Monday, October 23, 2017

The perfect balance, the happy medium, just enough - these are the most desirable positions. Just as we can have equilibrium in life, wood also has the proper balance measured in what is called an equilibrium moisture content and for this reason the practice of acclimation is not recommended for Superior flooring products.

When wood is stored in a place where the humidity doesn’t change, it will reach a specific moisture content and remain at that point. This is based off the relative humidity of the room it is stored in. If the wood equilibrium moisture content is kept within a range of 35%-55% relative humidity, it will stay stable and move very little. This range is referred to as “Normal living conditions”. There will never be an issue with the wood flooring product if the boards that are installed have been properly dried, balanced, produced and stored before it is installed in a house with normal living conditions.

Installers can be sure of this by testing the relative humidity levels of the house before installation of the flooring takes place. Next they must check the moisture content of the subfloor and compare that to the moisture content of the hardwood flooring. As long as the two measurements are within 2% of each other there will be no moisture issues with your flooring.

This is all possible now with the technology we have today. In the past since their was no way to be certain of moisture content, it was rough guess on the timeframe needed to have the wood dried and acclimated so that it wasn’t going to expand or contract. Today, we can accurately measure the average moisture content of a kiln charge and destress the lumber in the link after it has dried.

Our warranty is void if our products are acclimated. Why? Wood is a natural product; it is hygroscopic. A simplified way to understand this is to think of it as wood breathing. It absorbs moisture from the air when it is humid and releases moisture into the air when it is dry. When hardwood flooring is brought into a house during construction and the house is still wet (from paint, drywall mud, recently poured concrete, etc.), the hardwood flooring absorbs the moisture in the air as it is the driest item in the house. The ends of the boards will pick up the moisture first and the middle of the board won’t have a chance to balance out for days or weeks. It is for this reason that our products need to be installed in what we described earlier as “Normal Living Conditions” where it isn’t too dry or too wet