FAQ

FLOORING SUPPLY FAQ


BAMBOO

Q. What is the difference between bamboo flooring and solid hardwood flooring?
Solid hardwood is manufactured from a wide variety of wood species and is milled from a solid piece of lumber and then finished in unlimited colours and textures. Bamboo flooring is a grass that is formed into flooring through one of three processes and depending on the process used can have a similar look to hardwood or engineered flooring.
Q. What are the different types of bamboo flooring?
The three major types of bamboo flooring are Horizontal Bamboo, Vertical Bamboo and Strand Woven Bamboo. Horizontal Bamboo is manufactured by laminating together thin strips of bamboo which are laid flat so the top surface shows the bamboo’s natural growth rings also called knuckles. Vertical Bamboo is made in a similar fashion but the bamboo strips are laid on their sides and laminated together in long slender rows creating a unique linear look. Strandwoven Bamboo is manufactured by harvesting the fillets of the bamboo and pressing them together with resins and binders to create a solid plank that is then milled similar to hardwood. Strandwoven is by far the most durable type of bamboo flooring and is up to three times harder than either Horizontal or Vertical Bamboo.
Q. Is bamboo a reliable flooring material?
Bamboo is a very versatile resource that is eco-friendly and readily available. Bamboo is giant grass commonly found in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and South America. It comes in 1,500 varieties ranging from the common house plant to species that grow hundreds of feet tall. It has been used as a building material for centuries to build everything from fencing and scaffolding to houses and bridges. It is even used to make bicycles.
Q. Is bamboo flooring eco-friendly?
The primary species of bamboo that is used in the manufacturing of flooring is Moso Bamboo which matures in 5 - 8 years instead of 20 - 120 years for traditional hardwoods. In its natural environment it will need no irrigation, no pesticides, and no fertilizers. Bamboo has few pests, so pesticides are not required. In a sustainably harvested forest only 20% of the forest is ever harvested annually, allowing for 100% harvest in a five-year period. Bamboo can be harvested without the need to replant because the root system is left intact when it is harvested. In fact, you can clear cut the plant completely and it grows right back. Some species of bamboo can grow up to a meter a day. It truly is a renewable resource.
Q. How is bamboo flooring installed?
Depending on how the product is manufactured it can be nailed down, glued down, glued together and even clicked together. It is important to read the installation instructions carefully in order to understand the manufacturer’s specifications and limitations of the product purchased.
Q. Why should I choose bamboo flooring?
Bamboo flooring has a very unique look and is durable, affordable and also eco-friendly. It is an excellent alternative to traditional hardwood flooring and depending on the manufacturing process used it can be up to three times harder than Red Oak on the Janka Scale. Because it is considered to be a rapidly renewable building material, the use of bamboo flooring can help builders to achieve LEED® certification for construction projects.
Q. What is the Janka Scale?
The Janka Scale is the industry standard for measuring the hardness of the wood. The Janka test is conducted by measuring the force needed to press a .444” inch steel ball halfway into the wood and the amount of force required is converted to a number. The higher the number - the harder the wood. Red Oak is probably the most common species of wood flooring used over the past century and is considered the bench mark in which to compare one species to another. Red Oak has a Janka rating of 1290 while Birch is slightly softer at 1260. Hard Maple has a Janka rating of 1450 and Hickory is rated at 1820. Some of the imported wood species such as Brazilian Cherry and Brazilian Walnut have ratings as high as 3600. Harder woods will not gouge or dent as easily as a softer species. They are also harder to cut and to nail down during the installation process. 
Q. Is bamboo flooring expensive?
Like any product there are many factors that go into the overall quality and bamboo flooring is no different. Cheaper products tend to not be very durable and usually don’t stand up to the rigors of everyday wear and tear. Better quality products last as long as hardwood, or longer, and are favourably priced in comparison. Generally speaking, if properly installed and maintained bamboo flooring offers consumer excellent value.
Q. Can bamboo floors be refinished?
Bamboo can be difficult to refinish, but it depends on the product purchased. If you wish to refinish your floors in the future, it is important to check with your supplier prior to purchase.

CORK

Q. What is cork flooring?
Cork flooring is a product made from the bark of the cork oak tree, a material which is ground up and processed into sheets and then baked in a kiln to produce tiles or planks that serve as flooring in both commercial and residential applications.
Q. Where does cork flooring come from?
Cork flooring is mostly harvested, manufactured, and sourced in Southern Europe. Portugal is one of the most prominent regions in the area for producing cork, largely due to the fact that the cork oak species is plentiful and because hand-harvesting is both practical and economical.
 Q. Why is cork known to be an environmentally sensitive choice?
Harvesting the cork oak tree for its bark is strictly regulated, normally limiting such harvesting into nine-year cycles. The individual cork oak trees must be at least 25 years old before they are harvested and when they are, the health of the tree must be ensured. The cork oak is harvested by hand, and the tree remains unaffected by the harvesting process. The bark of the cork oak tree grows back, leaving the tree as healthy as ever. As such, cork flooring is one of the most renewable sources of material used in flooring.
Q. Is cork flooring a new idea?
Cork flooring was first used popularly at the end of the 19th century. By the early 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright was incorporating cork flooring in some of the public buildings he designed. Today, many of these buildings still feature these original cork floors due to their durability.
Q. Will cork flooring be tough enough for my home or office installation?
One of the characteristics of cork flooring is its resilience to pressure and impact. Because of its cellular nature that features over a million microscopic air pockets per cubic inch, cork flooring has “memory” that allows it to withstand foot traffic and the pressure of furniture legs (best if the legs have protectors), taking its original shape after impact.
Q. Is cork flooring a good option for pets?
While no natural wood floor is entirely scratch-resistant, cork flooring offers excellent resistance to claw marks caused by pets. This is primarily due to the resilient nature of cork flooring, which is naturally impact resistant. Furthermore, the designs founds in many cork decors offer great camouflage to minor damage of any kind.
Q. Why is cork flooring known to be a good insulator?
The cellular nature of cork flooring allows warmth to be held in, making it a very warm flooring to walk on, even in winter months. Another aspect of the kind of insulation cork flooring provides is that of sound, which is naturally absorbed. This makes for almost silent footfalls and can have a significant quieting effect in areas which are normally associated with echoes and other distracting ambient sounds.
Q. What makes cork flooring naturally moisture resistant?
A natural substance found in cork called Suberin, is a waxy material that is a key component in the makeup of the cells found in cork and is responsible for the moisture-resistant nature of cork and cork flooring. Suberin is also insect-resistant and also offers a level of fire resistance. Although cork flooring is resistant to moisture, it is still a good idea to mop up excessive moisture as soon as possible to ensure the longevity of your investment.
Q. What makes cork flooring a good option when thinking about falling and impact?
Cork is about 50% air that is locked into microscopic compartments which act as natural shock absorbers. This can be quite beneficial when you’ve dropped dishes and glasses. It also offers some protection in the event of accidental human falls. For areas used by children or the elderly, this can be a major benefit.
Q. Are all cork flooring decors the same colour?
 Since cork is a natural material colour variation should be expected. However, this can often work to the advantage of those with an eye for design, allowing for creative applications of various colour ranges from golden yellow to nut brown.
Q. Can I install my cork flooring myself?
 Cork flooring is typically available in a glue down application or in a click together style. The glue down version of cork flooring is installed in a similar fashion as vinyl planks and the click together style is installed similar to a laminate flooring. Both types of flooring can be easily installed by the D-I-Y consumer.
Q. What areas are the best places to install cork flooring?
 Generally speaking cork flooring can be installed in virtually any space including residential or commercial applications and can be installed on-grade, above grade and even below grade. Because of its unique design options, cork is commonly used in feature rooms such as family rooms, kitchens and offices.
Q. Over which surfaces can I install my cork flooring?
 Cork flooring is very accommodating and installation over concrete, wooden subfloors and existing tile are commonplace. The surface upon which you install your cork flooring must be solid, level, dry, and clean.
Q. Does cork flooring require underlayment?
Most cork flooring does not require underlayment, just a vapour barrier in the form of a plastic sheet if being installed on a concrete slab that is on grade. Check with the installation instructions for the particular product you have purchased.
Q. How do I keep my cork flooring clean?
Regular mopping with a slightly damp mop will be sufficient in keeping your cork flooring tile clean. Avoid harsh cleaning agents, and do not overwet your floor. Try to clear obvious mess quickly. Spills can be absorbed with a sponge or paper towel to avoid the possibility of permanent stains. Some forms of cork flooring require periodic maintenance such as recoating with a water-based polyurethane varnish . Check with your manufacturer for exact cleaning and maintenance recommendations. 

ENGINEERED FLOORING

Q. What is engineered hardwood flooring?
Engineered hardwood flooring is a product made up of a core of plywood or high density fibreboard (HDF) and a top layer of a hardwood veneer that is glued to the top surface of the core. The top veneer can range in thickness between 0.5 mm - 5mm (and more) and can be made from a wide variety of wood species.
Q. What is the difference between engineered flooring and laminate flooring?
The core of laminate is typically made of HDF and the top layer is a photograph of a wood species mounted on top of the core. The core of an engineered floor can be plywood or HDF and the top layer is an actual layer (veneer) of a hardwood species. This is a key difference between the two flooring types.
Q. What is the difference between engineered flooring and solid hardwood flooring?
Solid hardwood is exactly what the name implies, a solid piece of wood, normally ¾” thick and available in various widths and lengths. An engineered floor is a thin layer of hardwood (veneer layer) mounted on a core made up of HDF or plywood.
Q. How can I tell the difference between engineered wood and solid hardwood?
Once the product is installed it is very difficult to tell the difference looking down at the floor, as you are looking at the top layer of wood with either product.
Q. Do you lose the natural beauty of the wood when buying an engineered floor?
Not at all - the top hardwood layer is the same genuine hardwood you have with a solid hardwood floor, just thinner. The top veneer is available in most species of hardwood and typically has the same type of finish applied.
Q. Why should I purchase engineered flooring instead of solid hardwood?
Engineered floors are much more structurally stable than solid hardwood floors because the core of the product is made up of pressed woods (plywood or HDF) which have fewer natural voids than a solid piece of hardwood. Engineered floors also offer more flexible installation choices including nailed down, glued together and even clicked together. Engineered floors can be installed on grade, above grade and even below grade where most hardwoods are more limited in the installation application.
Q. Is engineered flooring as durable as solid hardwood?
Depending on the manufacturer, the top finish used on engineered flooring is essentially the same as what is used on a solid hardwood floor. Most manufacturers use several layers (8 - 12) of some type of polyurethane finish to protect the product from wearing and fading.
Q. What does more structurally stable mean?
The instability of a wood floor is usually related to humidity as the wood expands when it is humid and contracts when it is dry. Under adverse conditions solid hardwood floors can warp, cup or buckle due the natural voids in the wood. Engineered floors overcome most of these issues by constructing a core that has multiple layers running in opposite directions which help to limit the amount of expansion and contraction of the floor. This makes engineered flooring a better choice for installing in environments with changing climates.
Q. Can I refinish an engineered floor?
It depends on the thickness of the veneer layer but the reality is that 95% of hardwood surfaces are never refinished. With the high quality of finishes available from the factory and the factory's ability to build up several layers of finish under optimum conditions are both hard processes to duplicate in the field. When refinishing is preferred, the professional sanding and refinishing procedure removes less than 1/16 of an inch (depending on the depth of gouges). Therefore, if your veneer layer is 2.5 mm thick you could refinish the floor 1-2 times.
Q. What makes one wood species better than another?
Beside the unique characteristics of wood grain in the different species, the relative hardness of the species is considered to be an important factor when selecting your perfect floor. You can refer to the Janka Scale in order to compare the hardness of different wood species. Domestically grown species such as Birch, Oak, Maple and Hickory tend to be more readily available and therefore less expensive.
Q. How does the Janka Scale work?
The Janka Scale is the industry standard for measuring the hardness of the wood. The Janka test is conducted by measuring the force needed to press a .444” inch steel ball halfway into the wood and the amount of force required is converted to a number. The higher the number - the harder the wood. Red Oak is probably the most common species of wood flooring used over the past century and is considered the bench mark in which to compare one species to another. Red Oak has a Janka rating of 1290 while Birch is slightly softer at 1260. Hard Maple has a Janka rating of 1450 and Hickory is rated at 1820. Some of the imported wood species such as Brazilian Cherry and Brazilian Walnut have ratings as high as 3600. Harder woods will not gouge or dent as easily as a softer species. They are also harder to cut and to nail down during the installation process.
Q. How does the Janka Scale work?
The Janka Scale is the industry standard for measuring the hardness of the wood. The Janka test is conducted by measuring the force needed to press a .444” inch steel ball halfway into the wood and the amount of force required is converted to a number. The higher the number - the harder the wood. Red Oak is probably the most common species of wood flooring used over the past century and is considered the bench mark in which to compare one species to another. Red Oak has a Janka rating of 1290 while Birch is slightly softer at 1260. Hard Maple has a Janka rating of 1450 and Hickory is rated at 1820. Some of the imported wood species such as Brazilian Cherry and Brazilian Walnut have ratings as high as 3600. Harder woods will not gouge or dent as easily as a softer species. They are also harder to cut and to nail down during the installation process.
Q. Aside from the different species of wood what else accounts for the different appearances of wood floors?
Different appearances in the same wood species are usually a result of how the wood is sawn. The most common methods used for engineered flooring are Plain Sawn (Flat Sawn), Quarter Sawn and Rotary Peel. 

When wood is cut using the Plain Sawn method the wood displays a cathedral pattern on the face of the wood. This is the most common and economical way to cut lumber into hardwood flooring products.

Quarter Sawn wood has a beautiful straight grain pattern that offers a unique look. Distinctive flecking becomes pronounced in Red Oak and White Oak and other wood species such as Walnut, Maple and Cherry also benefit from this type of production. Although this method will add to the overall cost of the product it also offers a more dimensionally stable floor. Quarter Sawn lumber exhibits almost no twisting, warping or cupping. 

Rotary Peeled veneers are generally less expensive because the process utilizes a higher percentage of the log with much less waste. The entire log is put onto a lathe and peeled (imagine an apple peeler) continuously to form larger pieces of veneer with wider grain patterns. Species like Oak and Hickory offer unique looks when cut this way.

HARDWOOD FLOORING

Q. Why should I choose hardwood flooring?
Hardwood floors offer warmth, beauty and style. They are also hypoallergenic and easy to clean making them an excellent choice for your family. Hardwood floors have long been considered a premium flooring option that offers increased value to your home.
Q. What is hardwood flooring?
Solid hardwood is manufactured from a solid piece of lumber and today comes in a wide variety of stains, finishes and textures. Wood has been used as a flooring material for centuries and over time has been considered a high end choice for consumers who want the warmth and beauty of wood for virtually any room in their home.
Q. What is the difference between engineered flooring and solid hardwood flooring?
Solid hardwood is exactly what the name implies, a solid piece of wood, normally ¾” thick and available in various widths and lengths. An engineered floor is a thin layer of hardwood (veneer layer) mounted on a core made up of HDF or plywood.
Q. What are the different types of hardwood available?
Over the years red oak has been the most used species because of its affordability, availability, beauty and strength. Today, other commonly used domestic species include birch, cherry, hickory, maple, walnut and white oak. There are also many exotic species of wood available including mahogany, jatoba and sapelle. When you consider the fact that they can all be finished in a variety of stains, finishes and textures the choices for hardwood flooring are endless.
Q. What rooms can I install hardwood floors in my home?
Hardwood can be installed in almost any room of your house and with proper care and maintenance it will last a lifetime. Many manufacturers do not recommend hardwood being installed in bathrooms or other areas that might be susceptible to water or moisture but if temperature, moisture and humidity levels are maintained within the manufacturers guidelines than these areas can also be included in your hardwood flooring layout.
Q. Can I install hardwood floors in my basement?
It used to be that solid hardwood floors could only be nailed down and therefore could not be installed on concrete (whether it was below grade or not). In recent years the development of specialty adhesives has allowed for solid hardwood to be glued down to a concrete or wood sub-floor. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s installation specifications including performing a proper moisture test on both the sub-floor and the hardwood being installed. 
Q. Can anyone install hardwood floors?
Hardwood floors can certainly be installed by anyone who possesses the tools and know-how. They are not normally considered to be a project well suited for the beginner and sometimes they are best left to the professional installer.
Q. Is engineered flooring as durable as solid hardwood?
Depending on the manufacturer, the top finish used on engineered flooring is essentially the same as what is used on a solid hardwood floor. Most manufacturers use several layers (8 - 12) of some type of polyurethane finish to protect the product from wearing and fading.
Q. Why do I need to leave a space around the outside perimeter if I am nailing the floor down?
All wood flooring will expand and contract during the changes of the seasons due to increased or decreased humidity levels. A space (expansion gap) is needed around the perimeter of each room and all vertical obstructions to allow this natural movement. The size of the expansion gap may vary slightly depending on the product being installed. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions and always maintain humidity levels in between 35% - 60%.
Q. How much extra waste should I buy for the installation?
The normal rule for extra waste is approximately 10% but this will depend on the size and layout of the area being done. It is always better to have a little extra material to ensure the job can be completed and having an extra box for future repairs is a always a good idea.
Q. How durable is hardwood flooring?
Hardwood floors are very durable but like any floor they are susceptible to surface scratching. To help protect the surface of your new floor use protective pads on all furniture and table legs and always lift and place heavy objects rather than sliding them across the floor. Harder species of wood will provide greater resistance to denting and deep gouging. Check the Janka Scale for hardwood flooring ratings.
Q. What is the Janka Scale?
The Janka Scale is the industry standard for measuring the hardness of the wood. The Janka test is conducted by measuring the force needed to press a .444” inch steel ball halfway into the wood and the amount of force required is converted to a number. The higher the number - the harder the wood. Red Oak is probably the most common species of wood flooring used over the past century and is considered the bench mark in which to compare one species to another. Red Oak has a Janka rating of 1290 while Birch is slightly softer at 1260. Hard Maple has a Janka rating of 1450 and Hickory is rated at 1820. Some of the imported wood species such as Brazilian Cherry and Brazilian Walnut have ratings as high as 3600. Harder woods will not gouge or dent as easily as a softer species. They are also harder to cut and to nail down during the installation process.
Q. Can I refinish my hardwood floors?
Hardwood floors can be refinished several times which is considered to be one of the main advantages of this type of flooring. However, the reality is that 95% of hardwood floors never get refinished, largely due to the fact the high quality of finishes available from the factory and the factories ability to build up several layers of finish under optimum conditions are both difficult processes to duplicate in the field. When refinishing is preferred the professional sanding and refinishing procedure removes less than 1/16 of an inch (depending on the depth of gouges). 

LAMINATE

Q. What are laminate floors and how are they made?
Laminate floors were introduced into the market in the 1970’s as an inexpensive alternative to hardwood floors. Laminate is actually made up of residual wood fibres that are mixed with resins and binders and then formed into high density fibreboard (HDF) panels. The panels are milled to form a click together locking system to allow for easy installation. A decorative wood grain paper is attached to the panel and then a top surface wear layer containing aluminum oxide to help resist wearing fading and staining. A backing layer is added to the bottom of the panel for stability and moisture resistance. These layers are laminated together under extreme pressure and then cut into the planks or tiles.
 Q. How do laminate floor panels lock together?
There are many types of edge joining systems used to connect laminate flooring panels together. Some laminate flooring locking systems snap together by hand while others require a light tap with a mallet and a tapping block. Newer styles of locking system designs allow for a “drop lock” installation. While most of the various systems work well to secure your laminate floor, it is important to read your laminate flooring installation instructions carefully. Familiarize yourself with how your flooring locks together before starting your installation. Follow the manufacturer's installation procedures carefully and your new flooring will last for years.
Q. Where can I install laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is an extremely versatile flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home, above or below ground, and over top of wood or concrete sub-floors. Because laminate flooring is a wood flooring product caution should be taken when installing in wet locations such as bathrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. 
Q. What are the advantages of laminate flooring over solid hardwood or engineered flooring?
One obvious advantage is that of price; laminate flooring is typically less than one fourth the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. Sometimes the savings are even greater, depending on the types of flooring in question. Additionally, laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install and is generally a good choice for most people wishing to install the flooring themselves, where solid hardwood requires a higher level of expertise. Laminate flooring is also much more scratch-resistant and fade resistant, two areas where solid hardwood and engineered flooring is known to be more vulnerable.
Q. Does the overall thickness of the floor matter?
The thickness of the floor is not as important as the density. Thickness is not a bad thing but a denser core will react less to environmental changes caused by seasonal changes in the weather. Some 15 mm floors are not as dense as some 8 mm floors. The denser cores have less air voids to absorb spills and airborne humidity.
 Q. What do I need to know before I start installing my laminate floor?
There are several things to consider before you begin to install a laminate floor. Careful preparation before beginning the installation will make installing your laminate floor a quick and easy process. Ensure that your sub-floor is solid, level, flat, dry, and smooth. Allow your laminate flooring to acclimatize to the room where it will be installed for as long as possible (min. 48 hours). Inspect each laminate flooring panel carefully for defects or damage before installing it. Follow your laminate flooring manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully. 
Q. How do I determine the direction in which to install my laminate flooring?
Which direction to install your floor is strictly a matter of choice. Some individuals prefer to run the flooring parallel to the main direction of light while others prefer to run the floor perpendicular to the light. Other features in the room such as fireplaces, furniture or stairs may also impact your decision. For any installation, the starting wall should be as long and straight as possible. 
Q. Will there be any cutting waste?
In an average installation an additional 8% to 10% of the total area to be covered will be needed for waste. Smaller jobs may require slightly more waste and larger jobs may require slightly less. It is also a good idea to purchase an extra box or two for future repairs. Laminate flooring is extremely fade resistant and repairs can easily be done if extra material is available and not discontinued.
Q. Do I have to keep staggering the planks in my laminate flooring installation?
The first row should be started with a full plank, the second row with a 2/3 plank and the third row with a 1/3 plank. Once the first three rows are finished, the leftover cut piece from the last plank of the third row can be used to start the fourth row and so on. Depending on dimensions of the room it may be required to occasionally start the next row with a new piece. The distance between joints from one row to the next for the remainder of the installation should be 8" or greater and a random staggered pattern produces a more realistic hardwood look.
Q. What is the reason for the 10mm gap around the perimeter of the floor?
Because laminate flooring is derived from wood, it is subject to expansion and contraction, caused by room temperatures and humidity levels. An expansion gap is a necessary part of any successful installation because it allows space for the expansion of the floor as it responds to these external influences of temperature and humidity. When it is exposed to warmer temperatures, or to increased humidity, laminate flooring planks expand outward. Leaving out the essential element of an outside gap can cause the buckling of the individual laminate flooring planks as the planks push outward against walls or other obstacles. 
Q. What is a floating floor?
A floating floor is a floor built with all its pieces attached to each other but with none of these component parts fixed to the sub- floor. Virtually all laminate floors are installed as floating floors.
Q. What is HDF and what is it made of?
High density fiberboard, HDF, is basically a high-density, moisture-resistant fiber panel. It is made of wood residues (sawdust, shavings and wood chips) from wood processing factories. This ligneous material is ground into a pulp to which resins and binders are added and then dried and pressed into panels under extreme heat and pressure.
Q. How is the paper applied to the HDF core?
The melamine impregnated paper, called the décor layer, is thermo-fused to the core and then topped with an aluminum-oxide wear layer to provide resistance to wearing, fading and staining.
Q. Why is a moisture barrier used on concrete?
Concrete floors below ground are capable of storing a vast amount of water. It is crucial to avoid all direct contact between the laminate flooring and the concrete floor because the soil beneath the concrete can transmit humidity into the floor. Installing a moisture barrier over all concrete surfaces, on or below grade, is mandatory for a successful installation and for the ongoing health of a laminate floor. 
Q. Can laminate flooring be installed on stairs?
Yes, laminate flooring can be installed on stairs but the planks need to be glued down with regular construction adhesive. There are different ways to finish laminate on stairs and careful planning is essential to a smooth installation.
Q. Can laminate flooring be installed in my screened in porch or patio?
  No, laminate flooring must be installed in a climate-controlled area. 
Q. Can we install laminate over carpet?
No, all carpet and padding should be removed completely prior to installation. 
Q. How do I repair minor scratches?
Minor scratches or nicks can be repaired with felt markers or stains.
Q. How do I replace one plank of my flooring due to damage?
Laminate planks can be replaced by taking the baseboard off and simply disassembling the floor to the position of the plank that needs to be replaced and then reinstall the plank(s) and baseboard. In some cases it is possible to cut a plank from the middle of the floor and glue in a replacement piece.
Q. What is a laminate flooring AC rating?
AC ratings are a standardized measure adopted by the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF).
The AC measure rates abrasion resistance, fade resistance and resistance to staining. 
Here is a more detailed guide:
  • AC1 is suitable for lighter, more infrequent traffic, e.g. a bedroom. 
  • AC2 is suitable for general residential use in living rooms and dining rooms.  
  • AC3 can be applied to more varied locations, such as small offices and other light commercial locations.  
  • AC4 can be installed in higher traffic commercial areas such as boutiques, busier offices, and restaurants.  
  • AC5 is the most durable and can withstand the traffic of heavier commercial applications.
Although laminate is the most scratch resistant flooring option on the market, it is important to note that all floors are susceptible to scratching and it is important to take care and attention in caring for your new floors. Be sure to use protective pads for your furniture and always lift and gently place heavy objects instead of sliding them across the floor. It is also wise to protect front entrances and heavy traffic areas with mats and runners.

VINYL

Q. Why should I choose vinyl flooring?
Vinyl floors provide consumers with a soft and comfortable flooring option that is well suited for areas where moisture might be an issue. Today, vinyl floors come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, designs and colours to satisfy even the most discerning shopper. It is often referred to as “resilient” flooring and is mold, mildew and moisture resistant, making it a popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms, laundryrooms and any other area where occasional spills or moisture might be a concern. Vinyl is also easy to clean and maintain.
Q. How are vinyl floors made?
Generally speaking, vinyl is made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), plasticizers, resins and stabilizers and offers unlimited design options. It is available in a sheet vinyl which comes in rolls up to 13’ wide and can be installed in one continuous piece and can also be seamed together for larger areas. It is also available as a luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and as a luxury vinyl plank (LVP) for customers who prefer to install their new floor as modular pieces. 
Q. How do you install vinyl flooring?
There are three basic ways to install vinyl flooring including loose lay, perimeter glue and fully glued. The loose lay installation method should be limited to smaller areas (less than 100 sq ft) that are not considered high traffic areas and a perimeter glued installation might be more appropriate for medium size areas (up to 200 sq ft) or areas that have more foot traffic such as foyers. For larger size installations (over 200 sq ft) and areas that are considered high traffic a fully glued installation is recommended. For fully glued installations you can choose between permanent or releasable adhesives which offer the ability to reposition or remove the flooring with relative ease.
Q. What do I need to do to prepare the sub-floor prior to installation?
Although vinyl can be installed over top of other flooring products such as existing vinyl, tile and even some wood flooring, your sub-floor needs to be dry, clean, level and smooth. Vinyl can also be installed directly on concrete or plywood but you will most likely have to skim coat the surface with some type of floor patch to ensure that any imperfections in the sub-floor do not transfer through and be sure to fill in all cracks and imperfections prior to installing the new flooring.
Q. Can I install vinyl flooring myself?
Depending on your skill and ability and the size of the area you can definitely install the vinyl yourself. For most consumers, installing vinyl for the first time it might be difficult to handle a large piece of sheet vinyl and modular vinyl options such as luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or luxury vinyl plank (LVP) might be a better option. Proper sub-floor preparation is the key to a quality installation.

FLOOR CARE

Vinyl Floor Care And Maintenance
Vinyl floors offer easy care and maintenance to consumers providing they abide by a few precautions. For general care and cleaning of your vinyl floor, sweep your floor regularly and be sure to wipe up spills promptly. Occasional mopping with a cleaning solution that is approved by the manufacturer will help to remove any dried on spills, smudges and smears. Do not use soap or detergent products for vinyl floors as they will leave a dulling film on the surface. Vinyl floors offer excellent stain resistance and most spills will wipe up quickly and easily with a clean cloth. Some types of spills will require more attention. Use a clean white cloth and turn the cloth often to avoid spreading the stain. Vinyl floors might fade or discolour due to extreme heat or direct sunlight so it is important to protect your floors by closing your curtains or blinds whenever possible. It is also important to protect exterior entryways with doormats but do not use rubber-backed, latex-backed, or coco fiber mats on your floor because they may stain or damage the surface.
Laminate Floor Care And Maintenance
Laminate floors are remarkably durable and easy to care for, but like any other flooring product certain limitations apply in regards to cleaning. Regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and grit will help eliminate potential scratching of your laminate floors. For footprints, smudges and smears it is recommended to clean the area with an approved laminate cleaner and microfiber mop. By spraying the cleaner on to the mop, not the floor, you can control the amount of moisture applied to the floor. Do not use soap or detergent-based cleaners, wax-based products, or any type of polish as they leave a dull, filmy residue. Do not flood your floor with water. Excessive moisture applied to a laminate floor can result in blistering of the top layer so any type of damp mopping should be avoided and used sparingly. Be sure to wipe up accidental spills and excess moisture with a paper towel. To eliminate bridging and gapping of your laminate floors maintain a constant humidity range between 40% - 60%.
Wood Floor Care And Maintenance
Proper care of your new hardwood and engineered floors is very similar to the care and maintenance required for laminate floors. Regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and grit will help eliminate potential scratching of your wood floors. Surface footprints, smudges and smears can be cleaned with an approved hardwood cleaner and microfiber mop. By spraying the cleaner on to the mop, not the floor, you can control the amount of moisture applied to the floor. Do not use soap or detergent-based cleaners, wax-based products, or any type of polish as they leave a dull, filmy residue. Do not flood your floor with water. Excessive moisture applied to a wood floor can permanently dull the finish so damp mopping should be avoided completely. Be sure to wipe up accidental spills and excess moisture with a paper towel. Wood floors react to seasonal changes in humidity in your home and to help minimize cupping, bridging and gapping of your hardwood floors it is important to maintain a constant humidity range between 40% - 60%.
Carpet Care And Maintenance
To extend the life and appearance of your carpet it is important to have a regular maintenance plan in place. Even though today's carpet fibers may have the ability to resist soiling and stains they still require regular cleaning. Soil, dirt and grit can permanently damage carpet fibers by acting as an abrasive and most manufacturers recommend weekly vacuuming to eliminate the signs of premature wear. Heavy traffic areas, such as hallways, stairs, and exterior entryways may require more frequent vacuuming. In addition to your own maintenance program, most manufacturer's guidelines also require some form of regular professional carpet care in order to keep your warranty intact. Generally speaking, professional cleaning every 18-24 months can help to refresh the texture and rejuvenate the carpet fibers. It is important to consult with your manufacturer's guidelines regarding any specific requirements in this context. It is wise to retain your receipts for proof of maintenance service should a warranty claim arise.
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