Do Engineered Wood Floors Need to Acclimatise Before Installation?

How you prepare your space for new flooring, especially engineered wood flooring, is part of the process of installation. Once you have chosen engineered wood flooring from V4, you want to ensure that your home or business is prepared for its arrival. Make sure that all wet trades or decorating have been finished and left to dry prior to installation. Once your engineered wood flooring arrives, we recommend leaving the planks to acclimatise to the humidity level and temperature in your home for between 48 and 72 hours. Your home’s ambient temperature should fall between 18°C and 24°C during this acclimatisation process.

Why Does Engineered Wood Flooring Need to Be Acclimatised?

As a porous material, wood will naturally expand and contract when humidity and temperature levels fluctuate. This is why we do not recommend engineered wood flooring for bathrooms, where there is constantly running water and a build-up of water vapour. Relative Humidity (RH) is a percentage that measures the amount of humidity present in the air, and the sweet spot for engineered wood flooring is between 45% and 65%. You can use a moisture metre to calculate the humidity percentage in your home – and if levels are too far outside of the recommended range, you can purchase a dehumidifier to balance the moisture content of the space.

What Happens if You Do Not Acclimatise Engineered Wood Flooring?

Hardwood flooring is known as a hygroscopic material – this means it will absorb water vapour in its environment. Metaphorically speaking, it inhales and exhales moisture, and this natural absorption process results in noticeable dimensional changes. If real wood planks are not naturally acclimatised to an environment before they are fitted, the overall look can be hindered by warping in the wood as it comes away from the subfloor. Rapid depletion of moisture can even cause cracks and imperfections to form on the smooth surface of the wood. Thanks to its flexible multi-ply construction, engineered wood flooring is able to resist hygroscopic dimensional changes, but not entirely. The planks will still need to be left to acclimatise in the space before they can be installed. This is because V4’s engineered wooden flooring is designed to slot together seamlessly using a lock system and tongue & groove fittings, and if even minor hygroscopic absorption occurs, the planks can deform and thus disrupt the smooth exterior surface of the flooring.

How Do You Acclimatise Engineered Wood Flooring and How Long Does It Take?

For your engineered wood to properly acclimatise, you will need to leave the planks in, or as close to, the room in which they are to be installed. Hardwood flooring can take up to 7 days to fully acclimatise, which can obstruct building and decorating projects, whereas V4’s engineered wood flooring will only take between 48 and 72 hours to reach full acclimatisation. Making it a more efficient and convenient choice for wooden flooring. We also save you more time by delivering all of our engineered wooden planks in breathable, recycled packaging. This means you do not need to worry about laying out or cross-stacking your planks to properly acclimatise them – instead they can be left in their packaging until they are ready to be installed.

How Air Conditioning Impacts Acclimatisation

A quality air conditioning unit will certainly help the acclimatisation process, especially if you are installing your engineered wood flooring during the summer months when your home is uncharacteristically warm and humid.



  For more information on how to install and maintain your engineered wood flooring, and where you can find a verified V4 retailer near you, our team will be happy to help. Get in touch with us today.

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