Why You Should Let Your Solid Wood Floor Acclimatise

Solid wood floor is a beautiful addition to any home but it does come with very specific care guidelines in order to keep it looking freshly laid for years to come. Before consideration of care and maintenance however, your primary concern should be letting your solid wood floor acclimatise to the conditions of the room you will be fitting it into. If you're not sure why this is necessary then read on to discover why this is such a necessary step in the endeavour to preserve your floors.

Why to let wood floor acclimatise

As solid wood floor is made from natural materials, it can be relatively susceptible to changes in atmosphere, just as the tree it was made from was itself. Wood tends to expand and contract according to different environmental conditions, which can be problematic when you are looking to achieve a particular look in your home.

Image of cracked wooden floor boards

It is for this reason that letting solid wood floors acclimatise is such an important step in your flooring process. Fortunately, conditions tend to be stable in most homes, so once your flooring in installed you shouldn't find much movement in the boards. Any movement there is will fit into the expansion gap you left when installing the boards. However, the conditions between the warehouse the boards were originally stored in and your home will differ massively, meaning the boards will change once they are placed in your home.

What happens to acclimatising wood floors

The movement that occurs once your new floors are brought to your home is exactly why you should let wood floors acclimatise before fitting them. Though the warehouse that had been storing your flooring may keep the flooring at a 'normal' condition, the environmental situation in your home may not be considered normal.

Image of warehouse where wood floor acclimatise

For example your home may experience more or less moisture than the warehouse, or you may have a warmer or colder temperature at which you like to keep your home. Wood floors shrink when there is less moisture content in the air, but expand when there's more. If the conditions in your home aren't stable, i.e are particularly wet, your floorboards may cup or warp.

Related: Why And How To Stain A Solid Wood Floor

How to let wood floors acclimatise

Before your shipment of solid wood flooring arrives you should make sure the conditions at your home are stable and as reflective of the constant situation in your home as possible. This means avoiding any situations whereby our home would then have a lot of moisture present in the area. This means not painting or dry-walling your home too close before your flooring shipment arrives or during the acclimatisation period.

Image of woman painting a wall

Drywall mudding and painting can be responsible for as much as 200 gallons of moisture in your home and, as this moisture is airborne, this can create a humidity level of over 90% in your home. For reference purposes, if wood flooring sits in an environment with 70% humidity levels, it can easily start to cup within the boxes within 48 hours. Make sure you have a steady home environment for your floors to rest in whilst they acclimatise before installation.

For a more in-depth look at how to acclimatise your floors read here.

Are you going to be letting wood floor acclimatise any time soon? Let us know about it in the comments. 

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