Does Laminate Flooring Need to Settle? (4 Reasons to Acclimate)

does laminate flooring need to settle

The idea of installing laminate flooring in the home is amazing because laminate is one of the easiest floorings to install and maintain. But before its actual installation, it would have to go through acclimation, which is where some problem tends to arise.

This question has been often asked; does laminate flooring need to settle? Yes! It needs to settle, and it takes roughly 48 hours to settle appropriately.

The laminate floor needs time to get accustomed to the new environment, so it takes 48 hours before you can work on it. This is to prevent the floor from moving, resulting in an uneven floor.

Read on as we explore more on this.

Read: How long should hardwood flooring acclimate

How Soon can you Walk on Laminate After Installation?

Laminate floor needs time to settle after installation. Before you can walk on the laminate floor, it needs to have cured entirely, which takes up to 24 hours or even more.

Before 24 hours, the floor might not have been cured properly. Walking on it isn’t proper as the planks might slip from their place.

If you give the floor enough time after installation, the floors will adjust properly to suit the temperature and climate. This would reduce the probability of an uneven floor.

Related: laminate over tile problems

Why Does Laminate Floor Need to be Acclimated

After installing a laminate floor in your home, you must acclimate the floor. This would help it adjust to the room’s humidity and temperature. Failure to do so, the quality of the floor might be flawed.

Some reasons contribute to why the laminate floor needs acclimation; let’s consider them below.

1. Settling the Floor

After installing the laminate floor, it is expected not to move, not even for a bit. This is to allow the floor to settle well enough. Hence, the need for acclimation.

2. Getting used to the Environment

The laminate was manufactured in an entirely different area, so it would need time to adjust to the current conditions of your home after installation. The temperature and humidity levels of your home are different. So, the laminate floor needs to be laminated.

3. Conditioning the Laminate

Before installing the laminate, they need time to be conditioned and placed at their optimum state. If the laminate floor is not acclimated, the condition isn’t good enough. This might lead to expansion and contraction of the laminate floor.

4. Drying

Before installation, the probability of having air or humidity trapped inside the laminate floor is very high. This humidity or air might not be seen from the outer part. Hence, the need for acclimation to dry it properly.

What Happens if you don’t Acclimate Laminate Flooring

Failure to acclimate the laminate floor comes with dire consequences. We will examine these problems in detail.

1. Unsmooth Floor

If the laminate isn’t acclimated, the floor might move slightly. This movement makes the floor uneven and rough to the touch.

2. Swelled Floor

If the laminate is not laminated, the laminate floor has air and humidity trapped inside it. After some days, the condensation inside would cause the floor to swell. This damages the floor and reduces its sturdiness.

3. Shrinked or Expanded Floor

The laminate might shrink, contract, or make hollow sounds if not acclimated, thereby making the floor uneven.

4. Decreased Durability

Failure to acclimate the laminate floor might give the floor a bad condition, thereby making the floor’s durability decrease drastically.

Why is My Laminate Floor Lifting

It only takes the laminate floor 24 hours to settle. They are also durable for a long time, but some cases might make the floor to lift. There might have been various reasons for that. Let’s go through these reasons.

1. The laminate might not have settled for a long time

2. The acclimation might be incomplete

3. Air or moisture might have been trapped in the laminate floor.

4. The quality of the laminate floor might not be good.

5. The process of the installation might have not worked well.

6. Someone might have walked on the laminate before it cured for 24 hours.

Read: How to fix a laminate floor that is lifting


Does laminate flooring need to settle? This is one of the regular questions that pop up every now and then. Yes! laminate floors needs to settle. Though the laminate does not warp or shrink, but it can move. This ends up leading to an uneven floor. The floor needs to have settled before you can walk on it.

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