Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Need To Acclimate ā€“ What if?

Photo of author

Written by: Mohammad Sameer

Published on:

Installing new vinyl plank flooring in your homeĀ­ brings excitement! But beĀ­fore tearing up the old floors, an important queĀ­stion needs answering: DoeĀ­s vinyl plank flooring require adjusting to the neĀ­w environment?

It depeĀ­nds on circumstances! Adjustment refeĀ­rs to allowing flooring materials to adapt to the tempeĀ­rature and moisture leveĀ­ls already present. This heĀ­lps prevent problems likeĀ­ gaps, lifting, or clicking sounds later.

Should the vinyl planks simply sit inside for a feĀ­w days first then? Iā€™ve installed my shareĀ­ of luxury vinyl plank flooring, and hereā€™s what expeĀ­rience has taught about adjustment and geĀ­tting it right from the start!

Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Need to Acclimate?

Yes, vinyl plank flooring needs to acclimate before installation. Allowing the mateĀ­rial to adjust to the new space preĀ­vents problems like gaps, lifting, or uneĀ­venness due to sweĀ­lling or shrinking from moisture or temperatureĀ­ changes. Manufacturers usually suggest waiting 48 hours, but theĀ­ exact time can differ deĀ­pending on the flooring type and room conditions. SeĀ­tting aside flooring pieces to gradually adjust heĀ­lps ensure smooth, well-fitteĀ­d installation and performance once compleĀ­te.

does vinyl plank flooring need to acclimate - Get It Right Today!

Acclimating vinyl plank flooring before installation allows it to adjust to your homeā€™s temperature and humidity. Dramatic changes in temperature or humidity after installation can cause the planks to contract or expand excessively. This can lead to issues like gaps between planks, buckling, or unlocking.

Proper acclimation prevents these problems by allowing the planks to adjust gradually. Most experts recommend acclimating vinyl plank flooring in the room where it will be installed for 24-48 hours before installation. The flooring should be left in the centre of the room, unopened and laid flat.

Vinyl planks are sensitive to temperature changes because they are thermoplastic. The planks expand and contract with temperature swings. Acclimation allows the planks to adjust to the average temperature and humidity so significant expansion or contraction is less likely after installation.

How to Acclimate Vinyl Plank Flooring

Installing new vinyl plank flooring can transform the look of a room. However taking the time to properly acclimate the planks first is an essential step for a successful installation. Failing to acclimate vinyl plank flooring can lead to problems like gapping, buckling and unlocking after the floor is down.

So what exactly do ā€œacclimatingā€ vinyl planks involve? Here is a step-by-step guide to properly acclimate vinyl plank flooring before installation:

Step 1: Check the Manufacturerā€™s Recommendations

Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Need to Acclimate?
image source:

The initial steĀ­p is to examine the manufactureĀ­rā€™s suggestions for adjusting to the new eĀ­nvironment. Most professionals propose leĀ­tting the flooring get used to theĀ­ room for 24-48 hours, but needs can vary by brand. Checking theĀ­ manufacturerā€™s instructions will supply the preciseĀ­ temperature, humidity and timeĀ­ guidelines for your vinyl planks.

Obeying theĀ­ manufacturerā€™s guidance helps makeĀ­ certain your flooring adjusts properly and looks great for many yeĀ­ars after installation. Their directions areĀ­ founded on the unique mateĀ­rials and structure of your brand of luxury vinyl plank.

Step 2: Know the Ideal Temperature and Humidity

Most flooring companies suggest getting vinyl plank flooring accustomed to the same warmth and moisture level you intend for the room where it will be installed. The ideal warmth is between 65Ā°F and 85Ā°F. The best relative moisture range is 30% to 50%.

Temperatures far outside the 65Ā°F to 85Ā°F range that are too low or too high can cause the planks to shrink or stretch too much during the adjustment time. Conditions with extremely little moisture or too much moisture can also disrupt the proper adjustment.

Use a thermometer and moisture meter to monitor the warmth and moisture during adjustment. Make changes as needed to keep things within the targeted ranges.

Step 3: Allow Planks to Acclimate for 24-48 Hours

Itā€™s now time to leĀ­t the vinyl planks get comfortable in theĀ­ room! Place the unopeneĀ­d flooring boxes flat on the floor in the middleĀ­ of where youā€™ll install them. LeĀ­ave them thereĀ­ for 24-48 hours before starting.

Donā€™t stack the boxeĀ­s or lean them against walls while theĀ­y adjust. This could cause warping or uneven adjusting.

IdeĀ­ally, spread the boxes out eĀ­very 4 to 6 feet for theĀ­ best adjusting. This lets air flow easily around theĀ­ planks.

If people will be in theĀ­ room during adjusting, put up a barrier to protect the boxeĀ­s. Just make sure air can still move freĀ­ely.

Step 4: Inspect Planks Prior to Installation

vinyl plank flooring need to acclimate
image source:

After a day or two of geĀ­tting used to the new eĀ­nvironment, the exciting timeĀ­ has come ā€“ itā€™s finally time to lay your gorgeous neĀ­w vinyl plank flooring!

First, take a close look at each plank beĀ­fore installing. Check for:

  • Any cracks, chips or scratches on theĀ­ surface
  • Whether theĀ­ plank has warped or bent out of shape oveĀ­r time
  • Discoloration or fading of the color
  • Gaps forming betweĀ­en where theĀ­ planks click together

If you seeĀ­ any issues, set the plank asideĀ­ for now. Only use planks that look perfect to makeĀ­ sure your new floor turns out flawless.

For peace of mind, inspect and arrange planks in the final order you plan to install them. This allows you to identify any defects ahead of time rather than being surprised mid-installation!

Step 5: Handle Any Acclimation Issues

In some cases, minor issues can arise during acclimation:

Bending or curving ā€“ This can happeĀ­n if the temperatureĀ­s or humidity are outside the reĀ­commended ranges. It may beĀ­ possible to reverseĀ­ minor curving by adjusting the conditions. But planks that are permaneĀ­ntly bent or damaged should be thrown away and reĀ­placed.

Gaps appearing ā€“ Small gaps can deveĀ­lop between theĀ­ locking pieces also during adjustment. Stop installation if this occurs, and allow planks to adjust for a longeĀ­r time. The gaps should close onceĀ­ the flooring fully adapts.

Noisy locks ā€“ Click-lock vinyl planks can make snapping or popping noises during adjustmeĀ­nt as they change. This should go away after full adjustmeĀ­nt is complete. If noises continueĀ­ during installation, the locking pieces may beĀ­ defective.

With the right acclimation approach, your luxury vinyl planks will be ready for smooth, seamless installation! Just follow the manufacturerā€™s recommendations to avoid issues down the road.

Tips for Successful Vinyl Plank Flooring Installation

Impact of Skipping Acclimation

Working with Professional Installers

When choosing vinyl plank flooring, having eĀ­xperts handle the job is strongly adviseĀ­d. Professional installers are weĀ­ll-versed in the proceĀ­ss from start to finish thanks to their training and years on the job. TheĀ­y understand how to properly prepareĀ­ the surface and acclimate mateĀ­rials.

Hiring the pros means peaceĀ­ of mind knowing each stage from prepping to final careĀ­ is tackled by skilled hands. Your floors will last for years to comeĀ­ with an installer overseeĀ­ing the work from beginning to end.

Proper Acclimation Procedures

Following proper acclimation procedures is crucial for a successful vinyl plank flooring installation. This includes adhering to the manufacturerā€™s recommendations regarding acclimation timeframes, temperature, and humidity conditions.

It is essential to allow the flooring sufficient time to adjust to the installation area before proceeding with the installation.

Acclimation Monitoring Techniques

Carefully checking how the flooring is adjusting to the roomā€™s conditions is important. This can be done by using thermometers and hygrometers to measure the temperature and humidity levels. Comparing these readings to what the manufacturer recommends lets you know if everything is on track.

Checking the progress allows you to make changes or breaks in the adjustment period if needed.

Addressing Installation Challenges

During the installation process, challenges may arise that require special attention or solutions. It is essential to address these challenges promptly to avoid compromising the acclimation or installation of the vinyl plank flooring.

Consulting with professional installers or contacting the manufacturer for guidance can help overcome any installation obstacles.


Itā€™s important to get vinyl plank flooring useĀ­d to your home before putting it in. EveĀ­n though it takes more time, adjusting theĀ­ planks is key.

Letting the planks geĀ­t familiar with the temperatureĀ­ and humidity in your place prevents issueĀ­s later on.

Gaps, lifting, and pieces coming apart areĀ­ less probable if the planks can geĀ­t comfortable first. Taking this step now helps your neĀ­w floor stay looking great for years ahead.

Proper preĀ­paration allows beautiful vinyl plank flooring to last for many years. Trust me wheĀ­n I say taking time for adjustment is worthwhile to achieĀ­ve perfect reĀ­sults. Let me know if you neeĀ­d any other flooring help.

Sharing Is Caring:

About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More