Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between laminate and hardwood flooring?

Hardwood Flooring

  • Can only be installed above grade.
  • Its made up of wood backing with wood wear surface or solid wood then coated with several layers of aluminum oxide.
  • If properly cared for, hardwood flooring will last for generations as it can be refinished, re-sanded and re-coated to look like new again.

 Laminate Flooring

  • Can be installed above or below grade.
  • It's made up of wood chips, wood fibers and pulp laminated together with a photographic layer coated with a wear layer on top.
  • Laminate flooring is not renewable and is considered to have a short life span. Although, some laminates are sold with warranties from 5 to 25 years offering staining, fading and wear.

What is the difference between unfinished and prefinished flooring?

Unfinished flooring has to be finished on site and is delivered with square edges, while prefinished flooring is delivered with several coats of aluminum oxide and with its edges matched and beveled.

Which is better to use - unfinished or prefinished?

Unfinished flooring can be use to stain and match existing flooring. However, the flooring will need to be finished onsite which could be noisy, cause dust and possible delays.  Prefinished flooring has already been finished, therefore, you can count on using your room after installation is complete.

Will my flooring show color variations?

Yes, hardwood floors are made of natural products, so it is a good idea to use planks from several different cartons when installing your floor.

Where can I install my hardwood flooring?

You can install hardwood flooring in virtually any room that is above grade with some exceptions.  It is not recommended to install hardwood in damp locations such as bathrooms, saunas, rooms with damp concrete, rooms with floor drains, rooms that could potentially flood or anywhere that may require wet mopping. Cupping and crowing may appear if moisture is trapped between the sub-floor and flooring.

Can I install hardwood flooring in my basement?

No, hardwood should only be installed above grade and is not suitable for below grade installations.

Do I need to use a moisture barrier?

Yes, a moisture barrier should be laid down first to prevent any moisture from getting to the floor. Install the hardwood flooring on top of the moisture barrier.

What is the correct humidity level?

Maintain humidity levels between 35% and 55%, as the dimensions of wood will vary with the seasons and the humidity.  To protect your floors and enjoy a long-lasting satisfaction, we recommend using a humidifier during the winter as wood and electrical heating tends to dry the air. Humidity should never be allowed to drop below 30% as this may cause gapping.

Should my floor accumulate before installation?

Yes, your flooring MUST be allowed to accumulate to the environment of the installation area. Leave the closed packages in a horizontal position in the room for 72 hours prior to installation. Preferable temperature should be approximately 17-23˚C (62-73˚F) with a relative humidity of 35-55%. Humidity should never be allowed to drop below 30% as this may cause gapping.

Should I inspect my flooring?

Yes, the installer is responsible for inspecting the grade, fabrication and finish of the product before installing it. He/She must be selective, and discard or cut off pieces with defects, whatever the source of the defect may be. The use of stain, filler, or putty to correct defects during installation is normal procedure.

How much waste is there?

When ordering hardwood flooring, add 5-10% to the actual square footage required to allow for cutting, waste and/or manufacturing defects.

What tools will I need?

You will need a circular saw, power nailer, measuring tape, chalk line, wax stick, mallet, hammer, nail punch and 7D or 8D nails.

What causes cracking?

Cracks are normal and are caused by dryness in the air; therefore it is good to maintain a relative humidity of 35-55%.  To minimize cracks, use a humidifier during dry and winter seasons as wood and electrical heating tends to dry the air.

What causes cupping?

Cupping is caused when there is an imbalance in moisture levels.  Once again, it is a good idea to use a humidifier during dry and winter seasons as wood and electrical heating tends to dry the air.

What causes squeaking and loose planks?

Squeaking or loose planks are often signs of inadequate nailing, installation over improper sub-floors or problems with the adhesive.

How do I repair scratches, nicks and chips?

For scratches, nicks and small chips use color fill or flooring repair paste.  For larger chips, you may consider replacing the entire plank.



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