Laminate Flooring Acclimate Tips (Time Taken, Stacking)

Laminate flooring is one of the best materials for your house because it is durable, easy to install, and affordable. When installing a new laminate flooring, you should follow a set of instructions to ensure you have a stable floor. You may have heard people talk about acclimatization, and you might be wondering whether you really should let laminate flooring acclimate.

So, do I really need to let laminate flooring acclimate? You must acclimate laminate flooring before you install them in your house. As soon as the flooring arrives in your home, take them to the room you want to install them and let them acclimate. Acclimation helps the laminate flooring planks to normalize to the room’s temperature and humidity. After installation, the planks will lock to each other perfectly. Hence, you will not see any gaps or warps on your floor.

Installing a new laminate flooring in your house can be an easy task if you prepare properly. If you rush through the process, you might end up with a floor with warps, cracks, splits, and gaps.

Acclimatizing is the process of conditioning flooring materials to acclimate to the new environment before installing them. When selecting a flooring material to install in your house, there are steps you should follow to ensure you have stable and beautiful flooring. If your laminate flooring materials have arrived, you might be wondering if it is necessary to let them acclimate.

Let the laminate flooring acclimate for some time to normalize to the new environment. Laminate flooring has fiberboard in its core, which is porous even though the planks might look solid to plain eyes. The tiny holes allow air inside the planks, and if the room has humid air, the planks will swell and shrink if the air is less humid.

Acclimating allows the laminate flooring planks to get the same temperature and humidity as the room you want to install them in. Once the laminate flooring acclimates, you can install them, and the locking systems on the planks will work perfectly without the planks warping, buckling, or leaving gaps.

When the laminate flooring materials are delivered to your home, they have a different temperature. The laminate flooring materials could have been stored in a place with different temperatures and humidity. Even the time they spent on the back of the truck could alter their temperature.

If you start installing the laminate flooring planks immediately, they arrive at your home; the planks could start warping, buckling, splitting, or leaving gaps. If your room has a low temperature and the planks arrive with a higher temperature, after you install them, they will start to shrink as they acclimatize to the room’s temperature. The shrinking will cause the planks to show gaps between them.

When installing laminate flooring, be patient; hence, prepare your schedule to fit the acclimatization period. As the laminate flooring acclimatizes, you can start doing other things like painting the walls or preparing the subfloor. You can also take a break for a few days while the laminate flooring acclimatizes.

However, do not make the mistake of acclimatizing the laminate flooring planks in a different room, even if the rooms are in the same house. Each room in your house could have a different temperature and humidity. If you are installing the laminate flooring in all rooms, ensure you acclimatize the laminate flooring planks in each room. 

Some manufacturers of laminate flooring materials will not give you a refund or replacement if you do not acclimatize. If your new laminate floor starts to crack, warp, buckle, or leave gaps, the retailer or manufacturer of the laminate flooring planks will ask if you acclimatized them and for how long.

If you did not, you will not get any refunds or replacements that could be very expensive. When you get new laminate flooring materials to repair your floor, ensure you acclimatize them to avoid making the same mistake again.

When acclimatizing the laminate flooring, ensure that no outside factors affect the room’s normal temperature and humidity. If you have HVAC vents in the rooms, ensure you place the boxes far from them.

Cover the window or close the door to ensure the boxes are not exposed to direct sunlight during the acclimatization period if the room has access to direct sunlight at different times of the day. Ensure that the temperature and humidity in the room remain consistent as possible throughout the process.

How Long Does It Take for Laminate Flooring To Acclimate?

After the laminate flooring materials have arrived at your residence, the next thing to do is take them to the room you want to install them and let them acclimate. To ensure that the laminate flooring has properly acclimated, you might ask how long you should wait before you start installing them.

Laminate flooring needs to acclimate for 48 or 72 hours in the room you want to install it. However, some manufacturers include specific directions on how to acclimate, and it is important to follow those instructions regarding the time.

When you order the laminate flooring, ensure they arrive a few days before the day you have selected for installation. Ensure that you let the laminate flooring acclimate for the recommended period before installing them, or else you could have a weak floor with warped planks or gaps.

Before the laminate flooring arrives at your home, prepare for the acclimatization period. You should check the temperature and humidity of the room and see if they match the temperature and humidity levels recommended for acclimation.

The temperature in the room should be between 64 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity level in the room should be between 25 and 70%. You can check the temperature and humidity levels using a thermometer and hygrometer, respectively. Instead of buying two separate devices to measure the temperature and humidity levels, you can buy a hygrometer that is combined with a thermometer.

You should measure the floor’s temperature and ensure that it is no less than 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The moisture level on your subfloor should not exceed 12%. If you are using a timber sub-floor, the moisture level should not exceed 3%.

You can use a concrete moisture meter to measure the moisture levels on your sub-floor. If you have recently installed a concrete subfloor, let it cure for at least 60 days. If you have built-in radiant heating for your floors, set it to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for at least three days before the installation.

After ensuring that all the right conditions are set for the acclimation, place the cartons containing the laminate flooring materials in the middle of the room they are to be installed. Lay each box flat side by side on the floor. Ensure that none of the boxes touch the walls. Let the boxes sit in that room for 48 to 72 hours before installation.

Do not remove the shrink wraps or open the boxes during acclimation. If the laminate flooring material you bought has manufacturer guidelines on acclimation, ensure that you flow them correctly. If you do not follow the instructions correctly, your floor could get damaged within a few days, and it will be expensive to repair it. 

It can be tempting to install the laminate flooring planks immediately to enjoy your new floor, but it is very important to exercise patience. Ensure that you give yourself enough time to prepare everything before you begin the installation.

Talk to the salesperson about acclimating the laminate flooring and ask them to deliver them a few days before the day of installation. Avoid cutting corners when installing laminate flooring; one simple mistake, and you could end up with a weak floor with buckling planks, gaps, or warps. If the floor is damaged, you have to remove the warped planks and begin the installation process again, which will take more of your time.

Can You Stack Your Laminate Flooring To Acclimate?

When looking for laminate flooring materials to install in your house, you might have heard about the need to acclimate them. Acclimation is an important part when installing laminate flooring, and if done incorrectly, you could end up with a damaged floor. After the laminate flooring planks have arrived at your home and you want to acclimate them, you might be wondering if it is okay to stack them during the acclimation.

You can stack laminate flooring to acclimate, but you should stack them correctly to ensure maximum airflow. If the room you want to install the laminate flooring does not have enough room to lay each box on the floor, you have to stack them up. When stacking the boxes, ensure that the stack does not exceed three feet in height.

Do not remove the planks from the boxes if you want to acclimate the laminate flooring by stacking. Removing the planks to ensure maximum airflow can be tempting but removing them could negatively affect the acclimation process.

To correctly stack the laminate flooring boxes, first prepare the room and ensure it has the recommended temperature and humidity levels. You should also ensure that the floor you want to stack the boxes on has the correct temperature and moisture. Lay three or four boxes side by side, leaving a few inches apart, forming a square.

Place the same number of boxes on the first ones but in the alternate direction. Keep placing perpendicular layers on top, leaving several inches between the boxes. If you have many laminate flooring planks, start another stack when the first one reaches three feet high.

The space you leave between boxes is to ensure maximum air circulation. If you stack the boxes too close to each other, some of the boxes will not have enough air hence might have different temperatures. When leaving space for air circulation, do not stack the boxes too far from each other.

Ensure that the boxes are close enough to support each other to prevent the boxes from sagging in the middle. If the boxes sag in the middle, the laminate flooring planks can get a permanent bend, making it challenging to attain a perfect floor without gaps.

The time it takes to acclimate laminate flooring by stacking is the same as when you lay them individually on the floor. After 48 or 72 hours, you can remove the boxes from the stack and install them. After installing the laminate flooring planks, you might be eager to start using the room immediately.

However, it is recommended that you let the floor set for at least 24 hours. When you let your floor set for 24 hours, you ensure that there will be no shifting or buckling. You can damage your laminate flooring if you immediately start using the room by walking on it or placing heavy furniture on it.  

It is important to keep an eye on the room your laminate flooring is acclimating to ensure the conditions remain the same throughout the 48 or 72 hours of acclimation. It is easy to forget to check the temperature and humidity levels during the acclimation period, leading to the planks acclimating too much.

If the temperature in the room drops below 64 degrees Fahrenheit, it could lead to humidity levels rising, affecting the integrity of the planks. Some planks might permanently warp out of shape, making them useless. If you follow the instructions properly, your laminate floor can last up to 20 years before needing replacement.

Wrap Up

Acclimation is an important step when installing laminate flooring in your house, and you should never skip it. Plan ahead to ensure all the conditions are set for acclimation before the laminate flooring planks are delivered to your house.

If you do not let the laminate flooring planks acclimate, they shrink or expand depending on the temperature in your house. If the planks shrink, your floor will have gaps, and if they expand, the planks may buckle, warp or crack.

Acclimate the laminate flooring material for 48 or 72 hours or check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the exact time you should acclimate the planks. Do not acclimate laminate flooring planks in a different room; if you want to install them in different rooms, acclimate them in each room. If you do not have enough space in your room or house to lay the boxes individually on the floor, you can stack them together.