Does Vinyl Plank Flooring Need to Acclimate? Quick Answer

Ever wonder why your vinyl plank flooring looks just like real wood or stone? It’s all thanks to some nifty technology that makes it super tough and stylish! But before you get those planks on your floor, there’s a big step called acclimation that you can’t skip. If you do, you might end up with a wavy floor or ugly gaps. We’re here to walk you through what this all means, how long it takes, and why it’s so important for keeping your floor looking awesome. Stick around as we dive into the need-to-knows of acclimating your vinyl plank flooring.

What is Acclimation for Vinyl Flooring?

Think of acclimation like letting your vinyl flooring get comfortable in your home before you set it up for good. It’s like when you move to a new place and need some time to settle in. Your vinyl floors need the same — some time to get used to the temperature and feel of your house.

Your home’s warmth and moistness can make your vinyl planks act funny. They can stretch out or shrink based on how hot or humid it is inside. If it’s really damp, the planks might puff up a bit. If it’s dry, they might get smaller. That’s why we’ve got to give them time to fit in just right.

All things, including your vinyl floors, will stretch out when they’re warm and shrink when they’re cold. It’s like a dance where the molecules inside the flooring move closer together or farther apart. Letting your floors acclimate is like teaching them the right dance steps for your home’s climate so they don’t mess up later on.

How Long Does Vinyl Plank Need to Acclimate?

If you’re putting down vinyl plank flooring, you’ve got to give it time to get used to your home. That means letting those planks sit in the room where they’ll be laid for about 48 to 72 hours. This wait time is super important to make sure your floor will look great and last a long time.

Now, the wait time can change depending on the weather inside your house. If it’s really hot or cold, or maybe super damp or dry, you might need to give those planks a bit more time to chill out before you install them. That way, they won’t act up later by shrinking or expanding too much.

Here’s the scoop: some folks skipped the wait and rushed into laying their floors. They ended up with gaps and buckles that made the floor look bad. But those who waited the right amount of time got floors that stayed nice and smooth. So, take it from us, it’s worth the wait to get your floor just right!

Read more: How to Install Laminate Flooring on Stairs?

What Happens If You Don’t Acclimate Vinyl Plank Flooring?

If you don’t let your vinyl plank flooring get used to your home before laying it down, you might see it buckle or gaps might pop up. This means your floor could bend or crack, and spaces could open between the planks. Also, if you skip this step, you could lose your right to get it fixed under the warranty.

We’ve seen floors go bad because they weren’t acclimated. Picture a floor that was just put down and then, not long after, it starts to lift up and separate because it wasn’t used to the room’s normal temperature. Or a floor that looked smooth at first but then got all wavy when the weather changed. These are real mess-ups that can happen when you rush the job.

Without acclimation, your floor might not last as long or look as nice. Planks that don’t acclimate can warp or look ugly over time, making your floor wear out faster. So, to keep your floor looking good and working right, don’t skip the acclimation step. It’s a big deal to make sure your new floor stays awesome for a long time.

How Soon Can You Walk on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Give it a day. Yep, just 24 hours before you step on it. This wait helps the glue get strong and keeps the planks snug in their spots. If the box your floor came in says something else, go with that.

If you walk on those planks too soon, they might shift around or not stick well. That can make your floor look wonky, and nobody wants that. If the planks aren’t happy, you won’t be either.

Tips: Slap some pads on your furniture legs to stop scratches. Don’t drag heavy stuff around for a couple days. And keep your room feeling the same—not too hot or cold, not too dry or damp. Treat your floor nice, and it’ll treat you nice right back.

Stick to these tips, and you’ll be dancing on that new floor without a worry. Give it the time it needs to settle in, and it’ll be a part of your home for a long time.

Read more: Can You Use Murphy’s Oil Soap on Laminate Floors?


Acclimation is a big step in making sure your floors last and look great. We want to remind you how key it is to let your planks get used to their new home before you lay them down. This step keeps your floors from warping or getting gaps later on.

Remember, it’s all about giving those planks time to adjust. It’s a move that pays off with a floor that stays beautiful and strong.

Our final piece of advice is simple: stick to the rules the makers of your flooring set. They know their stuff, and following their guide will help your floor installation succeed. We’re here to help you every step of the way, so your floors can look their best. Thanks for reading, and here’s to great flooring!