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How to Acclimate New Flooring Before Installation

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What is Acclimation?

Wood is a hygroscopic material that naturally absorbs and releases moisture from the air to balance itself with its surrounding environment. Depending where you live, the climate conditions of your home will differ in moisture content and temperature from your newly purchased hardwood floors. Acclimation gives the flooring time to adjust to its new environment, to the room or living space in which they will be installed. 

Why do I have to acclimate my floors?

Acclimatizing your floors is a critical step as your floors have been stored and moved from one environment to another, before reaching your home. If the wood does not acclimate, or in other words, reach a state of moisture balance before installation, a variety of issues can arise like cupping, buckling, or gapping. 

Buckling Floor

How long do I have to acclimate my floors for?

Depending on the type of flooring, the acclimation period can range anywhere between 24 to 120 hours. As a general rule of thumb, acclimation takes 5 days for solid hardwood, 3 days for engineered hardwood, and 1 to 2 days for luxury vinyl plank. However, please refer to manufacturer guidelines for your particular flooring. 

How do I acclimate my floors?

Luxury vinyl plank and laminate flooring can be acclimated in its original packaging. Solid hardwood and engineered hardwood may require un-packaging the wood for proper acclimation. Depending on the wood's specifications, the manufacturer may recommend laying out the flooring planks to space them out or cross-stacking them in such a manner that increases air circulation. All of the flooring products available on our site can be acclimated in their original packaging, in the room the flooring is to be installed in. 

Acclimation is a critical step prior to flooring installation. When scheduling your installation, be sure to dedicate a few days to the acclimation period to gain lifetime value out of your new floors.

Reach out to our expert product team at for additional information or questions about the acclimation process.