01.03.20 Advice

Why Do Wooden Floors Need to be Acclimatised?

Written by: Yarl Christie

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 engineered and solid wood flooring. The question is, why does it need to be acclimatised?

Here, we’ll look at the importance of acclimatisation, how long the floors should be acclimatised 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 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 acclimatisation guidelines. The manufacturer will usually provide instructions telling you how long the floor should be acclimatised for and the exact process to follow. There are, however, a few general guidelines you can follow.

Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you’re acclimatising the floor in the room it’s going to be installed. Each room of the home will have an entirely different temperature and humidity level. So, if you acclimatise 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.

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 Acclimatise Wood Flooring Planks For?

The time the floor will take to acclimatise will largely depend upon what type it is. For example, a solid wood floor is best left to acclimatise for around a week. An engineered wood floor will need from 3-5 days, while laminate should be acclimatised for a couple of days.

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.

As you can see, acclimatising a new wooden floor is extremely important. While you can follow the general guidelines above, it’s still important to read through the instructions provided by the manufacturer.