How Important is Acclimation for Your Hardwood Flooring in Toronto?

Hardwood flooring in Toronto won’t likely fall out of fashion any time soon. Its timeless appeal matches its strength, versatility and environmentally sustainable features. Whether you choose to use skilled flooring installation experts or complete hardwood installation yourself, there’s a critical step that should never be missed. If you want to ensure your floors look fabulous for years to come, this needs to happen before you even nail down the first board.


Acclimation of hardwood flooring in Toronto

What’s acclimation? Wood is a natural material which is filled with tiny, microchannels that draw and hold moisture. As a result, it expands and contracts under various circumstances. Acclimation allows your floorboards to adapt to the conditions in the space where they’ll be installed, and undergo any subtle changes they need to before being nailed in place. Acclimation allows your hardwood to get used to its new home and will reduce your chance of seeing unwanted changes later.

What can happen if you don’t allow for this step?

Acclimation is critical to a beautiful installation because wood is hygroscopic and changes with its environment. Your planks may have been packed in a far region with different weather and humidity. A factory or warehouse will also have a different climate than your home. If the adjustment period isn’t allowed, future cupping and warping of boards can occur. The wood may soak up surrounding air moisture and expand after the planks have been fastened tightly together. With nowhere to grow, the boards can bend and bow.

How should you acclimate your hardwood flooring in Toronto?

If you live in this region, you know our weather and temperatures can change dramatically throughout the year. Your home may be cold and dry in the winter and filled with heat and humidity during summer months. When your hardwood arrives, spread the boxes out, so they aren’t stacked, and so that they rest on a slight elevation over the subfloor. This will allow air circulation above and below. You can open the boxes, but you don’t need to spread out all the planks. Your boards will begin to breathe and adjust to the room conditions. The room temperature should be set between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the air humidity kept between 35 to 55 % throughout the installation. Don’t store hardwood flooring in basements or other areas where you have no control over the climate. Don’t transport them in rain or snowy conditions which could wet the planks.

How to Acclimate?


How long will acclimation take?

The time your flooring material needs to adjust depends on a few factors. Your geographic area, current season, and the subflooring moisture content affect ultimate results. You’ll want to use a moisture meter before installing wood floors to compare moisture of the boards to the subfloor. If the numbers are within 2 % for plank flooring, and 4% for two ¼ inch flooring, you can proceed with the installation. Your hardwood flooring manufacturer will also have specific guidelines to provide you with. On average, acclimation can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Contact the experts at Chestnut Flooring with any questions you may have. We can offer advice or expert installation, and we have a stunning collection of quality wood flooring to meet your style and budget.

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