Wood Flooring Acclimation- Can it be obtained in Cardboard Boxes?


Acclimation is reached when the moisture content of wood flooring matches the moisture content of the job-site at in-use conditions; meaning, the HVAC is running at the job-site temperature and humidity is at normal living conditions. Moisture tests are required to determine if/when wood flooring is acclimated to the site. In some instances wood flooring may already be acclimated when it reaches the job-site; but of course this must be determined with moisture readings.

Moisture Meters are used to determine the moisture content of wood products. The most reliable moisture meters are invasive, or pin meters. Non-invasive meters, like Tramex and Ligno are best used for locating problem (hot) spots where excess moisture is suspect.

Our experience indicates it is difficult, if not impossible to acclimate wood flooring in closed boxed, simply because the wood is not being exposed to the site-conditions where it’s going to be installed. If the wood isn’t exposed to the temperature and humidity at the site, it may take a long time to acclimate.

Wood, or Bamboo flooring that’s packaged in cardboard with a heavy plastic wrapper normally doesn’t require acclimation, or the manufacturer may recommend delivering the product a day or two before installation. While the manufacturer considers this “acclimation”, most wood flooring inspectors know the product won’t truly acclimate in closed, plastic-wrapped cartons because moisture in the material will differ from the job-site. Manufacturer’s of engineered, floating-wood floors often require installing the floor without acclimation, because they want the floor to acclimate “as a whole”, after installation.

Acclimating Solid Wood Flooring:

For best results, remove the wood flooring from the cartons. Stack as recommended by the manufacturer or industry standards. Moisture test the wood flooring,  other wood items (moldings, etc)  at the job-site and the sub-floor. Once the flooring’s moisture content matches, or is close to in-use site conditions, the flooring is acclimated. IMPORTANT: Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation for wood sub-floor moisture levels.

Hire an Expert:

The cost of a reliable wood moisture meter may be more than hiring a Hardwood Flooring Inspector to take measurements and determine when acclimation has been reached. A Certified Wood Flooring Inspector will also know if the wood flooring was manufactured at an acceptable moisture content; an important factor that can prevent problems  many months after installation.

Can wood flooring be acclimated in Corrugated Cardboard Boxes?
Corrugated cardboard is a paper product made by sandwiching a corrugated medium layer of paper called “fluting” between two layers of flat paper called “liners.”


The inner layer is called the corrugated medium and the outer layers are the inside and outside liners. The liner board is manufactured from long fibers in order to make it strong and hard-wearing. It is crafted with the same type of material, referred to as kraft paper, used to make the common brown paper grocery sack. The fluting is manufactured from short fibres in order to make it stiff and resistant to pressure. This fantastic construction forms rows of stiff waves capable of sustaining large weights. Furthermore, the freely circulating air in the waves provides an excellent protection against temperature fluctuations.

Corrugated cardboard is very flexible. It can be cut and folded in infinite sizes and shapes. It is also possible to print on corrugated cardboard and as a consequence the packaging may serve both as a protection of goods as well as an advertisement display.

Corrugated cardboard has great strength as well. Strong quality corrugated cardboard boxes may easily be stacked on top of each other and are very pressure and push resistant both at the sides as well as at the top. Heavy Duty corrugated cardboard boxes may endure falling, vibrations, temperature fluctuations, moisture, and even being subjected to water at the bottom for many hours without damage to the cardboard.