Expert Advice
Frank DiStefano

Q: Hi Bill, Do I still need to acclimatise solid timber flooring before installing? I know of installers that do and other that don’t. Sam Cooper.

A: Hi Sam, Never forget that timber is natural product that will expand and contract with seasonal changes. This is because it is affected by the moisture content in its environment. The moisture content of timber floors will vary with changes in humidity and temperature in the surrounding air. Installing timber flooring with an approx. 10 to 12% moisture content in an environment that has a higher equilibrium moisture content of 14% will cause the flooring to expand. The reverse situation of installing flooring in very low humidity environments will cause the floor to shrink creating excessive gapping. Small seasonal changes in timber flooring are considered normal and small gaps that open up in dryer periods are not considered a fault.

Acclimatising a timber floor aims to minimise the movement of the floor after installation caused by swelling from moisture uptake or from shrinkage on moisture

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