The timeless question that everyone is met with when considering a laminate floor. The acclimatisation question! Often looked at as a pointless exercise by many. Does laminate really need to acclimatise prior to installing? Here we’ll look at what it means to acclimatise and if it’s necessary to do so..
Air humidity and temperature between buildings often differ. The acclimatisation in relation to laminate flooring is the process of allowing the laminate to gain an equilibrium with the air humidity and temperature of it’s new environment. In layman’s terms this means to let the flooring get used to the environment it will be installed in.
When any wood based product is taken from one climate to another, it will expand or contract as it adapts to the new climate. This is similar to a climbers body before the task of ascending a high mountain. To perform correctly in such a situation, the climber must allow his/her body to get used to the difference in climate, by acclimatising!
I’ve been asked the question if laminate floors really need to acclimatise by clients and laminate flooring salesmen/women on countless occasions and a lot of the time that question is asked with a rye smile. As if it’s some pointless stipulation by the manufacturers as a conspiracy to waste peoples time! Well, it’s not. Common sense should prevail here.
One of the reasons why acclimatisation is seen as pointless is the fact that if not done and a laminate floor is taken straight from a shop to a home or commercial building and installed immediately, approximately 70% of the time nothing detrimental will happen. However, the other 30% is still a gamble and when spending hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds on a new laminate floor for it to potentially fail for the sake of waiting a couple of days, isn’t a wise stance to take.
Even if the shop where the laminate floor has been kept is situated just around the corner from your home and the weather has been fine and sunny for weeks, you don’t know how the shop’s temperature or air humidity fluctuates. The sales person doesn’t know properly how the temperature and air humidity fluctuates in your home. You should never take the external weather conditions as a guide to whether a laminate floor does or doesn’t require acclimatising. You should always acclimatise it.
In fifteen years of installing laminate flooring, I have not had one failure! This in part has greatly be down to my due diligence in making sure all my installations are carried out after the laminate floor has been acclimatised.
I hope this article has given you food for thought and you don’t fall pray to limited time restraints, a dodgy installer or sloppy sales advice.
Acclimatisation isn’t a false requirement, it isn’t a trick and it isn’t something to be overlooked. Make sure you allow for this within your project and providing all other guidelines are followed, you’ll have a sound, long lasting and money well spent laminate floor!© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor