risk of swelling if the flooring is installed in a humid environment without proper acclimation. The floorboards will fit to the floor just fine at first, but they will eventually start to swell in the floor.

Swollen wood will not have anywhere to expand and can cause problems like cupping. This is when there are edges of the installed flooring that are slightly higher or lower than adjoining pieces. Swelling floorboards not only look bad visually, but you will also feel the rough edges of the floor with your feet when you walk over the flooring material.

Conversely, dry environments will cause the hardwood flooring to shrink. The boards that have not been acclimated may install tightly at first, but they will eventually shrink. The reduced size of the wood will form small gaps between the floorboards that will ruin the look.

How You Can Acclimate Hardwood Flooring

You will want to have the hardwood flooring delivered to your home so that it can acclimate to your home's environment. Make sure to take all of the floorboards out from their packaging so that they can be exposed to the air. All that is left to do is give the material time to adjust to your home.

It may take a couple days for your new flooring material to make the adjustment to your home. The exact amount of time needed will depend on how different the humidity levels are between the store location and your home. Wood thickness and board lengths can also play a factor, as well as the type of wood that the floorboards are made out of.

If you do not have working heating or cooling in your home at the time of the installation, consider using an air conditioner or heater to match the room's temperature to what it will typically be.

You can wait several days to be sure that acclimation has occurred, but you can also measure the wood to verify they are ready to install. Wood acclimation can be measured with a moisture meter.

You should wait to install your hardwood flooring until the moisture of the home matches the moisture of the wood. The flooring should be within 4% of the humidity of the subfloor, and the flooring itself should be within 2% of the room's humidity level.

Once your hardwood flooring is acclimated, Riverview Carpet & Flooring Inc can handle the difficult part of installing the flooring for you.