Acclimation is very important when it comes to hardwood floors. There are a few guidelines before installing hardwood flooring to make sure it can hold up to the environmental conditions it will be placed in. Below are guidelines established by the NWFA to properly acclimate wood flooring:
- Determine the interior environmental conditions. It can vary from the region to even the jobsite itself.
- Ensure that the building is enclosed.
- Verify the surroundings of the building (e.g., gutters, downspouts, etc.) and any crawl spaces meet required criteria within building codes.
- Verifying the room/building that hardwood flooring is being placed in is properly conditioned based on temperature and moisture. These conditions should be maintained before, during, and after installation.
- Do not store wood flooring in uncontrolled environmental conditions.
- Check wood flooring moisture content upon delivery.
- The wood flooring must be acclimated to meet the same as moisture content of the area it will be placed before being installed.
- No acclimation is required if the wood flooring delivered is at a moisture content that coincides with the expected in-use conditions of area of installment.
- If acclimation is needed, it may include introducing or reducing moisture to the wood but take into consideration the amount of increase/decrease of moisture since too much or too little could affect the installation and potentially damage the floor.
- For solid strip flooring (less than 3 inches wide), there should be no more than 4% moisture content difference. For solid plank (3 inches or wider), there should be no more than 2% difference in moisture content. Wood flooring should not be installed until the moisture content between the wood flooring and subflooring materials have reached these tolerances.
- Acclimation could take from 7 – 14 days depending on the region and jobsite. Overall, always check the moisture content before properly installing.
If you have any questions regarding moisture content and acclimation, visit NWFA website or give us a call at 717-667-9373.