Below is a brief overview of the hardwood floor installation steps provided by the National Wood Flooring Association. This page contains suggested parameters that are only meant to be general information, and are not a substitute for manufacturer specifications. Interiors Associates of Florida does not assume any liability for customer’s failure to follow the pertinent manufacturer specifications. We encourage you to always follow the manufacturers’ guidelines.

VIEW THE NWFA’S INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

ACCLIMATION

Wood flooring is a hygroscopic material subject that expands or contracts with the amount of moisture, temperature, and humidity within the surrounding environment. Wood flooring simply needs to reach moisture content level in equilibrium with the surrounding environment (EMC) where it will be installed. The process of reaching this equilibrium is defined as acclimation.

According to the National Wood Flooring Association, the process of acclimation is as follows:

Follow manufacturers’ guidelines at all times.

Acclimation can be facilitated by breaking the floor units into small lots and/or opening the packaging. A common practice is to cross‐stack the materials with spacers (¾” to 1” sticks) between each layer of flooring to allow air circulation on all sides of all boards.
Most recommendations state that the materials need to acclimate from a minimum of 3 days up to no given maximum. While it takes time to acclimate a product, the most important aspect is that the materials reach a moisture content that is in equilibrium with its expected use. Acclimate the materials as long as necessary to accomplish this task, taking the necessary moisture readings to indicate when the materials have reached the proper moisture content and when no further changes occur.