Hardwood Flooring F.A.Q.

Q:I want hardwood flooring in my basement, but I’ve been told I can’t put hardwood below grade. Is this true?

A:Solid hardwood should not be installed below grade. However, engineered hardwood can be installed in basements as long as you do not have an existing moisture problem.

Q: Can I have hardwood flooring installed over my concrete floor if it is above grade?
A:Yes, you can install engineered hardwood directly over concrete if it is above grade. There is even a system available to install solid hardwood directly over concrete floors.

Q:Can I install my new hardwood floor directly over my existing vinyl flooring?

A:It is better to remove the existing vinyl, but if it does not cause a transition problem from one floor to the next and/or if it does not cause a problem with the installation or removal of appliances and doors then it can be done. Keep in mind though that you may want to remove and raise your base boards so they have the proper reveal.

Q:I have a large dog and I’ve been told I should not have hardwood. Is this true?
A:No. Many people with large dogs have hardwood flooring. Your dogs will scratch the floors and it will cause more wear; however, unlike vinyl and laminate floors, hardwood can be refinished in the future. Keep in mind that even under normal circumstances, your hardwood floors will scratch. That being said, as hardwood floors age they tend to mellow.

Q:I heard that hardwood flooring requires significant maintenance. Is that true?
A:Yes, to some extent you need to pay a little more attention to your hardwood floors then say, a ceramic floor. Proper maintenance and using the proper cleaning products will greatly add to your floor’s life. Once you get used to its care requirements, you will likely find that it is a very forgiving floor to live with.

Q:Do I need to have a humidifier installed if I purchase a hardwood floor?
A:Hardwood flooring expands and contracts due to changes in temperature and relative humidity. Having adequate levels of humidity in the home will help minimize the shrinkage of your floors during the heating months.

Vinyl Flooring F.A.Q.

Q:Can I install a vinyl floor directly over my existing vinyl floor?
A:If your original vinyl floor was installed using a full spread adhesive method, then you can apply an embossing leveler to the original vinyl to smooth it out and then install the new vinyl.

Q:I heard that vinyl looks just like ceramic tile. Is that true?
A:Sheet vinyl has come a long way since the original patterns and colors. With the new imaging available many of the sheet vinyl patterns look very similar to ceramic tile or hardwood flooring.

Q:I’m concerned that vinyl flooring is not tough enough?
A:Vinyl is certainly not as resistive to tears and scratches as ceramic tile is, but most vinyl does have an inner layer built into it now which tends to resist tears quite well. I wouldn’t hesitate to consider it in a high traffic residential area.

Q:Can I have vinyl installed in my basement?
A:Yes, vinyl is very appropriate for basement use, but like all other flooring types, check to make sure you do not have a moisture problem before you install it.

Laminate Flooring F.A.Q.

Q:Is it okay to install laminate over existing vinyl flooring?
A:Yes, however you may still have to use the manufacturer’s underlayment to have a warranty.

Q:Is it okay to use Laminate in a wet area or in a basement?
A:Yes, there are special techniques to use when installing laminate in a wet area, but it can be done.

Q:Can Laminate flooring be refinished?
A:No, unlike hardwood flooring, once laminate is worn it cannot be refinished.

Q:I have a large dog. Is laminate a good choice for me?
A:Most laminate flooring is considerably more scratch resistant than hardwood flooring, but it still scratches and wears when exposed to pet nails.

Q:I heard laminate flooring sounds hollow when you walk on it. Does that make it sound cheap?
A:Laminate does have a different sound when you walk on it, however, there are acoustical underlayments that deaden the echo and make it sound much more like a real hardwood floor.

Q:I walked on my friends laminate floor and it felt spongy? Are they supposed to feel that way?
A:Laminate floors are not attached to the subfloor. They float above on top of a dense cushion. As a result, they do have give when you walk on them.

Tile Flooring F.A.Q.

Q:I've heard that tile is pretty much maintenance free. Is this true?
A:Compared to other products, you may find that tile and grout require less maintenance than other floors, but it is not maintenance free. Grout should be sealed and caulking needs to be maintained to prevent deterioration of the backer board.

Q:Can I have ceramic tile installed directly over my vinyl floor?
A:We generally recommend that the underlayment be removed because the subfloor may mot be adequate to support tile; however if your existing vinyl floor was installed over an adequate subfloor using a full spread installation method then yes, it can be done if you use the proper installation products.

Q:How long will a ceramic tile floor last? How about my ceramic shower?
A:If your tile floor is properly maintained, you can expect it to last 20 years or more. You will greatly enhance the life of your tile floors or walls by using a properly installed cement backer board. Properly maintained tile walls installed over a cement backer board can also last 20 or more years.

Q:I’ve been told that tile is slippery when it gets wet. Is this true?
A:There are many types of tiles to choose from that provide a high slip coefficient. Keep in mind, the higher the slip coefficient, the more difficult the tile is to clean. Most tiles today offer a nice balance between ease of maintenance and safety.

Q:I have an unheated porch. Can I have ceramic tile installed out there?
A:Yes you can as long as you use a product that’s freeze/thaw stable. Keep in mind slip resistance as well.

Q:I have a radiant heat floor. Can I install ceramic tile directly over it?
A:Depending upon the type of system you have, it is usually possible to install ceramic over radiant heat floors. Some applications will require a membrane in between the tile and subfloor. Ask your contractor what is best for you.

Q:I’ve been told that ceramic tile is too cold and uncomfortable because it’s so hard. Should I consider another floor that’s more comfortable?
A:One of the rubs against ceramic tile is that it is cold and hard. There are floor heating systems available to make your floor more comfortable to the touch, but in terms of hardness, yes, ceramic is much like hardwood in that it doesn’t have much give. If you want something that has more cushion to it, perhaps you should consider a floating floor.

Q:I have little kids and I’m worried that they might drop something and damage a tile. Is ceramic the right choice for me?
A:The good news about ceramic tile is that in the event a piece is damaged it can be extracted and replaced without being an obvious repair.

Carpet Flooring F.A.Q.

Q:I have a large room and I’ve been told that the room will require several carpet seams. Do I need to have extra seams and is there anything I can do to minimize them?
A:Carpet seams and seam locations are probably the biggest challenge in our industry. Since carpet only comes in certain widths, it is very likely large rooms will require at least one seam. Several factors need to be considered when deciding your seam location such as, furniture placement, directions of light source, doorways and traffic areas, number and length of seams and how it may affect seam placements in other rooms. There is usually no perfect scenario and often times you must compromise one of the criteria for another. A properly constructed seam is generally still noticeable, but depending on what style and color of carpet you have, it may be more or less noticeable in your situation.

Q:I want a different color carpet in one of my rooms, but I’ve been told it will either require more material or I will need to have T-seams. Is this true?
A:Yes, generally speaking if you install a separate color carpet in one room that requires a seam, you will either need to purchase additional carpet or use T- seams. T-seams make it possible to eliminate excessive waste.

Q:I have cats that occasionally have accidents on my carpet. What type of carpet can I buy to minimize this problem?
A:There are several carpet fibers on the market that will essentially oxidize any organic liquid that comes in contact with the carpet. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, there is padding that is designed with pets in mind that prevents liquid from reaching the decking.

Q:I want a berber or level loop product installed in my office area, but I’ve been concerned that the fiber can run when it’s pulled. Are there any loop products that don’t run?
A:Yes there are loop products that have enhanced backings designed to prevent the fiber from running.

Q:How often should I clean my carpet?
A:Always refer to your manufacturer’s warranty for cleaning instructions. Each fiber has different characteristics. Improper cleaning is one of the leading causes of damage to carpet fiber.

Q:I remember when carpet was very inexpensive to purchase. Why is it so expensive now?
A: Carpet and padding are petroleum based products and therefore increase in price as the cost of oil increases.

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