Designing With Reclaimed
Return To Blog

Preparing for the Stress of a Hardwood Flooring Project

May 15, 2019

Getting new hardwood flooring installed can be an exciting process. New floors completely change the look and feel of your home and they increase its overall value. As with any investment, it is important to follow proper steps and guidelines to achieve the desired result. This includes the very important step of acclimating the hardwood flooring to the environmental conditions that it will be exposed to within your home. After acclimation, the installation and finishing process may begin, which can vary from project to project. While the timeline may be hard to predict, following these tips can help make planning a lot easier. 

What is Acclimation?

As hardwood flooring is a naturally sourced material, it will behave quite differently after installation than any other type of flooring material. Expansion and contraction of the material is a natural response to changes in the moisture content of the surrounding environment. If not properly acclimated, noticeable changes will appear in your flooring; such as cupping, warping, and gapping. Proper acclimation will equilibrate the moisture content of the wood to the environment in which it is expected to perform.

How to Acclimate your Hardwood Flooring

Upon delivery of your wood flooring, a baseline will need to be established and the moisture content of multiple boards will need to be checked using a moisture meter. Ideal interior environmental conditions vary based on region and the specific job site, so it is important to ensure that any heating or cooling systems as well as humidifiers are in place and operational at least 5 days prior to bringing the flooring in to acclimate. Be sure to allow for plenty of space within the room in which you will be storing the material, as a common practice in acclimation is to cross-stack the wood to allow for air circulation on all sides of the boards. Speak with a flooring expert and visit for more information about the process.  

Installation and Finishing Process

When planning a renovation project, it is always good to over-estimate the schedule as there are many unforeseen issues that may arise. It is difficult to determine what might be underneath existing flooring, so removing and hauling away carpet, linoleum, tile or hardwood might cause the project to slow down or sometimes even halt completely. Installing new hardwood flooring can present unforeseen issues with the subfloor. It may need to be leveled or sealed, and if there is any radiant heating system then special precautions will need to be taken during the installation process. Occasionally the sub-floor does not meet current industry standards, and may need to be repaired or completely replaced to ensure a solid foundation for the hardwood. 
Once the sub floor has been addressed, the installation process may begin and is entirely dependent on square footage. Sanding and finishing is also dependent on size, but typically requires 3 days to complete for a 1,000 square foot project. Depending on the type of material and if stain is chosen or not, a few extra days may be necessary to accommodate for drying time. While it can be frustrating to not know an exact timeline, get with a flooring specialist to help you get an estimate for what your specific project will entail in terms of the scope of work.
The final step is to ensure that precautions are taken after installation to prevent damage to the new flooring, especially if other trades will be completing other work. If a pre-finished material is chosen it will allow you to walk on the floor, replace furniture and place rugs immediately after the install; however, if you are getting a site-finished floor, you will have to take precautions to avoid damaging the finish. If you are site finishing, doors and windows must stay closed for at least 10 hours afterwards, and shoes should not be worn on the floor for at least a week. Moving furniture back onto the floor can be done after 7 to 10 days and felt glides should be utilized to prevent scratching. Keep in mind that the type of finish and addition of staining may also extend the timeline.

Care Tips for Long Term Quality

Be sure to budget time to properly care for your floors, even after completing your renovation, to help the hardwood stay pristine. Cleaning should be done with specialized floor cleaner and a microfiber material that will quickly pick up dust, dirt, and particles to prevent abrasion scratching.
When you are ready to install new, beautiful hardwood flooring, you can trust the experts at Ward Hardwood Flooring. From new installation to re-finishing, and re-staining, you will want professionals to handle the job to ensure it is done efficiently and properly. To see what we can do for you, visit You can also visit our showroom at 29390 Industrial Way, #100, in Evergreen, Colorado. You may also call us at 303-674-6966 or email us at