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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did a little research, came out slightly puzzled. I have read and heard a few different things perhaps someone can clarify things for me as I am not an experienced floor layer. (rough quotations)

"You should let your laminate acclimate for a couple days so it adapts to the area it is being installed."

Hmm... ok that makes sense.

"You should not acclimate your laminate as it is milled to perfection for ease of installation, acclimation will cause shrinkage/expansion and will cause the T&G to not fit together nicely."

Hmm... ok that actually makes more sense.

Well, I know how important acclimation is for hardwood floors, what's the deal with laminate? I'm sure I will find the manufacturers recommendations on the box, but I'm trying to think ahead here. Perhaps it depends on what kind?

Thanks.
 

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"You should not acclimate your laminate as it is milled to perfection for ease of installation, acclimation will cause shrinkage/expansion and will cause the T&G to not fit together nicely."

False. I always acclimate my laminate and wood floors when Im able too. Sometimes jobs get hectic and time is scarce. I've never had serious issues with failure to acclimate, but the quote saying its harmful to acclimate is absolutely ridiculous.

Always acclimate when possible.

I'll admit, me not doing so is not right, but with past experiences, its not been a problem, not for me anyways.
 

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Acclimation of Lamiante & Wood

I perform work in the Southern regions where it is common for humidity changes form 50 % to 90%. I always use common sense first. Both wood and laminate are sensitive to moisture and temperature changes.Therefore to acclimate the would to the space that it will be installed is is a vital first step to follow in procedures for wood or laminate flooring installation.
 

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I only work with wood but just where did you read that second quote? I mill lumber and there is no such thing as perfection in floor boards.
 

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Acclimation more important if...

You need to acclimate the laminate if at all possible. If it is going directly from a warm warehouse with similar humidity as the house it is going in, can probably get by without it if you are really pressed for time, though any problems will be blamed on you for not acclimating.

If there is a big temperature/humidity difference definitely have to acclimate at least 24 hours.

Did one job in a big "ballroom" in the winter where it was cold, temperature in the place was about 58-59 degrees. Acclimation didn't help. With a tight locking system it's very difficult to install in a cold room, and most instructions say 67 degrees or thereabouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I only work with wood but just where did you read that second quote? I mill lumber and there is no such thing as perfection in floor boards.
The quote states that laminate is milled to perfection not wood. I would assume it is true.

The thing is if you do get slight slight slight bowing in a piece of hardwood it is not hard to fix when installing, it pretty much fixes itself with the wacks from the flooring stapler (assuming this is not your first row, or better yet first few rows). Laminate on the other hand will not fit together if it bows at all. What if you are acclimating your laminate and they bow slightly? You're out a few boxes!

If your acclimate properly is there a 0% chance of you losing laminate by the box?

Has anyone ever had a problem when not acclimating their laminate? If so what happened? (I assume if there was a problem it would be buckling or small gaps showing in between boards)
 

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The materials used and the way laminate is constructed makes it nearly impossible for a plank to bow. The only thing I've seen happen is swelling at the edges. In other words, with excessive moisture (even humidity), the seams in between the planks will be raised up.
 

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Laminate locking systems

Agreed that bowing is a very unusual problem. More common is the locking system and how it acts. Every manufacturer is different, and particular lines within a manufacturer may be different. For example, the angle at which the installer fits them together to get the "click in place" can be different.

For some laminates that are better against swelling of seams this locking system seems really tight and installers fight it. Very sensetive if the room is not as warm as it is supposed to be, at least 68 degrees. Bigger trouble is all the cheap crap on the market. There is a reason it is cheap. The manufacturing process was designed to do it as cheaply as possible, or it is seconds or otherwise defective. Both lend to having issues a short time down the road - buckling, swelling, chipped corners, etc. If the homeowner is buying just on price and asking you to install, expect trouble. Be sure to acclimate and follow all directions or you will get blamed for any failure.

IMO, laminate is a technically obsolete product. We sell it, but I'd a lot rather do luxury vinyl plank or tile for people. MUCH better product.
 
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