There can be confusion between sapwood and heartwood that has not darkened in antique wood. As living trees mature they develop heartwood around the center. Pine heartwood has more resin than the surrounding sapwood. As mentioned in an earlier posting the heartwood darkens over time. In large antique pine beams it is common for this process to progress through out the entire piece. Occasionally however we find beams that still have yellow portions within the heart. These areas are called yellow heart. The picture has a board that was just surfaced showing areas that have changed color and areas that have not. The question is sometimes asked if these yellow sections are sapwood, but they are not. The sapwood is on the outside of the heart wood. If you look at the curvature of rings and the yellow has heartwood outside of it the yellow part is heartwood. Over time the light heartwood sections will darken and blend in.
We are often asked How long it takes to acclimate wood flooring? Many people have heard of bringing wood flooring to a jobsite in advance to let it acclimate, but still do not really understand the process in detail. The goal should be to get the moisture content of the flooring close to what it will be when the space is occupied in the long term. Additionally the moisture content of the subfloor and the rest of the jobsite should be near to the long term value before the flooring is delivered. The HVAC should be operating. Installing wood flooring in a wet building is an invitation to future problems. Moisture meters are used to measure the moisture content of wood.
The next question that commonly comes up is How do I know what the moisture content should be when the floor is installed? The answer depends on your location and possibly some of the details of the building. One way to learn the desired moisture content is to consult an established wood flooring professional as they should know the long term moisture content values for their geographic area. In existing buildings you can often measure other wood that has been in place for more than a year to get a number for the appropriate moisture content.
Getting back to the original question the correct answer is not given in terms of how long but in terms of achieving the correct moisture content.
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