Friday, September 23, 2011

What is "acclimation"?!

One of the main questions we are asked when starting a floor project is "How long will this take?"  Well truthfully that depends on a few factors.  When installing any hardwood floor, there is a time period for the wood to sit "on site" and become accustomed to the conditions of the house.  This is acclimation.

Simply put, acclimation is the time it takes for wood to get used to the conditions in your home based on the current moisture conditions.  These conditions will change with the seasons.  There are higher moisture levels in the summer because the AC is running and there is more humidity in the air.  There is less moisture in the winter due to the heat running constantly.

The wood species you select will also contribute to the acclimation period.  Harder woods (more dense) will take more time, and softer woods less time.  A typical oak floor will generally take about 10-14 days.  A much harder Brazilian Walnut will take 14-21 days or more.

A laminate flooring needs 3-5 days of acclimation and most engineered floors need to acclimate for 5-7 days.  These ranges can vary depending on the types of hardwood.

The only way to know when wood is ready to install is to test it.  A moisture meter specifically designed for wood will tell you the exact moisture content of the species you are using.  The moisture content of the subfloor you are installing under the floor should be checked as well.  When these two number jive, you are ready!

Proper acclimation will assure proper installation, which will greatly reduce the chances of any future problems associated with floors.

*For more information visit our website at or the National Wood Flooring Association at

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