Acclimation is a key component to installing hardwood floors in the Santa Cruz area. Acclimation is the time it takes the hardwood to absorb the moisture in our coastal air. Most hardwoods come into the Santa Cruz area being very dry from the milling process. By allowing the wood to acclimate properly, we reduce the potential of cupping or buckling after the wood is installed.
The time it takes to acclimate hardwood varies depending on the hardwood species. ¾” x 2 ¼”oak hardwood (either white oak or red oak) is the most common type of hardwood and usually takes a few weeks (2-4 weeks) to acclimate.
When hardwood is delivered, it needs to be stored inside the home to begin to take on the moisture conditions of the home. Upon delivery we take a moisture reading of the wood (usually ranges from 6% – 8% moisture) and a reading of the subfloor (usually ranges between 10% -14% moisture). Once this is determined, we can plan a rough time frame for the project installation.
For installation to begin, the wood and subfloor should not have a difference in moisture level of more than 4% with a 2 ¼” wide wood. The wider the hardwood material the closer the percentage of moisture between wood and subfloor. For instance and 3”- 5” material should not have a difference of more than 2%.
Hardwood acclimation is one of the most important steps in installing a new hardwood floor. This is why it is important to hire a company that is familiar with the conditions of your area.