Hardwood Acclimation and Preparation
There is a typical misconception that flooring contractors often pass on to their customers that when it comes to hardwood acclimation the process is not necessary. Others will insist that acclimating the product in their workplace, showroom, or warehouse will mean that the product will be ready for install. This is common untruth that is passed along by the some less experienced contractors that don’t have the resources, dedication or knowledge to deliver a great finished product.
So what is floor acclimation?
According to the National Wood Flooring Association, wood acclimation is “the process of adjusting (conditioning) the moisture content of wood flooring to the environment in which it is expected to perform.” There are a few factors that play an important role in this process; moisture, temperature, and time. The recommended humidity range of the installation room should range between 35%-60%. Temperature should be controlled and be as consistent to the actual living environment the home owner will normally use in the period that the product is acclimating. That temperature should be within the range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The minimum time for certain laminate and vinyl products need to be acclimated is around 24 hours. Thicker laminates and hardwood floors however require a minimum of 48 hours to acclimate, starting at the moment the product was delivered on site. Solid Hardwood, depending on dimensions and species can take up to 10 days to acclimate.
Here are some steps that will help you, the customer, or your third party installer prepare and acclimate your new floors.
o Monitor the jobsite before the wood flooring is delivered
- Humidity is within 35-60%
- HVAC is working properly
- Windows and doors are installed and closed
- Check for signs of water leaks or faulty plumbing
o Check product and make sure it is not damaged upon arrival
- Communicate with your contractor and let them know you are ready to wait for the hardwood acclimation process
- Ask to be informed about every step of the project
- Do not pressure your contractor to make start installation before conditions are met (And do not allow your installer to pressure you into rushing the install before the flooring is acclimated)
To help with this process it is important to make sure that in remodels and new constructions the hardwood installation is the last step of the project. This would mean that the subfloor has been cleaned out and prepared. That other areas of the project do not interfere with the acclimation process, and that no harmful chemicals or unwanted foot traffic or equipment will be dragged across the new floor surface.
An installer can be extremely gifted in putting planks together but arguably the most important aspect of a professional flooring installation is the prep work and attention to details before the first plank has even been laid down. Acclimating the product is the most important detail to pay attention to. Failure to do so may void the manufacturer’s warranty if issues appear with the product after installation.
To find out more, and if you are interested in our flooring services in the Austin and Central Texas area please contact us via this site or by phone at (512)-351-2258. You are always welcomed to our showroom – open to public. No appointment necessary.
Millennium Hardwood Flooring
10508 Boyer Blvd Suite A
Austin Tx 78758