Hardwood Flooring Acclimation

There are a few things to keep in mind when you obtain your new Tallest Tree reclaimed wood flooring and/or wall paneling. Wood is a water-absorbing substance, which means it collects moisture based on the environment it is placed in. Because of this, the wood may arrive at your location with a moisture content (MC) that differs from what is required for installation. Allowing your reclaimed wood flooring or wall paneling to acclimate helps ensure that it retains its beauty and isn't harmed. If the wood is not properly acclimated it may cup or warp as a result of excessive shrinkage or expansion. Pre or post-installation gaps and cracks could occur. This would be bad for the look as well as for the structure.

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) developed these acclimatization tips for wood floors:

  • Allow the wood to acclimate for three to seven days, depending on where you live.
  • In order to increase ventilation, break the flooring bundles into smaller groups.
  • While the wood is acclimating, turn on any and all HVAC or air systems in the house.
  • Keep your warranty in effect by following the manufacturer's instructions.

Here is a step-by-step guide to follow:

  • The first step is to get the advice of a qualified professional in your area before doing any work on the flooring or paneling.
  • Using a moisture meter, measure the moisture content of your Tallest Tree reclaimed wood order once you receive it (MC). Afterwards, perform a visual inspection of the circuit boards in each bundle to look for flaws.
  • It's important to evaluate the seasonal change of wood moisture content in your area before you get your reclaimed flooring or wall paneling. Increasing the acclimation time is necessary if the installation is taking place in a very harsh climate. Again, contact a flooring installation specialist in your neighborhood.
  • You must ensure that your Tallest Tree order is properly stored. Storage of flooring and wall paneling, even if just for a short time, must be done in a clean, dry environment. All products should be stored on a stable, level surface that provides adequate support. We strongly advocate separating the bundles of flooring or paneling so that sufficient air movement can take place. Reclaimed wood products should not be stored on the job site in uncontrolled environmental conditions. If you're going to preserve wood, make sure it's contained. Wood flooring and wall paneling cannot be stored in a garage or on a deck because they are too porous.
  • In order to get the most accurate results, you'll want to examine at least 40 boards per 1,000 square feet of flooring for moisture content. Calculating the ideal moisture content is the next step. To begin, figure out where you are in relation to seasonal changes in wood moisture. Check out the guides: Moisture Content by Region-US and Moisture Content by Region-Canada. Divide the low and high-season moisture content by the number of months of the year. If the wood is supplied and documented at the baseline moisture content for your geographic location and the correct relative humidity conditions are maintained, you will not need to acclimate the wood. There are some situations where it may be difficult to acclimate wood that is too far outside the appropriate range of moisture content. Cupping, bowing, and shrinkage of the wood may occur under these conditions.

  • Finally, make certain that the long-term environmental systems are up and functioning prior to installation. For example, ensure that your HVAC system is running for at least five days prior to installation in order to achieve the ideal temperature and humidity. Your new Tallest Tree floors or wall paneling will soon be residing in a room with a stable humidity level as a result. Temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 30 to 50 percent, should be maintained all year. A temperature and relative humidity range that is optimal for wood, just as it is for humans, is critical to its performance. If the humidity or temperature in your room is out of spec, postpone your installation and see an expert. An incorrect moisture content in the environment could lead to a failure if this is not done. Flooring and wall panels should be cared for properly throughout their lifespan. Make sure you consult with a flooring expert and review the product specs before making any final decisions based on these guidelines.

*These are merely suggestions and should be supplemented by the knowledge and experience of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and your local professional and skilled floor and wall paneling installer. The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) is an excellent resource for further information before installation.