Tech Talk: Misconceptions About Acclimation

“What is the biggest misconception about acclimation that you contend with?”

John Alford – Alford’s Custom Hardwood Floors

The biggest misconception about acclimation is that it only takes a certain number of days. Acclimation can be accomplished only by checking with a moisture meter, not the amount of time the flooring sits at the jobsite. Taking good moisture readings and comparing those to the moisture content at the jobsite, and documenting them, is the only way to truly acclimate wood.

Michael Caldarera – Ron-Del Floor Service Inc.

The biggest misconceptions are that they don’t have to control their environment to provide a proper way to acclimate the floor and that it is controlled by a timeline, not by the actual moisture content. Most people think they will wait seven to 10 days and we are good to go. The fact is that the floor will be ready when it’s ready. In southern Louisiana, it’s also based on what time of year it is. In the summer, it’s not hard to acclimate the wood because we have all of the moisture we need to find the balance. We struggle to get moisture into the wood from October to February because our humidity is a little lower at that time of the year. We always have to anticipate the next summer when the wood will gain moisture.

Randy Harris – High Desert Hardwood

If people deliver wood to a jobsite before the jobsite is up to its living conditions, the wood doesn’t acclimate at all. In fact, it might hurt the acclimation of it to begin with because if the
humidity is not up to the expected living conditions, then the wood is either going to dry out or it’s going to be too wet, depending on the season and where you are located across the country. We are in a very dry climate here in Utah, so our biggest battle is getting the relative humidity up to where it needs to be. So, if a home is air-conditioned and the humidity is right, we like to see solid wood sit in the house for maybe a week, and after it’s installed, I’d put a minimum two-week period on it – and that’s the minimal amount of time – to see if the wood is going to move or not. Usually, we are pretty safe if people adhere to those guidelines.


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