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FLOORHOUSE Flooring Vancouver

Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring

Important: Goldent Trim provides the following general questions and answers for your information. All manufactures instructions precede any information in this section.
  1. What is engineered wood?
  2. What is better, engineered wood or solid wood?
  3. What is the difference between floating, glue down, and staple/nail down installation?
  4. What does FSC mean?
  5. Why are FSC products more expensive?
  6. What are the benefits of purchasing an FSC product?
  7. What is the difference between a glue together system and a locking or click system for a floating floor?
  8. Can you put glue in the tongue and groove on a mechanically locking system?
  9. Why do you need to leave a gap around the perimeter of the room and if so, how much?
  10. Can I put 2 layers of foam under my flooring to increase the sound reduction?
  11. Why do you need transitional mouldings in all doorways and connecting ways?
  12. Can I use regular wood glue in the T G?
  13. Is it better to glue the T G when I use a glue down installation method?
  14. What kind of glue can I use to install my mouldings and stair treads?
  15. Can I use a Latex Acrylic (water base) adhesive to glue down my wood flooring?
  16. What kind of underlayment do I need for a concrete or wood subfloor?
  17. Can I install any engineered wood over radiant heat?
  18. Why and how do I need to level my subfloor?
  19. What is the most cost effective way to install a wood floor for the best impact sound reduction?
  20. I don t like the sound of hollowness of my neighbors floating floor when I walk on it but I like the look of the wood. Can I have the same wood with out that hollow sound?
  21. I have a large room that I want to do a floating installation. The span is 40 linear feet. Can I do a floating installation?
  22. Can I install an island in my kitchen on a floating floor?
  23. My sales person told me that I need to control my Humidity levels. Why do I need to do that and what do I need to do?
  24. How often do I have to refinish my floor?
  25. I have foot prints throughout my flooring just after I wash my floor. How can I get rid of this?
  26. Can you repair or replace a single board in a floating floor?
  27. My floor is crackling and squeaking when I walk on the flooring. What is causing this?
  28. How do I get glue residue off my flooring?
  29. What kind of conditions can restrict the movement of a floating floor?
  30. My floor is cupping. It looks like a wash board. What is causing this?

1.  What is engineered wood?
Engineered wood is a three ply or multi-ply wood flooring that can be installed over a concrete or wood subfloor. The top layer is the species that you see when installed. It also can be installed below grade (in basements) unlike solid wood. It is more stable than solid wood flooring due to its multi layer cross grain construction. Cross grain construction means the grain direction runs perpendicular to the adjacent layer which gives the wood stability strength which helps minimizes the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. The finish is the same as solid wood and will wear the same. Engineered wood flooring can be refinished. Consult a hardwood flooring professional to find out your options.
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2.  What is better, engineered wood or solid wood?
Both products will look and perform the same once installed. Both can be refinished. The choice depends on what kind of subfloor you have and which grade level you want to install the wood flooring on. Solid wood needs a wood subfloor to nail to and you cannot install solid wood below grade (below ground level) due increased moisture in basements. If you want to glue down solid wood, you have to use a specialized glue. The manufacturer of the wood flooring must allow a glue down installation for their product. Engineered wood can be installed on all grade levels and on wood or concrete subfloors. For products with wider widths, engineered is a better choice for less gapping during the dryer seasons because you will get less gapping with engineered wood compared with solid wood in the dryer seasons.
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3.  What is the difference between floating, glue down, and staple/nail down installation?
A floating floor is a type of installation that the wood flooring is not attached to the subfloor. The boards are affixed together by gluing the Tongue and Grove (T   G) or by a locking system. They are installed over an underlayment and will expand and contract as a whole. A floating installation is the least expensive method to install and can be done over wood or concrete subfloor.

For a glue down installation, the boards are installed using a full spread moisture cured adhesive. You can install the flooring on a wood or concrete subfloor.

For a nail down installation you can use hardwood flooring fasteners, staples or cleats. Follow the manufactures installation guidelines for subfloor specifications and fastener schedules because each product may have slightly different instructions.
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4.  What does FSC mean?
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. FSC is an international, membership-based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests . You can find out more information on their website www.fsc.org (US) or www.fsccanada.org.
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5.  Why are FSC products more expensive?
FSC products are not that much more expensive compared with the same product without FSC certification. What makes the most difference in cost is where it is manufactured, type of species and the availability of the wood.
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6.  What are the benefits of purchasing an FSC product?
Buying an FSC product ensures the wood flooring comes from a well managed forest. This will have a positive impact on the environment and protects our forests for the future.
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7.  What is the difference between a glue together system and a locking or click system for a floating floor?
A glue together system means that a D3 type glue is used in the tongue and groove to bond the boards together. A locking system means the tongue and groove of the boards have a special profile that will mechanically lock into place without glue. It can be a click or a drop in system.
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8.  Can you put glue in the tongue and groove on a mechanically locking system?
It is not necessary to use glue in the tongue and grove of a mechanical locking system if it is manufactured properly. Always follow manufactures instructions.
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Installation Related

9.  Why do you need to leave a gap around the perimeter of the room and if so, how much?
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 especially for a floating floor. The amount of space to leave is slightly different between products and should be in the manufactures instructions.
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10.  Can I put 2 layers of foam under my flooring to increase the sound reduction?
No. For a floating system, only one layer of foam is needed. The foam only should be a maximum of 1/8 thick. If the underlayment has too much of a cushion, it could cause too much vertical movement which can compromise the joints and result in gapping. If a higher sound reduction rating is needed, you could use a firm type of underlayment like our 6mm cork with Firma Foam on top. However, you need to be aware of the needed height clearance of the finished floor.
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11.  Why do you need transitional mouldings in all doorways and connecting ways?
For a floating installation, the boards are affixed to each other and the flooring will expand and contract as a whole. Each room wants to expand and contract independently. Push/pull or sheer forces will be transferred to the small section of flooring in the doorway or connecting way adjoining the two surfaces can cause buckling or gapping. Also, if you want to change direction of the boards, you can use an expansion transitional moulding to separate the two areas.
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12.  Can I use regular wood glue in the T G?
No. Regular glue does not provide the elasticity to cope with the constantly changing pressures imposed by foot steps. Brittleness of regular glue may cause the glue to fracture and the bonds will let go causing the planks to separate from each other. You need to use D3 PVAC (polyvinyl acetate) glue which is formulated for floating floors. We recommend our Deccobond 18 Tongue and Groove glue.
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13.  Is it better to glue the T G when I use a glue down installation method?
No. You should not glue the T G when using a glued down application. You will get some larger gaps in some joints due to some sections will panelize (sections of flooring with joints snug together with the surrounding joints having gaps)
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14.  What kind of glue can I use to install my mouldings and stair treads?
You should use a construction adhesive. Apply just enough adhesive to the underside of the moulding and nail it in place with two or three finishing nails on a slight angle until the glue cures. Countersink the nail heads to be filled later. For stair treads, use the same method except that you use 3 finishing nails one on each side, approximately 2 from the wall, and one in the center of the tread.
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15.  Can I use a Latex Acrylic (water base) adhesive to glue down my wood flooring?
No. We recommend installing our wood flooring with a full spread moisture cured urethane adhesive using the proper trowel recommended by the glue manufacture. Using water based glue, the water is absorbed by the bottom side of the flooring and can cause the boards ends to raise. Our glue is warrantied over radiant heat.
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16.  What kind of underlayment do I need for a concrete or wood subfloor?
For concrete subfloors, you may use foam or cork underlayment on top of a vapour barrier, such as our UV rated CBSB 6mil poly. However, you may use just our Vapour Barrier (VB) foam as well. Proper vapour barrier prevents moisture from being absorbed by your wood flooring from the concrete subfloor.

For wood subfloors, you may use any foam or cork of your choice. However, we do not recommend the use of vapour barrier like our 6mil poly. Wood subfloor cannot breathe under a vapour barrier and therefore may create or escalate moisture problems. For a staple down application, a black asphalt Kraft paper or 15lb felt should be used. This is to minimize moisture movement between the subfloor and the wood flooring and, also, to help slide planks in place easily during installation and reduce the potential squeaking of the flooring.
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17.  Can I install any engineered wood over radiant heat?
Most of our engineered wood flooring is warrantied for installing over an in-floor hot water radiant heated slab. It is important to maintain the radiant heat temperature to a consistent level during the heating season. In the fall, slowly turn up the heat to the desired level (see manufactures recommendations) and, in the spring, slowly turn down the heat. This is to ensure the wood does not dry out to quickly causing cupping or checking (or any deformation) of the wood boards. Throughout the year, maintain the humidity levels within the recommended range by the wood manufacturer. It is important that you follow the wood manufactures instructions.
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18.  Why and how do I need to level my subfloor?
A solid and flat subfloor provides the foundation for your wood flooring to perform properly. A flat surface reduces vertical movement of your flooring which minimizes the chance of you having a squeaky or crackly floor.

The maximum tolerance of unevenness we recommend is 3/16 per 10 feet for engineered wood, floating and glue down applications, and 1/4 per 10 feet for solid wood, a nail/staple application. You may grind or sand down the high points with #20 grit paper; for the low points, you may fill it with appropriate leveling compound.
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19  What is the most cost effective way to install a wood floor for the best impact sound reduction?
A floating system is the least expensive installation with the use of our Firma Foam which is good quality foam. See Underlayment FAQ for details.
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20.  I don t like the sound of hollowness of my neighbors floating floor when I walk on it but I like the look of the wood. Can I have the same wood with out that hollow sound?
You may have a different subfloor than your neighbors so the installation can be different. If you still want a floating floor, you can choose a cork underlayment because it is more firm and also will lessen the hollow sound. You also can choose a more solid installation like a glue down or nail/staple down application, depending on what kind of subfloor you have.
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21.  I have a large room that I want to do a floating installation. The span is 40 linear feet. Can I do a floating installation?
A floating floor expands and contracts as a whole. A 40 linear foot floating floor would move more during the natural expansion and contraction. Larger expansion gaps must be reserved for that purpose. You may use a thick enough base shoe and/or baseboard to cover the gap or undercut the drywall to increase the space for the expansion. Note: This method is only for a larger room, not multiple rooms creating longer spans.
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Maintenance   Care

22.  Can I install an island in my kitchen on a floating floor?
Anything attached to the floating floor or an extremely heavy piece of furniture will restrict the natural movement of the flooring. Kitchen islands with appliances installed in them should not sit on top of flooring due to the electrical wires and/or plumbing that goes through the flooring and into the subfloor. Also, large islands with thick granite counter top maybe too heavy. In situations like this, the flooring should be installed around the island with a base shoe to cover the gap or the flooring can run slightly under the toe-kick. If the flooring has already been installed and you want to put in an island, a hole should be cut in the flooring following the shape of the base of the cabinet (including enough space for expansion) and install the base shoe to hide the expansion space. Contact your hardwood flooring professional for the best options for you.
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23.  My sales person told me that I need to control my Humidity levels. Why do I need to do that and what do I need to do?
Wood flooring has a comfort level and will best perform under the recommended conditions from the manufacturer. Wood flooring will expand in a moist environment and contract in a dry environment. The wider the swing in humidity levels, the more the flooring will move which can cause the floor boards to check, warp or deform. It is recommended that a humidifier and/or a dehumidifier be installed in the home to control humidity levels to minimize the movement. Consult a HVAC specialist for advice.
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24.  How often do I have to refinish my floor?
This depends on how you use your floor. Your floor should last a lifetime. Follow the manufactures maintenance guidelines and your floorings finish should last for years. If you have a very active family or large pets, your flooring may have to be refinished sooner. Types of refinishing floors are sand and refinish, screen and recoat or chemical recoat. A hardwood flooring professional can tell you which one is right for you.
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25.  I have foot prints throughout my flooring just after I wash my floor. How can I get rid of this?
When foot prints are left on the floor after walking on the floor immediately after cleaning, it is an indication that there is a film on the flooring and it was not taken off by the cleaning method used. Review and follow the manufactures maintenance instructions. If that does not work, contact the flooring professional where you purchased your flooring for advice.
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26.  Can you repair or replace a single board in a floating floor?
Yes. You can do a single board replacement or replace a section on any kind of installed wood flooring. If the damage is minimal, there are repair kits, depending on what kind of damage you have. If there are a single or few boards that are damaged beyond repair, a single board replacement using an industry standard method can be used to replace boards. The section or board that you replace can be a different colour due to aging of the flooring. The colour of the new boards will eventually even out over time. Consult your hardwood flooring professional for advice on what to do.
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Common Problems

27.  My floor is crackling and squeaking when I walk on the flooring. What is causing this?
When wood flooring is making objectionable noises when walked upon, it means that the flooring has excess movement. It can be caused by many reasons. It could be problems with expansion, uneven subfloor, improper installation methods, etc. If it is significant problem, you should get your flooring inspected by a certified wood flooring inspector and they can pinpoint the cause then a remedy can be determined.
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28.  How do I get glue residue off my flooring?
For prefinished flooring with a UV cured urethane on the surface, we recommend using our Deccobond 18 Glue remover. It will remove the following:

  • Residual Acrylic glue smudges
  • Residual uncured urethane glues
  • Mastic and tar on floors
  • Contact cement residues
  • Tacky glue and foam tapes
  • Tapes and label residue
  • Fabric and carpet spot remover
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29.  What kind of conditions can restrict the movement of a floating floor?

  • The following can restrict the movement of a floating floor:
    • Inadequate expansion space: examples
    • Not enough expansion space around the perimeter around the room or vertical obstructions.
    • Debris filling up the expansion space. For an example a rock, glue, dirt, etc.
    • Excessive spans due to no expansion transitional mouldings installed in doorways or connecting ways.
  • Items attached to the flooring: examples
    • Bottom hardware of bi-fold closet doors screwed to flooring.
    • Island cabinet in kitchen screwed to flooring.
    • Excess glue can ooze out from moulding when placing moulding in place. When cured, the glue can bond to the flooring, pinning the flooring.
    • Nails driven though the flooring into the subfloor.
    • Baseboard/base shoe nails improperly placed sitting in expansion space.
    • Improperly installed heating registers.
    • Bookcases, cabinets, etc, screwed to the flooring.
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30.  My floor is cupping. It looks like a wash board. What is causing this?
Cupping is when the center of a board is lower and the edges are higher across the width of the board. This is caused by an imbalance of moisture within a board between the top and bottom. This can be caused by two situations. One, there is excessive moisture infiltrating underneath the flooring or; two, the flooring is drying off the top faster than the bottom. You should contact a certified wood flooring inspector for advice.
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