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It is a product that replaces solid hardwood. It is much more stable. It does not react to seasonal swelling and shrinking which solid hardwood does. Being a natural product, the way it is engineered it does not go side to side. It can be upto 80% more stable (does not shrink or expand) than solid and you get far more variety of color and choices. Particularly in this day and age when everybody wants a wide wide floor, engineered hardwood is preferable as it is readily avaiable for an economical price.
Yes, most hardwoods but not all. Hickery is not recommeded as well as some maples.
There is quite a variety that can be used, oak being the most prevalent as it is not impacted by radiant heat at all. Radiant heat can etch and damage other hardwoods.
Yes, it will in most cases. Particularly natural colored hardwood. They go through a process in the 1st two years of it's life called ambering up.
Ambering up is where the color is aging and getting it's real shade. Very often, people are suprised that it is not the same color that they picked, and it appears lighter in shade but with a natural color floor it will go through ambering up and become the color of the original sample. Stained floors, particularily darker stains can minimize that. Not really an issue with a darker floor, but with natural color floors it is.
It is best to use a terry cloth mop product. Bona makes a great one. There is a bunch of them on the market. Just check around. It is something that you can throw into your washing machine to clean. We do not really recommend the disposable too much. It is a lot of work and they do not really clean as well. Use a terry cloth mop with a solution that has been manufactured for hardwood floors or for laminate floors.
We do not recommend using steam mops or hot and soapy water. And we definitely do not recommend using vinegar and water. Vinegar is acidic and it can etch your finish over time. And you may be voiding your warranty if you use such methods. Anything with water and soap is going to be dangerous.
Preparation.Levelling Levelling levelling. In order to enjoy your floors for sometimes decades proper prep and levelling needs to occur before installation. This cannot be stressed enough.
There are 2 categories. Glued down and floating. Glued down, you really need to prep your flooring really well. If there are any inconsistencies in the sub floor it will travel through the glued down products. It must be smooth.
With a floating product there are many many on the market. Floating product is essentially the same as a laminate or a floating hardwood floor in construction. Anything under a 4mm or 5mm floor is not recommended by us. They usually have a weaker joint (click system). One way to tell if your floor is a quality floor, is by pinching the click system (lock and click) between your fore finger and thumb and trying to snap/break it. If it snap/breaks easily, it is not a good floor. It will probably fail on you after a few years which won't be convered by warranty and it will probably be passed your labour warranty as well. If it is extremely difficult to snap/break or can't snap/break then it is a good indication of the quality of your floor.
Remember as with anything in life, you get what you pay for
Vinyl Plank is the vinyl industry answer to laminates. They are built like laminates except that their cores are waterproof and have vinyl on top. They are answers to the laminate problem a lot of people have been affected by. Vinyl plank is a water proof hard surface flooring that looks very much like hardwood and is safe to mop.
Vinyl plank is more stable with a fibreglass layer built into it. Vinyl planks without fibreglass
The answer to water damaged wood look flooring
If you are in a condo/strata situation you can use vinyl plank but you have to use a floating one. It is installed just like laminate over a sound reduction pad. You cannot use glue down products in a condo except for your kitchen and bathroom. Approximately 13% of a condo can be glued down with hard surface and the remaining 87% must be over a pad to reduce noise.
In a house you can use glued down or floating vinyl plank in any room. In a house, you do not have a sound reduction requirement. Floating vinyl floors are just as important to level as hardwood and laminate. It is key to having your floors looking great for years and years and years.
Vinyl plank without fibreglass will shrink with humidity changes. Typcially in the spring or fall. If you are using Vinyl plank without fibreglass, you have to wet set. That is using wet glue, and not allowing the glue to dry beofre you install it. Therefore installation must be with a wetset method, which should prevent the shrinking. It is a bit more difficult to do but worth the effort.
Either use wet set with regular vinyl plank or use release adhesive with a fiber glass vinyl plank.
In a high quality carpet, everything is superior. Lifespan, comfort, feel. Much the same as buying a car.
Carpet is your best sound proof flooring solution. Between carpet and pad, particularily high density pad you get your best sound proofing. It does not have the impact noise a hard surface might have. This prevents the sound from viberating down. It does absorb more of the sound compared to a hard surface. Hardsurface will reflect the sound back into the room and through the floor to the rooms below.
A real a good indication, is the gapping between the boards. If you can fit a credit card between them or if it is peaking at the ends of the board, these are really good indications that proper levelling did not occcur. Depending on how long it has been the floor can be rendered useless because the joints can break. This applies to most tpyes of hard surface flooring.
For carpets, levelling is not too much of a concern because the underpad alleviates most of the levelling inconsistencies.
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