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Basically acclimation is just allowing your floorboards to adapt to the moisture levels in the environment which they are to be installed in. Floorboards will continue to absorb and dissipate moisture throughout their lifespan in your home. So if their is more moisture in the air in your environment, than in the floorboards themselves, the the floorboards will absorb that moisture until a moisture equilibrium has been achieved. On the flip side, the the air is drier and has less moisture levels than the floorboards themselves, the floorboards will release moisture to the air. This is why it is essential to acclimatize floorboards before laying, as either action can have extrem effects on your layed floor.

Issues That Can Occur Without Proper Acclimation

If you lay a wooden floor in the summertime, or in an area where there is high humidity, the air will contain high levels of moisture. As floorboards absorb moisture they expand, sometimes at an alarming rate depending on the particular wood. Just for the sake of this article, lets assume that you have layed the floorboards when they are at their fullest expansion size. When you lay them, they fit snugly and look fine.

Now in winter the moisture levels in the air will decrease. In order to reach equilibrium level, the floorboards will release moisture to the air. The result being that the floorboards will shrink. The shrinking floorboards will no longer have a perfect fit and large gaps will appear between them. This result is known as gapping and is a very common occurence and problem.

If on the other hand you lay your floorboards in wintertime where there is very little moisture in the air, your floorboards will have contracted to their smallest size. Once installed they lokk perfect again. However when summer arrives and your floorboards absorb moisture from the moisture filled air, they will begin to expand against each other. This is known as buckling and will ruin the appearance of the your wooden floor.

So, as you can see, it is very important that you master the acclimation issue before laying any wooden floor.

How To Acclimatize Wooden Floorboards

Thankfully acclimation of wooden floorboards is not rocket science. Quite the reverse actually and is extremely simple to do. It just requires some patience and a little time. Thats all!

When you buy yourself wooden floorboards and get them home, you need to unpack them and lay them out individually on the ground. By doing this, you will allow the floorboards to adjust accordingly to the moisture levels within the environment they are to be layed. The whole process will take about 2 weeks and during this time you can monitor your floorboards using a suitable moisture meter.

With your moisture meter you need to take readings of the floorboards, the subfloor and the actual moisture levels within the room. When all your readings from the moisture meter show a near balance, this is the time that you can safely install your floor.

As said earlier, it takes time and patience to acclimtize floorboards to the present moisture levels in the environment. You need to remember that you need air to circulate through and around your floorboards. This means that you need to unpack the floorboards and do not leave them stacked on top of one another as this will inhibit the air circulation.



Wooden Floorboards Must Be Acclimatized



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One cannot emphasis enough the importance of acclimatizing wooden floorboards before they are laid down. A frequently made mistake by many DIY and homeowners is to lay down a new wooden floor without allowing the floorboards to acclimatize to their new environment. In fact professionals have been known to make the same mistake. Some through ignorance, but it has to be said, some through the necissity of meeting a severe deadline.

The results can be dramtic and possess severe consequences for you in the long term if the floorboards are not acclimatized properly. In fact your floor could end up ruined and need replacing at some time. It is essential to understand the consequences and learn about any of the issues that can crop up with a floor that has not been acclimatized properly. One can hire a suitable professional to lay the floor, but if you are planning on doing it yourself, then there are tips and advice you must adhere to.


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