Advice

If you want to ensure you install your new wooden floor correctly, the first step is to acclimatise it. Discover more about this process below

Written by: Yarl Christie

Why Do Wooden Floors Need to be Acclimatised?

If you want to ensure you install your new wooden floor correctly, the first step is to acclimatise it. This important step is recommended for both installing engineered and installing solid wood flooring.

Here, we’ll look at the importance of acclimatisation, how long it should be done for, and how to do it correctly..

Why Acclimatising Wooden Floors Is Important

Whether you purchase a solid wood floor or an engineered wood floor, they will always need to be acclimatised. This means, leaving them for a set period of time to help them adjust to room temperature.

As wood is a natural material, it adjusts to its environment. This means, its shape will alter depending upon the temperature and humidity of the room. You’ll want to make sure the floor is done expanding or contracting before you fit it. If you don’t, you could end up with gaps in the floor, or the boards could become cupped. Fixing these issues can cost a fortune, plus it’s not going to look great. So, acclimatising the floor is crucial if you want to achieve the best results and avoid damage to the planks.

How Should Wood Floors Be Acclimatised?

You’ll find that each floor has its own guidelines regarding how long it should be left before being installed. The manufacturer will usually provide instructions telling you how long the floor should be left in the room before installing. There are, however, a few general guidelines you can follow.

Firstly, you will want to make sure you stack the floor packs in the room it is going to be installed. Each room of the home will have an entirely different temperature and humidity level. So, if you leave it in the conservatory for example, but you’re installing it in the lounge, the planks are likely to warp and expand or contract once they’re installed.

A stack of flooring planks acclimatising before installing

It's important to leave the packs of flooring unopened. If you do open them, there’s a risk that the planks at the top could shrink or warp faster than the planks in the middle. You’ll also want to ensure the packs are stacked, allowing air to be distributed around the planks evenly.

How Long do you Need to Leave the Planks for?

The time the floor will take to acclimatise will largely depend upon what type of flooring it is. For example, a solid wood floor is best left for around a week. An engineered wood floor will need from 3-5 days, while laminate should be left for a couple of days. There is also another benefit of engineered wood flooring, other than needing less time to adjust to your room temperature, and that is that it is compatible with underfloor heating. Likewise with laminate flooring.

This may vary depending upon each specific floor. So, it’s always important to read through manufacturer guidelines. If you don’t follow the manufacturer guidelines and the flooring does warp or become damaged, the warranty may be void.

Conclusion

As you can see, leaving a new wooden floor to adjust to room temperature is extremely important. While you can follow the general guidelines above, you still need to read through the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This is the best way to ensure your floor is being fitted correctly.

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