We are about to install engineered, click-system hardwood floating throughout a house in Australia.
Our understanding was that packs of engineered timber flooring should always be delivered and opened several days in advance of installation, to ensure that the planks acclimatise to temperatures and humidity prior to being installed.
However, the manufacturer's two documents provide a somewhat different guidance.
The manufacturer's installation instructions (see link below) say:
"Room temperature and humidity of installation area should be consistent with normal, year-round living conditions for at least one week before installation of flooring."
"Store the flooring in the installation area for 72 hours before installation to allow flooring to adjust to room temperature."
However, the warranty document states:
"Due to the variable climate conditions within Australia and New Zealand planks may display slight bow and twist once removed from the cartons" ... and ... "planks should not be unpacked overnight and or left loose prior to install."
What is the correct way to obey both sets of directions? Should the 70+ boxes - several cubic metres in total! - simply be stacked up, unopened, in the lounge room for several days?
I can understand that this would allow the temperature of the planks to settle to the temperature of the room. But I don't understand how the site humidity can have any impact on the moisture content of the planks inside the boxes, as the boxes would surely be well sealed (after travelling half way across the world from China to Australia).
I note in this context that the job of transporting the boxes from the driveway to the house - and then back again (to clear the floor for installation - is a massive undertaking, as the set of boxes will weigh about 1500 kg (over 3300 pounds!) and will need to moved manually, twice.
Also, isn't this 1-week-prior in-house acclimatisation irrelevant if there are:
(a) large intra-day temperature variations during the week-long installation, and
(b) huge temperature and humidity variations during the remainder of the year.
In relation to (a), for instance, on any one day during the forthcoming installation week, outdoor temperatures might drop to 5C overnight but then rise to 35C during the day (i.e. from 40F to 86F for Fahrenheit readers).
Re (b), the house is in a region where temperatures vary even more widely through the year - from around -5C on the coldest winter nights to more than 45C in summer (i.e. from around 23F to 113F).
This is the first engineered hardwood floor we installed, and we need to do it right (especially given the massive cost of the job and impossibility of fixing the problem if it's not done right).
However, the vast effort of moving 1.5 tonnes (1.6 US tons) from the driveway to the lounge room (to acclimatise) and then back again (to clear the floor for laying) seems just crazy!
Installation instructions: https://www.preferencefloors.com.au/wp-content/uploads/documents/fiddleback-installation.pdf