All wood flooring should be properly acclimated. Wood flooring is a dynamic material which will change in dimension as a result of changes in humidity in the surrounding environment. Improper acclimation can result in more than normal seasonal shrinking of individual boards.
There can be some confusion about what proper acclimation is. The length of time the flooring needs to acclimate can vary depending on your local climate. Always follow NWFA guidelines and standards for acclimating your wood flooring material prior to installation. The basement and garage are not good places to acclimate the wood. The bundles should be separated as much as possible from each other to allow proper ventilation of each bundle. Moisture levels should be checked by a professional before installation.
There are several factors that can prevent proper acclimation while the flooring is in the home. The wood must be acclimated to normal living conditions. The permanent climate control systems should be in place and operating normally in the home. For example, in the winter, the furnace should be up and running at normal living temperatures. Temporary propane heaters are not a good idea for acclimation. All major plastering and painting should be completed before the flooring is brought to the jobsite. Both painting and plastering create excess moisture in the air. Fresh concrete also gives off an excessive amount of moisture as it cures.