The Importance of Wood Acclimation Before Installation

Every home is unique. And your home’s distinctive characteristics can actually influence the durability and longevity of the hardwood floors inside of it. In order to help maximize the lifespan of your hardwood flooring it is important to let the new floorboards acclimate to your home environment prior to installation.

Acclimating Hardwood Flooring to Its New Environment

Somewhat like a family moving into a new home, hardwood flooring requires some time to acclimate to its new environment. And there are a variety of factors that directly affect the acclimation process.

Hardwood Flooring Acclimation Factors


Temperature can affect hardwood flooring in different ways depending on the type of hardwood flooring and the geographic location it is being installed in. Generally, hardwood flooring best acclimates in temperatures from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Equilibrium moisture content of wood (labeled contours) as a function of relative humidity and temperature.

Equilibrium moisture content of wood (labeled contours) as a function of relative humidity and temperature.

– Forest Products Laboratory – United States Department of Agriculture


Relative humidity can cause hardwood flooring to either expand or contract depending on its level. During the summer months which tend to produce higher levels of relative humidity, hardwood flooring may expand. And during the lower humidity levels commonly experienced throughout the winter season, hardwood flooring can contract potentially causing gaps between floorboards. No matter what time of year the hardwood flooring is being installed, it is best acclimated within relative humidity levels ranging from 30 to 50 percent.

Moisture Content

Partially affected by relative humidity levels, the moisture content of the hardwood flooring should be checked before being installed. The moisture content of the floorboards needs to be as close to possible as the moisture content produced by the normal living conditions within the home.

How Long Does Acclimating Hardwood Flooring Take?

The length of time it takes for hardwood flooring to properly acclimate to your home mainly depends on the factors we just described. Also taking the type of hardwood flooring material into account, the acclimation process can take as little as three days and may take up to ten days in more extreme climates that influence indoor living conditions.

Hardwood flooring proper acclimation

From Acclimation to Installation – Making Your Hardwood Flooring Project a Success

At E_M Custom Flooring & Installations, we deliver your new hardwood flooring prior to installation, giving it the necessary amount of time to acclimate to your home environment. During your free onsite consultation, our team of flooring installation experts performs a thorough analysis of your home interior in order to provide you with an accurate project timeline.

From evaluation and delivery to the successful installation of your new hardwood flooring, you can always rely on E_M Custom Flooring to get the job done right. Contact us today or stop by our showroom so we can help you get started on your new flooring project.

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