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Why a wood floor has to be acclimatised?

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Is wood floor acclimation a myth? | Floor Fitting Experts

When considering and planning a wood floor installation process, we have to be aware of the steps that have to be taken before the main process of fitting. Of course, there are some. Choosing the right flooring types and wood species for the characteristics of your property and buying high-quality materials are just the beginning. You may hear recommendations (you actually would be recommended for sure, no matter if you are working with a professional fitting company or not) that when the wooden materials are delivered to the property, where the project will be started, they need a week or two to acclimatise to their new environment. Why wood floor acclimation is important and what does it really mean – let us explain to you in this article.

Well, is wood floor acclimation really that important, or this is the next myth we hear about wood? It highly depends on the type of wooden materials you have just purchased! In fact, acclimation was a thing in the near past, from the days when wood wasn’t properly kiln dry and it has needed around two weeks to be ready to be installed. Today’s market offers new and improved products, including products that are made according to higher standards and advanced methods. Of course, in the best case the wooden materials you are buying, have to be completely dry and ready to be installed the same day. Of course, not all manufacturers are that reliable and you often can get something that really needs to acclimatise to the new environment, or gets dry in order to be ready to be fitted. The process usually takes around one or two weeks and it is pretty way more inconvenient.

What happens if you acclimatise wooden planks that are already dry and ready to be installed? Easily said – they get wet! Especially when it comes to newly built homes – there are thousands of gallons of excess water. When the dry wood planks are left in such an environment, they will absorb the moisture like a sponge and will expand. As you may know, one of the biggest enemies of wood is moisture, because it makes the planks expand and contract, which is bad for the whole floor and for each and every plank. Once the planks absorb the excess moisture and they are installed in this condition, when the home adjust to normal conditions, there will be significant gapping in your floor.

What happens with the planks in dry condition? If the floor planks are left acclimatise to dryer conditions, then the flooring will absorb moisture in normal living conditions and permanently cup. Since each and every piece of wood, wooden board and plank have different grain pattern, each plank and board will expand and contract in different ways and that will lead to too many difference and width variations. In the end you may end up with planks that are all different and even one single plank can have one bigger and one smaller side, which makes it very hard to be installed!

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