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How Should I Acclimate My Hardwood Floor

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I’m so excited! I just ordered my hardwood flooring and it’s on its way to my house now. When it gets here, I know I’m supposed to let it sit for awhile before installing. How do I acclimate my hardwood floor so it’s ready to go when my installers arrive?
– Felicia H.

Dear Felicia,

Congratulations! We’re sure you’ll love your new hardwood floors.

You’re right. Before you can see them laid down in all their glory, you need to give the wood a chance to acclimate to its new home.

Why acclimate hardwood flooring? 

Acclimation of hardwood floors is important. It allows the wood to adapt to the new humidity levels and temperature levels in your house. Both humidity and fluctuating temperatures have a direct impact on your installation. That’s because the wood expands and contracts in different humidity and temperature levels. By allowing your wood to acclimate, you minimize how much it will expand and contract after installation, reducing the chances of it buckling or leaving large gaps.

How to Acclimate Your New Hardwood Floors 

When the flooring arrives, bring it inside. Then, follow these steps to allow it to properly acclimate.

  • Place the boxes flat in the center of the room where you will install the flooring.
  • Open each of the boxes but do not remove the wood.
  • If you live in a humid area, use humidity controllers, such as a humidifier or dehumidifier.
  • Let the flooring sit for five to seven days. During this time, keep the conditions the same as what you’ll have once the flooring is installed (for example, the same humidity levels and temperature range).

That’s it! Schedule your installers to arrive about a week after your flooring arrives and it’ll be ready for installation.

Once you’ve installed your flooring, take a picture and show us here or on our Facebook page. We love to see finished flooring projects!

Be sure to check out our tips for how to clean your hardwood floors too, so you can keep your brand new flooring looking amazing for years to come!

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