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Hardwood Floors And The Importance Of Acclimation

February 15th, 2012

By Ashley Hart

A common mistake made by property owners who opt to install their very own hardwood floors is to not allow the planks to adjust to their environment. The results are hardly ever seen rigtht after the set up. A few months later on, on the other hand, the flooring can develop serious troubles that wreck their look.

In this article, we’ll make clear the reasons acclimation is important for your hardwood flooring. You’ll find out about the troubles that can occur with badly-acclimatized boards, and some tips for avoiding them. If you hire a specialist installer to deal with the set up, you are not likely to see problems. But if you intend to install your floors by yourself, heed the subsequent advice.

What Is Acclimation?

At its simplest, acclimation is the procedure of letting your flooring adapt to the dampness amount in the atmosphere into which they are to be set up. From the moment you set up your flooring until the time you change it, the boards will absorb and dissipate wetness. This will happen constantly. If there is a higher amount of dampness in the air than in the planks, the wood will absorb it until equilibrium is reached. If the air is dry, and consists of a lesser amount of humidity than what is held in the boards, the timber is going to release its moisture.

Acclimation ought to be accomplished before the floors’ set up. Or else, the difference in moisture levels – even a small distinction – can cause the planks to demonstrate serious difficulties.

Frequent Difficulties Which Happen When You Don’t Acclimate The Wood

Imagine you install your wood flooring over the summer season, and reside in an area that receives a high level of humidity. There is substantial dampness in the air, which will cause the planks to expand. Further suppose that rather than allowing them to adjust to the average level of dampness in the environment, you install them once they expand to their fullest. Your flooring surfaces look fine following your installation.

Then, winter comes. There is very little dampness in the air, and thus the boards permit the dampness they’ve soaked up to dissipate; the planks shrink, creating big spaces to appear between them. This is known as “gapping,” and is a common difficulty with DIY installations which are done without acclimation.

Now, suppose you install your wood flooring throughout the winter season, when there is hardly any dampness in the air. Your planks have contracted to their smallest size. Again, they appear fine immediately following the installation.

Then, summer occurs with high humidity. The boards start to swell. Instead of gapping, they buckle beneath the pressure of the planks that are adjoining to them; buckling is an additional common difficulty, and will ruin the appearance of your hardwoods.

As a side note, these issues – gapping and buckling – are less common with manufactured wood flooring than they are with solid hardwoods. Manufactured planks are made with several intercrossed ply layers that limit theexpansion and contraction; the boards will continue to expand and contract, but is going to do so less than solid wood surfaces.

How To Acclimatize Your Wood Floors

Acclimation is simple. It merely demands providing your wood floors time to adapt. The issue is, lots of do-it-yourself home owners do not understand how air circulates through them. If you leave the planks stacked on top of each other – or worse, stacked in their boxes – air is going to be unable to reach them. Consequently, equilibrium in between the planks and the environment may not be achieved.

Unpack the boards, and lay them individually on the ground. They’ll slowly modify to the wetness level in the space. This step may take two to three weeks. During this time, utilize a dampness meter to keep an eye on the level of moisture in the room, subfloor, and boards. When they near a equilibrium, you can properly install the hardwoods.

It takes patience to wait while your wood flooring surfaces adjust to the humidity level in the installation site. But it is critical to do so. Otherwise, your hardwood flooring may display unattractive gaps and buckling, no matter the painstaking effort you invested while installing them.

Want to find out more about hardwood floors? Then visit www.footprintsfloors.com.

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