Laminate flooring has increased in popularity over the last 20 years. It is extremely durable, it looks like real wood or stone, it is less expensive to purchase than the real thing, and it is easy to install and repair. There are, however, precautions that you must take before installation to ensure that your laminate flooring lasts. Acclimation is one way to safeguard your laminate flooring before you install it.
Acclimation is the adjustment of the flooring to adapt to new surroundings. When laminate flooring is manufactured, it may not have been in conditions that are the same as those in your house. If the laminate flooring is installed before the adjustment is made and there is a temperature drop, the planks can pull away from one another causing gapping.
The first and most important step is to read the manufacturer's directions. Each brand may differ slightly. Nevertheless, general rules suggest that you should acclimate the flooring in your home or office after all of the plastering and painting have been completed, and the interior climate has remained stable for at least 48 hours.
To acclimate the flooring correctly, make sure to remove the plastic wrap from any planks, and spread them onto the subfloor of the room in which installation will occur. Leave the laminate planks out between 48 to 96 hours to allow the wood to expand to meet its new environment. The exact time frame differs with different manufacturers. Some brands may not require any acclimation period at all. Take a few minutes to see what your brand of flooring suggests.