What’s the ideal temperature to install a laminate floor and why?

Many people dismiss laminate floor installation guidelines believing they’re not important. This amazes me and always has done. Why on earth would they lie or tell you to do something you don’t need to?? It’s not a great conspiracy! There are reasons, so lets look at them..

When you buy a laminate floor, you’ll be instructed by the manufacturer to install it in a room that’s been 18 to 20 C for 48 hours prior and the same thereafter (within reason). You’ll also be instructed to place the laminate flooring in the room for 48 hours before installing it (acclimatization).

Why 18 (64.4 F) to 20 C (68 F)? Well, this is considered the ideal average living or habitable temperature for humans. There may be some lizard type people that pretty much live in a furnace or the hot bloods that thrive with icicles hanging from their nose, but here we’re talking averages.

A question was recently posted in a diy forum I participate in. The question basically revolved around the fact that this installer was about to fit a laminate floor in a property where getting the temperature up to 18 C was going to be impossible and was more likely going to be around 10 C. Sounds like he or his clients might be rushing a little! Anyway, installing a laminate floor in such an environment is risky. Initially, nothing much will happen if the temperature is kept around the 10 degrees mark but as soon as the property becomes occupied and the heating is turned on, I can guarantee that problems will follow.

Thermo hygrometerYou must understand that there is a direct correlation between room temperature and air humidity. In normal circumstances, if the air temperature is kept at 18 – 20 C the air humidity will often bounce around 40 to 60%. Ideal for habitation.

If the room temperature is at 10 C or there abouts, the air humidity will generally be much lower. There are exceptions. For example, a building in the middle of construction can be kept very cold as the heating may not have been turned on, but the air humidity can be very high if for instance a concrete slab contains a lot of moisture and as it’s drying, it’s omitting huge amounts of moisture into the room/s atmosphere. Other examples being wet trades such as plastering, plumbing etc.

Now if a laminate floor is installed at a low temperature and then the temperature rises significantly, this in turn will alter the air humidity of the relevant room. Laminate flooring will expand and contract relative to the air humidity content in a room. Roughly speaking, high moisture content equals expansion. Low moisture content equals contraction. If the air moisture changes greatly, there’s a real risk of the laminate flooring expanding or contracting excessively with ensuing problems and money down the pan.

Only a fools gameHeed the instruction given by laminate floor manufacturers and don’t rush the installation. It’s tempting to want everything done quickly but this can be a fools game.

© Copyright 2014 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor
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I am a Pergo trained professional installer of 20 years. I've been up close and personal with lots of floors and have the knobbly knees to show for it...Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them below. Thanks for taking the time to call by and I hope the information you've found has given you some insight!........................................................................................................................................................................“When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in the site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network, amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr, amazon.de, amazon.it, amazon.ca, affiliate window network.” This statement is to comply with current internet regulations regarding transparency to consumers.

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