How do I acclimate wood flooring to my home?

Getting to know the details of your flooring project is a great way to insure the best results and a lifetime of enjoyment for your wood floor.  There are many questions that we can help you with. One that is often overlooked by new homeowners is how to acclimate your wood floor to the ambient environment of your home.  We asked the experts:  “Do I need to acclimate my wood floor to my house?”  Well the answer may surprise you! 

Do I need to acclimate my wood floor to my home?  

The wood guru says “Yes!”: “After you have received your order from us, there are a few more steps to getting the best results when installing your wood flooring.” says resident wood guru Richard Woods, CEO of Albany Woodworks.  “Most kiln-dried wood that is not acclimated starts at 6-8% moisture content. This means the acclimation process is an important step.  You are preventing the wood from growing in place.”  

For best results:  It is important to have climate control in place before acclimating your wood floor to your home.  There is not a hard and fast rule, everything depend on your specific climate.  You need to have an idea of the moisture content of the wood flooring and of the wood in the surrounding environment.  Whether your climate control is heating and cooling, or paired with a radiant heat system installed beneath the floorboards, this is your first step.  

Kiln-dried flooring: We take pride in our time-tested, kiln-drying system which takes most of the guesswork out for you.  We slow dry our lumber to a guaranteed moisture content of 10% or less, ideal for most climates.  We then bundle and store the wood, ensuring it is protected from the damage rain and sun can cause if left unchecked. 

Is it the same process for all types of wood flooring? 

Wet wood is no good: Our reclaimed heart pine is naturally stable and has dried in our warehouses even before the kiln-drying process begins.  But not all heart pine is created equal. Some lumber providers are not as careful and can ship wood that is too wet.  This can cause issues down the road when a installed wood floor starts to warp and shrink. This can leave separation between the boards.  Save the homeowner hassle caused by wet wood and ask for wood that has a guaranteed moisture content.  

How long do I need to acclimate my wood flooring?

Rain can ruin best laid plans: Leaving your flooring out in the elements uncovered is a costly mistake. If you receive your order of dried wood flooring and leave it out in the rain uncovered while it is awaiting installation, it may seem harmless at first but can lead to big problems down the road.  It is preferable to store your wood lumber inside of the domicile or in another climate controlled area on the property.  

Not as long as you may think: Generally 10 days is an ample amount of time if you have climate control in place and the wood flooring is stored indoors.  Some woods are already really stable and do not require acclimation, such as heart pine from Albany Woodworks.  For all other wood types, we are happy to recommend the ideal moisture content for the ambient environment in your home.  

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