How do I 'Acclimate' my new Wood, Cork, or Laminate Flooring?
BY LL FLOORING ON NOVEMBER 30, 2011
How Do I Acclimate My Wood, Cork or Laminate Floor?
Have we mentioned that you should acclimate? Once, twice, maybe? Well, here are a few recommendations when it comes to acclimating your new floor before you install it.
For best performance, wood flooring should be one of the last items installed. Heating and air conditioning systems should be fully operating and running at least 7 days before the installation. To prevent moisture related issues such as board edge cupping, all wet work involving water or moisture (plumbing, plaster /drywall ceilings or wall finishes, painting, etc.) should be finished with ample time allowed for complete drying prior to wood floor installation. New concrete should be cured and at least 60 to 90 days old.
To prevent moisture build-up, homes with crawl spaces must have vents for proper cross-ventilation. Provide year-round air circulation with multiple vents. Venting allows damp areas to dry-out. Vents must be adequately spaced so that no dead air spaces remain. Under the home in the crawlspace use black 6-mil polyethylene sheet plastic as a moisture barrier. Completely Cover 100% of the surface of the ground to guard against excessive moisture. Overlap plastic seams 6″? and duct tape
Store CORK Flooring flat for a minimum of 48 hours, in open packaging, at room temperature (15°- 30°C / 60°-85°F and a maximum of 75% relative humidity) in the room in which they are to be installed.
Store Laminate Flooring flat for a minimum of 48 hours, in unopened packaging, at room temperature (15°- 30°C / 60°-85°F and a maximum of 75% relative humidity) in the room in which they are to be installed. For floors with radiant heating make sure to turn down your thermostat to 15°C / 60°F at least 1 week prior to installation (do not turn off heating if the temperature outside is below freezing). Maintain the temperature below 27°C / 80°F.
Solid Wood Domestic and Exotic
All wood products are affected by environmental conditions especially prefinished materials. Acclimate the new flooring in the areas to be installed to normal lived-in conditions while in the boxes. If products are protected in plastic open the ends of the boxes. Length of time is not the determining factor.
The goal is to reach an equilibrium or moisture balance between the new flooring with its surroundings before installation. This balance could be achieved in as little as 1 to 5 days, or longer for some exotic species. For best performance, condition the flooring to consistent indoor temperatures of 60°-80° F and indoor humidity levels of 30% – 50%.
Very dry or humid regions usually require extended conditioning. Recommended acclimation levels maintained even after the installation will minimize board movement, excessive squeaks and gaps. Proper jobsite conditions, acclimation and moisture testing the subfloor and new flooring and all work together for the success of the installation. This is the responsibility of those overseeing the project.