If you are in the process of taking out your old flooring and putting in laminate, you may need a place to store it, but the only place available is in the garage. You may wonder if the laminate will become ruined if it is kept in the garage for too long.
Laminate can be stored in a cold garage overnight if the laminate planks can be kept dry. If the planks become wet, they will be ruined. The planks will also need to be brought into the installation room for at least a few days before allowing the panels to acclimate to the room temperature.
After knowing you can store laminate flooring in a cold garage if needed, you may wonder what else you have to do to keep the laminate safe. Even the way you store the laminate can affect the lifespan of the planks used.
Storing Laminate In A Cold Garage
You can store laminate flooring in a cold garage if certain criteria are met. These criteria are essential to making sure that the laminate does not warp or even crack.
The laminate planks can only stay in the cold environment overnight, otherwise, they can be warped and destroyed by the harsh weather. The planks also need to be kept dry. It is no surprise the planks need to be protected from the elements because uninstalled flooring can experience quite horrible effects from becoming wet.
Warping in the laminate will prevent you from being able to install the laminate. The warping will prevent the planks from connecting properly. The only way to repair a warped laminate floor is to replace the boards that have been warped, so you will be unable to use the warped boards at all.
How Temperature Affects Laminate
Temperature can cause the laminate to expand and contract. In cold temperatures, the particles in the planks will contract. When the planks contract, they cannot be installed because they need to be the size they normally are. Installing the planks when they are colder than the average temperature of the room will result in the planks not having the necessary room to expand when they are installed.
Cold climates will not make the laminate get too much smaller, but it will cause the tiles to shrink a little. Heat, however, will make the planks expand over 85 degrees.
Cold climates are where laminate is most popular because it keeps the floor a little warmer than tile would. The laminate is warmer because it must remain at a certain temperature to avoid being destroyed.
Why Does The Laminate Need To Acclimate?
The laminate has to acclimate for the flooring to be installed correctly. If the laminate is installed in a warm room after being in a cold garage, the planks will cause problems after installation, ranging from causing too large of cracks in between the panels or too small of cracks between panels. Laminate requires an acclimation period of at least a few days to ensure the fiberboard can adjust to the temperature.
Allowing the laminate to adjust for a few days allows for the best outcome. If you do not permit the laminate to expand after being in a cold garage, the laminate will be put in and be destroyed after it begins to heat up.
For example, the humidity level of the room must remain under 90, or else the boards will expand more than one-quarter inch. This may not sound very big just thinking about it, but the space between the boards is about at least one-quarter inch. If the boards expand to the amount at which the boards are spread apart, the boards will begin to push up against each other.
The Correct Temperature For Laminate
The best temperature for laminate flooring is between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This average temperature is just colder than room temperature. The world consists of much more than these few temperatures, though, so it is good to know what different weather does to laminate.
When laminate is exposed to extreme humidity, it will swell and bubble up, creating an uneven laminate floor, which is not desirable to walk across. The boards will expand and shrink with the temperature changes, and if the laminate does not have the space to expand as it needs, the planks will ruin themselves or cause serious expenses to fix the flooring.
Because the laminate planks will not ever be in the ideal climate at all times, there are expansion gaps that are included when putting in laminate floors. This may seem like an odd thought, but if they are not included like they are supposed to be, the planks will ram into each other if they become too warm.
Storing The Laminate Planks To Avoid Warping
Laminate planks must be stored horizontally to prevent warping. Allowing the planks to lean against something in a horizontal fashion prevents the panels from curling on themselves.
An even better way to store the boards is to lay one layer all in the same direction and adding another layer on top of them at a 90-degree angle, creating a square-like shape. In a way, this may look similar to a gigantic game of Jenga.
While this way of storing the boards will help the planks keep their shape, they can take up a lot of room, making this technique difficult in most cases. Just remember that the planks should lay horizontally, as opposed to vertically, to avoid the planks folding and curving in.
It is also essential to keep the laminate panels in the original packaging to ensure they are safe from anything that can scratch them or cause them to warp. Keeping them in the packaging can also make their transportation from one room to another much easier.
It is also essential to avoid the laminate planks being in temperatures that fluctuate often. In places where the temperature changes frequently, the planks will most likely warp. It is much better to keep the boards in a temperature-controlled room and store them there while you wait to install the panels.