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Acclimating Hardwood Floors: How & Why

Acclimating Hardwood Floors: How & Why

If you're planning on installing beautiful, natural wood flooring in your house then there's something very important we need to talk about before you get started- acclimation!

Acclimating your hardwood to the environment in your home is an essential step before installation. You may not realize that even though you have spent hours researching, asking questions, looking at samples and talking with professionals about buying new floors for your house; it's important to take time beforehand so they can acclimate themselves properly. 

Wood is a living, breathing material that responds to its environment. While you may think your wood has been kiln dried and sealed before it arrives in stores, humidity levels around the home can quickly cause changes as moisture moves into or out of the hardwood. In humid climates these boards will expand while they shrink when exposed to dry air conditions--a phenomenon perfectly natural for any organic material!

Why should you allow your hardwood floors to acclimate?

If hardwood planks are not allowed to acclimate to their environment before installation, issues like cupping, warping, and gapping can arise. But, once your hardwood has fully acclimated to its new environment, and with the proper installation and care over time, you can avoid issues like these.

How do I acclimate my hardwood floors to help them last longer?

Achieving the perfect climate for your wood floor can be difficult; it needs 30-50% humidity and 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why you should take care of this process before installation, by storing your wood somewhere that will provide these conditions until they are installed in their new home or business.

How long should I allow for my floors to acclimate?

On average, it takes a few days to a few weeks. But this really depends on where you live - humidity levels are different in Florida than Nevada. The goal is to get your flooring finally reach its Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC).This is something that can easily be measured by your flooring installer or with a moisture meter available at your local hardware store. Once your flooring has reached an EMC between 6 and 9 percent it has finished acclimating and ready for installation.

My floors are acclimated. Now what should I do?

Your floors are now ready for installation.  There are many factors that affect the performance of your flooring.  Our professional hardwood installers stand ready to provide you with the highest quality work ensuring you will be able to steer clear of situations that can endanger your beautiful new hardwood floors!  Give us a call or drop by our showroom in Black Mountain, NC.

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