hardwood floor acclimation Swift Current, SK

Hardwood Floor Acclimation: The Key to a Successful Installation

Hardwood flooring is a beautiful and timeless addition to any home. However, ensuring a smooth and lasting installation requires understanding the crucial step of hardwood floor acclimation. 

If you're considering hardwood flooring in Swift Current, SK or are in the midst of a renovation project, this guide will explain why acclimation matters and how to do it right.

What is hardwood floor acclimation?

Hardwood floor acclimation is the process of allowing wood flooring to adjust to the temperature and humidity levels of its new environment before installation. Wood is a natural material that expands and contracts in response to changes in moisture. Failing to acclimate hardwood flooring properly can lead to a host of problems, including:

  • Buckling: Floors can warp or buckle when they expand too much after installation.
  • Gapping: Shrinkage due to low humidity can cause unsightly gaps between boards.
  • Cupping: Boards can curl upward at the edges when moisture levels are inconsistent.

Hardwood floor acclimation time: how long does it take? 

The hardwood floor acclimation time varies depending on several factors, including:

Wood species: 

Wood species plays a significant role in the acclimation time of hardwood flooring. Different species have varying densities and moisture absorption rates, impacting how quickly they adjust to their environment. Dense hardwoods like maple or hickory generally take longer to acclimate than softer woods like pine or fir. Additionally, exotic wood species might require more extended acclimation periods due to their origin in different climates. 

Understanding the specific characteristics of your chosen wood species is crucial in ensuring proper acclimation and preventing issues like warping or gapping after installation.

Product type

The type of hardwood flooring you choose significantly impacts the acclimation time. Solid hardwood, being a natural material, is more susceptible to changes in moisture levels and typically requires a longer acclimation period compared to engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood, with its layered construction and often pre-finished surface, tends to be more stable and may acclimate faster. 

However, the specific wood species used in both solid and engineered hardwood can also influence the acclimation time as previously mentioned. 


The climate in which you're installing hardwood flooring significantly impacts the acclimation time. In dry climates, hardwood tends to release moisture, while in humid climates, it absorbs moisture. Therefore, acclimation times may be shorter in humid environments where the wood's moisture content needs to increase to match the ambient conditions. 

Conversely, drier climates might require longer acclimation periods as the wood gradually releases excess moisture to reach equilibrium. It's crucial to monitor both the temperature and relative humidity of your home during acclimation to ensure the wood adjusts properly and minimizes the risk of warping or gapping after installation.

How to properly acclimate hardwood flooring

Delivery: Have your hardwood flooring delivered well in advance of the installation date.

Climate Control: Ensure the room where the flooring will be installed has a stable temperature (60-80°F) and humidity (35-55%).

Unpack and Stack: Remove the flooring from its packaging and stack the boards in the installation area, allowing for airflow between them.

Monitor: Use a moisture meter to periodically check the moisture content of the flooring and the subfloor. When the moisture levels are within 2-4% of each other, the flooring is acclimated.

Why hardwood floor acclimation matters

Proper hardwood floor acclimation is an investment in the long-term beauty and functionality of your floors. It minimizes the risk of post-installation issues, ensuring that your hardwood floors look their best for years to come.

Don't underestimate the importance of hardwood floor acclimation. By taking the time to acclimate your flooring properly, you're setting the stage for a successful installation and a lifetime of enjoyment.

Visit Decor Complete Ltd. for expert advice and a wide selection of hardwood floors 

If you're looking for high-quality hardwood flooring and expert advice on acclimation and installation, visit Decor Complete Ltd. in Swift Current, SK. We've been serving the Swift Current, Val Marie, Maple Creek, Rosetown, and Chaplin areas since 1976. Our 10,000 square foot store offers a vast selection of flooring products to suit every taste and budget. Let our experienced team help you find the perfect hardwood flooring for your home and guide you through the acclimation process.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and explore our extensive flooring collection.

Favourite List
no items available

No Items on your Favourites yet

Please limit the comparison to a maximum of four items.