A.Howard Brickman, a wood-flooring contractor and consultant in Norwell, Mass., responds: One of the enduring myths of the wood-floor business is that you can prevent swelling and shrinkage problems if you just let the flooring acclimate for x days before installation (supply your own value for x).

In fact, though, the first consideration is to manage the moisture content of the job site itself. Especially with new construction, the key is to make sure that excess moisture - from curing concrete, from less-than-dry framing lumber, or from rain or snow that may have soaked the structure before the roof was on - is removed before the wood...

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