What Is Acclimatisation?
Acclimatisation is the process in which an organism gets used to a new environment. Wood flooring is a natural product and, like a tree, it expands and contracts in response to changes in its surrounding environment. Factors such as temperature and humidity can cause these reactions. Due to this, engineered, solid wood and even laminate floors need to acclimate before they are fitted, so that your floor has time to adapt. In flooring terms, this means transferring the floor from a cold warehouse to the room where it is going to be laid.
What Are The Consequences If I Do Not Acclimatise My New Wood Floor?
As stated earlier, wood is a natural product and expands and contracts in response to changes in its environment. When a tree does this outside in the open, it is not an issue, however, when it has been fitted into the dimensions of your home, there is not enough space for this expansion and contraction to occur. The excessive changes can lead to gapping, warping, cupping and other disfigurations in your floor.
How Do I Acclimatise My New Wood Floor?
So, to avoid undesirable damage to your floor it is important to get your floor well in advance of laying it. The flooring should be left in its sealed boxes, cross-stacked and in the environment and conditions that it is going to be laid in. This means that all walls and windows should be fitted, plastering and cement work should be done, and heating or ventilation systems should be working properly. All of this is to ensure that it is no longer gaining or losing moisture content and that the temperatures are as close to normal as possible. The floor will have done its excessive expansion and contraction while it still has the space to do so without being deformed. Acclimatisation normally takes up to two weeks.
Although not real wood, laminate flooring still needs to acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity before installation. While manufacturers’ recommendations vary slightly, it is generally best to let the flooring acclimate for at least 48 hours before installation.
If you follow these steps before laying down your brand-new wood floor, it will decrease the chances that your floor will be damaged by its living environment.