Before installation acclimating hardwood floors is important for a great looking stable floor

An important procedure to achieve stable floors is acclimating hardwood floors before installation. This is an important process in order to prevent big gaps between your boards. Hardwood flooring expands and contracts according to its environment so it is important to acclimate the wood to the room it is going to be installed in. The room the floors are going to be installed in need to be enclosed. The heating and cooling systems also need to be operational for a least five days prior to the wood being acclimated. You want the temperature and humidity levels to be the same as if the house was occupied. Plastering and painting should be completely dry before flooring is delivered as the floor can absorb moisture given off by the walls.


When acclimating hardwood floors it is important to have the boards delivered in dry weather not rain. With a moisture meter which can be obtained from a local hardware store check the moisture level of the floorboards and sub-floor. One recommendation is that you check 20 boards for every 500 sq.ft. The boards should be removed from the boxes and stacked Lincoln log styles on top of 2x4’s so there is air space around them to allow them to acclimate properly. Follow these instructions or else contact the manufacturer and see what they recommend. Leave boards for 48-72 hours for proper acclimation then check moisture levels to be sure they are within 35-55% relative humidity range before installation.


The time it takes for acclimating hardwood floors depends on a number of factors such as geographical location, inside climate controls and the time of year it is. Different species also take different amounts of time to acclimate. The reason you acclimate hardwood flooring is to allow the moisture content of the boards to adjust to the normal conditions it will be in preventing wide unsightly gaps. There will always be some expansion and contraction in hardwood floors but if properly acclimated it will not be unreasonable. This means doing more than just throwing the box of boards in the room overnight before the installation. It is important to rack the floor boards and follow the above instruction or follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Acclimation is an important step in having a great looking hardwood floor.

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