As a customer, there are a few things you need to know about your newly purchased reclaimed wood flooring or paneling. Wood is hygroscopic, which means it attracts water based upon the conditions it’s presently in through absorption or adsorption. This results in wood arriving to your location potentially at a different moisture content than what is required for your installation. In order to make your flooring or paneling look and feel its best, you need to acclimate it. Wood naturally has certain levels of water in it at all times. This is nothing to worry about so long as you treat the wood correctly.
Acclimating is one of the most significant things you can do to attain the best looking installation possible. Acclimating is when you allow the wood time to adjust its moisture content to the environment that it will be installed in. Failure to acclimate both engineered and solid wood flooring may result in cupping, warping, gaps and splits before, during, or after installation.
If the material arrives at a significantly high MC or you are installing in an extreme environment, you need to increase acclimation times.
Make sure to check the MC of the installation surface (walls or subfloor, including concrete) in at least 20 points every 1000sq ft. Failure to do so might jeopardize the entire installation. Please consult a professional installer regarding the type of subfloor and possible need for a moisture vapor retarder. Flooring/paneling must be at the MC for your geographic area and be within 2-4% of the subfloor’s or existing wall sheeting’s MC. Be sure to check the moisture near windows or plumbing. These areas may have higher out-of-range MC readings that will affect the performance of your material.
These are guidelines only and are superseded by the expertise and guidance of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) as well as your professional and knowledgeable flooring and paneling installer. For more information, or if you have additional questions, please consult a licensed professional or consult with the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) prior to installation.
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