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Acclimation

Floor treatment

Definition of Acclimation

Acclimation is the process of treating hardwood flooring materials to ensure they can adjust to the conditions of the environment in which they’ll be installed. 

The process is simple, as it simply involves leaving the wood planks in the area of installation for at least 48 hours

The goal is to reach the equilibrium moisture content, a level where wood doesn’t gain or lose any moisture. This equilibrium point should be 2 percent of the subfloor’s moisture content

Acclimation is necessary for both temperature and humidity. Once the wood has adjusted to these environmental conditions, it will remain unaffected through the seasons. As such, acclimation has several benefits, including::

  • Preventing excessive floor warping, gapping, or cupping
  • Limiting shrinkage and dimensional distortion 
  • Ensuring firm adhesion of the flooring to the subfloor
  • Increasing the durability and lifespan of flooring 

Time is an important factor in floor acclimation. But even more important are the heating and cooling conditions the flooring is exposed to. The air temperature should be maintained at normal levels during this time and for at least 5 days before the flooring gets to the site.

Example of Acclimation in a Sentence

"An acclimated floor can adjust to temperature and humidity changes."

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