Tips With Tim: Acclimating Flooring
Before installation, it is imperative that you let your flooring material acclimate to its new environment. By leaving the material in the new space, it is able to come to moisture equilibrium with its surroundings. If this step is skipped, expansion and contraction will occur during installation, leaving gaps in the floor. Every flooring product must be acclimated - not just wood.
Vinyl Flooring- Open boxes should be left in the room where it will be installed for at least 48 hours before install. You should wait even longer if you are installing via floating floor method. The floor should be between 60-80°F and between 40-75% humidity. If installing over a new concrete floor, you must wait 60 days after the concrete has been poured in order to cure.
Ceramic & Porcelain- Again, open boxes should be left in the room where it will be installed for at least 48 hours before install. The floor should be between 50-90°F and between 40-75% humidity. Keep in mind that higher humidity will cause tile adhesive/grout to dry more slowly, introducing the risk of mold and mildew growing under the material.
Wood- Take the wood out of the boxes and break them into smaller sections to increase airflow. Cross-stack the planks with spacers to allow for even greater airflow. Leave the wood for at least 72 hours.
Carpet- Leave carpet rolls out in the room that they will be installed in for at least 48 hours. This gives the fibers time to loosen. A stiff carpet is impossible to properly stretch, causing bumps once the material is properly acclimated.
Make sure to read all directions on the packaging before installation of any material. Each product has a manufacturer recommendation that should be followed. In some cases, the warranty will void if proper instructions are not followed.