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Does Laminate Flooring Need to Settle | How to Do in 5 Steps

Does Laminate Flooring Need to Settle

Last Updated on July 26, 2023

Laminate flooring is made from multiple layers of material that have been glued together with heat and pressure, but it can be affected by temperature changes as well.

When you’re considering installing laminate flooring in your home, one thing always confuses us, does laminate flooring need to settle?

No matter what type of flooring is installed, it’s critical to allow it to adjust to its new surroundings. This is especially true for laminate flooring, which is made of composite materials that can expand and contract in response to changes in temperature and humidity.

The flooring must therefore be adequately acclimated to the room’s environment before installation. This will enable it to expand or contract without causing damage to the flooring. We will discuss this issue in more detail:

Does Laminate Flooring Need to Settle : An Explanation

A laminated floor consists of several layers that are bonded together using pressure and heat to create a single unit; these laminate floors require at least 48 hours of acclimation period before they can be installed. As a result, the material needs time to become familiar with the room’s conditions.

During this time, it is vital to leave at least a 10mm expansion gap around the flooring & the flooring is not exposed to direct sunlight or any other source of heat, as this could cause the material to warp. Once the adaptation is complete, laminate flooring can be mounted using glue-down or floating floor methods.

How to Acclimate Laminate Flooring for Settling?

floor joist

Laminate floors can be sensitive to heat and humidity changes, making them warp or cup. Allowing the flooring to settle before installation is essential for a better settlement. The process of acclimation helps the boards adapt so that they do not swell or shrink as the conditions change.

Here are the steps you need to take to acclimate your laminate flooring properly:

Step 01. Unpack the Laminate Flooring in the Room

Before starting your laminate flooring project, you must adjust the boards to your room, particularly if extreme temperature differences exist between the room and where the laminate was stored.

To familiarize the flooring, simply unpack it in the room where it will be installed and leave it for 24 hours. This will allow the boards to adapt to the moisture and temperature levels in the space.

Step 02. Improve Ventilation During the Acclimation

Good ventilation is critical during acclimatization. If the air is too moist, it can cause the boards to swell and warp. In the event of too much moisture, wood can shrink and crack. The most effective way to ensure good ventilation is to open a window or door on each side of the room and set up a fan to circulate the air.

During the acclimatization process, inspect the flooring regularly to ensure it is not drying out or getting too wet. Also, review the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how long the flooring should be acclimated before installation.

Step 03. Allow to Sit for 48 hours for Better Acclimating

Acclimating is especially necessary if you live in an area with extreme temperatures or high humidity. Allowing the flooring 48 hours to settle before you install laminate will help to ensure that it doesn’t warp or buckle once it is installed.

Additionally, you should avoid walking on the hardwood floor during this period so it doesn’t become damaged. It is influential in monitoring the room’s heat and moisture levels during the process.

Step 04. Avoid Exposing the Flooring to Direct Sunlight

As part of the acclimatization process, avoiding exposing laminate flooring directly to the sun is essential. The sun’s heat can cause the planks to expand too quickly, making them difficult to install. The UV rays can also warp and discolor the boards, making them more susceptible to damage.

In addition, direct sunlight can also fade the color of the flooring over time. For these reasons, keeping the laminate wood flooring in a cool, shady area during acclimation is best. This will help protect the boards while they become accustomed to their new surroundings.

Step 05. Check the Moisture Content of the Boards

Inspecting the boards’ wetness is one way to ensure they are properly acclimated. If the boards are too dry, they may shrink and buckle once installed.

They may expand and cause gaps between the panels if they are too moist. Either way, checking for damp content before installation can help ensure a successful laminate flooring installation.

Following these steps will ensure that your laminate hardwood flooring cures appropriately before installation. This will help prevent warping or buckling problems once the flooring is in place.

Aspects are Required to Acclimate Laminate Flooring Properly

sub floor

Any time you install a new floor, it’s vital to allow the materials to adjust to the room’s humidity and temperature. Acclimating laminate flooring requires several factors, such:

1) Temperature: You need to acclimate the material to the proper temperature of its new environment. Otherwise, the flooring could warp or cup, causing problems with the finished installation.

The temperature of the room where the installation will take place should be between 64-86 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, at least 59 degrees Fahrenheit should be the floor’s temperature.

2) Humidity: This core layer must be adequately hydrated to avoid shrinkage or expansion once the wood floor is installed. Because of this, it is recommended to maintain a relative humidity level of 25-70% when acclimating laminate flooring.

3) Air circulation: Ensuring sufficient air circulation around the flooring allows the material to adapt to the new environment slowly and evenly. It is imperative in rooms with high humidity levels, as uneven floor acclimation can lead to cupping and warping.

Furthermore, it is wise to avoid placing heavy furniture or other objects on the flooring during the acclimation process. This can impede air circulation and lead to problems down the line.

4) Time: Laminate flooring should be acclimated for at least 48 hours before installation. The best way to do this is to spread the planks out over the area they will be placed, ensuring they are not touching each other or any walls. 

Once the planks have been weathered, they are ready for installation according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Precautions While Settling Laminate Flooring

floating floor installation

Whenever you settle something new in your home, you want to make sure it is done the first time correctly so that you do not have to go back and do it over again.

While this material is a popular and attractive flooring option for many homeowners, it is imperative to take certain precautions when settling this type of flooring:

  • Make sure that the subfloor is clean and level before you begin. Any bumps or unevenness will show through the laminate and can cause problems down the road.
  • It is highly beneficial to have the ground completely level. Any unevenness in the subfloor can cause the laminate planks to warp or become damaged over time.
  • If possible, use a moisture barrier between the subfloor and the laminate to prevent moisture damage.
  • The laminate planks should also be allowed to acclimate to their new environment. In this way, the planks will not expand or contract too much once they have been installed. 
  • Before walking on the laminate boards, ensure that they are appropriately secured. Once the flooring has settled, let it adapt to the room’s conditions before stepping on it or placing heavy objects on it.

Following these simple tips should have no problem ensuring that your laminate flooring is settled correctly before installation. You can enjoy your new floors by taking the time to do things right.


Listed below are some frequently asked questions about laminate flooring:

Q: Is Laminate Flooring Supposed to Flex?

Some laminate floors are flexible, while others are more rigid. If you’re unsure which type of laminate flooring you have, you can check with the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, flexible laminate floors are best suited for rooms that don’t experience a lot of foot traffic, such as bedrooms. Rigid laminate floors can withstand heavy use, making them a good choice for kitchens, mudrooms, and other high-traffic areas.

Q: What Happens If I Don’t Acclimate Laminate Flooring?

If the flooring is not conditioned well before it is installed, it can shrink or swell, causing gaps between the boards. Additionally, the material may fade or warp if exposed to too much sun or heat. For these reasons, it is important to take the time to accommodate flooring before installation.

Q: Is 24 Hours-Long Enough to Acclimate Laminate Flooring?

Some experts believe that 24 hours is sufficient, while others recommend a more extended period (at least 48 hours). The rationale behind the 24-hour timeframe is that it allows the flooring to become accustomed to the temperature and humidity of its new location. This can help prevent the boards from warping or shrinking once installed.

Q: Can You Walk on Laminate Flooring After Installation?

Once your laminate flooring has been completed, you may be anxious to start enjoying your new space. However, it is noteworthy to give the floor time to set before walking on it. 

Most types of laminate flooring require 24 to 48 hours to cure, during which the boards will be slightly soft. Walking on the floor too soon can result in denting or marring the surface.


Installing laminate flooring is not as simple as placing the boards down and hoping for the best. For a smooth, even surface, it is advisable to allow the panels to settle before installing them. It may take several days for the boards to adjust to their new setting, during which they expand and contract slightly.

Even though this may seem tedious, it is imperative for creating a long-lasting and durable floor. To ensure that your floors look great and last a long time, follow the instructions in this article “does laminate flooring need to settle” we provided. Good luck with your new laminate floor.

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Does Laminate Flooring Need to Settle | How to Do in 5 Steps

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