Before you decide to install laminate flooring in your building, you need to know the temperature range and humidity levels needed for this type of flooring. If you install laminate flooring in any room that doesn’t meet the necessary requirements for temperature and humidity, you could have problems with the floor in the future.
Laminate flooring is installed in buildings that will have temperatures maintained between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When acclimatizing the laminate, the temperature must be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit and maintained at that same temperature during the acclimation process and for at least another two days after installation.
The relative humidity in a building where laminate flooring is installed must be between 30 and 90 percent. Flooring normally has up to one-quarter inch expansion. If the building is closed up during humid seasons, the humidity level can rise higher than 90 percent, which will increase the moisture level in the subfloor and laminate. Ventilation is needed to keep the humidity level under 90 percent, or the flooring will have more than one-quarter inch expansion.
After you purchase your laminate flooring, you must accustom the flooring to the room where it will be installed. For example, if you have four boxes of laminate flooring that you will install in the master bedroom, you must place the four boxes in the room for at least 48 to 96 hours so the flooring can become accustomed to the normal living conditions of the room. Manufacturers may have special instructions for acclimatizing the flooring, which you need to follow. Some may require you to open the boxes, or some may require you to leave the boxes closed.
If the flooring will be installed over concrete on the first floor or in a basement, the floor must be at least 30 days old, but some manufacturers require the concrete floor to be at least 60 to 90 days old. Before installing the laminate flooring, you need to have a moisture test done to determine the moisture level. The test kit can be purchased from your local flooring dealer. The test will tell you the moisture level of the concrete and if the moisture level meets the requirements for installing laminate. It will also help you select the correct underlayment for the floor. If you don’t do the test and you use the incorrect moisture barrier underlayment under the laminate, you could end up with mold and mildew growing between the concrete and laminate.