How to Select the Floor You Need

Photo: Tarkett

Photo: Tarkett

Choosing a new floor is very exciting. You probably already have some ideas about the style you would like, but the following tips will help ensure you get the floor you want and need.

Floors can be installed over a variety of different surfaces:

  • Concrete, tiles, stone and marble – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Wooden floor – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Very short-pile carpet – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Embossed vinyl – laminate and wood, but must be removed or covered for vinyl
  • Long-pile carpet – must be removed for all new floors

Which Floor for Which Room?

Entrance and Hallway – People coming and going will bring dirt and dampness into your home, putting special demands on this part of the floor. Choose a hard surface that can stand up to moderate dampness and is easy to clean.

Office – If keeping your office quiet for concentration and comfort is a top priority, you should consider floors with good acoustic properties. If you expect a lot of visitors, you’ll probably want a tough surface that won’t be easily damaged by office furnishings or heavy use. Floors with anti-static properties can be a wise investment if you use a lot of electrical equipment.

Kitchens –Spills and dropped food and equipment are a fact of life no matter how careful you are as a cook. Choose a floor that not only has good stain and traffic resistance, but that will also stand up to light moisture and repeated cleaning.

Bathrooms –Water makes the bathroom a challenging environment and you must be careful to select a floor that is water-resistant. In addition, for safety you’ll need to be sure that the floor won’t be slippery when it’s damp and that it will be easy to clean.

Bedroom –Your bedroom is often a very personal space so you’ll be looking at a wide range of decorative finishes. Don’t forget that looks are just part of the equation and that you’ll also want to be sure that it’s comfortable and warm for bare feet.

Kid’s Bedroom/Playroom –These bedrooms often have to accommodate a wide variety of play as well as sleep. To cope with active youngsters you’ll need a tough, practical floor that’s comfortable but also easy to look after and clean, and that will also help to keep noise levels down.

Living Room – You need a multi-purpose floor that reflects your style but can stand up to the challenge of a variety of activities. A tough surface that’s easy to clean and look after will reduce the time you need to spend keeping your living room looking good.

No one wants to spend every minute worrying about stains and cleaning. By choosing a floor that suits the area, you’ll cut down on the cleaning and general care you have to provide. You should also select a floor with the best possible surface protection.

Source: Tarkett

 

Hardwood Flooring Installation: Which is Best?

Photo: Bona

Photo: Bona

Hardwood floor installation is a project that can be done by seasoned professional contractors or by skilled “Do It Yourselfers” ambitious enough to attempt the job themselves. If you’re considering installing your own floor, be sure you understand the different types of hardwood floor installation. The subfloor you will be installing the new floor on may dictate which hardwood floor installation method you can use.

Nail/Staple Down

Hardwood floor installation using the nail-down method is typically used for solid wood flooring of ¾” thick strip or plank flooring to a wooden sub-floor. The flooring cleats are driven down through the tongue of the flooring and fasten securely in the sub-floor beneath.

Floating

A floating floor is engineered hardwood that is installed by attaching each board to the next without any adherence to the sub-floor. The boards are attached using a bead of glue on the tongue or by a click-together system. Floating floors are easier to install for a DIY project and can generally be installed over existing flooring such as tile or vinyl. When nailing or gluing flooring down, each board expands and contracts independently. On a floating system, the entire floor moves as one unit which will help reduce any cracks between boards in areas of fluctuating temperature/humidity levels. Floating floors can also be sanded dependent on how thick the wear layer is.

Glue Down

Glue is primarily used to attach hardwood flooring to fully cured and dry concrete substrates or wood when nailing is just not an option. Glue is also used as a sound reduction barrier and can help soften the transfer of noise when hardwood is installed in applications such as apartment buildings and high-rises. Hardwood that is installed using the nail down method can tend to have higher noise transfer between floors. Please refer to the flooring manufacturer for recommendations on installation.

Nail/Glue Down

In some cases when installing plank flooring 4” and wider, nailing and gluing the boards are recommended. Refer to the flooring manufacturer or the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association (NOFMA.org) for recommendations on installation.

If you’re looking for someone to install your hardwood floor, contact a Bona Certified Craftsman to explore your options. A Bona Certified Craftsman (like MODA Floors and Interiors) is a professional contractor specially trained in the Bona Floor Care System and can provide you with a wealth of experience and expertise concerning hardwood floors.

Source: Bona

Keep Laminate Floors Looking New

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Here’s some helpful advice on how to keep your laminate floors looking new.

  • Entry mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit and other substances such as oil, asphalt or driveway sealer that might otherwise be tracked onto your floor.
  • To prevent slippage of area rugs, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.
  • Use floor protectors and wide-load bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize the chance of indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector.
  • Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35 percent and 65 percent throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of the wood.
  • Heating season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
  • Non-Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier or periodically turning on your heating will help to maintain humidity during summer months.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.
  • Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching your floor.
  • Never try to slide heavy objects across the floor.
  • Use a protective mat for furniture or chairs with castors.

Source: Shaw Floors

Cleaning Your Laminate Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

  • Do not use steam cleaners or wet mops, which may cause irreparable damage to your floor.
  • Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.
  • For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth. Then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
  • Sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
  • Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for laminate floor care.
  • Don’t wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent or any other liquid cleaning product. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Avoid using steel wool, abrasive cleaners or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type cleaners.
  • Don’t use any type of buffing or polishing machine on your laminate floors.
  • For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach-side home.

Source: Shaw Floors

Add Coastal Vibes to Your Home

Video: Whether you have a beach house or an urban loft, you can add a “coastal” feeling to your home. Here are some tips from Shaw Floors on how to keep your decor looking light, airy and fresh.

 

 

How to Take Care of Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are beautiful and very durable but not indestructible. Floors can dull when unattended dirt acts as an abrasive on its surface.

This can be avoided by sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming regularly to remove loose dirt and grit.

You can use a broom or, to make the job faster, a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar.

Vacuum cleaner attachments are useful to pick up dirt from between planks, tiles or along edges.

An occasional very light damp mopping using laminate floor cleaner is also suggested. However, your laminate flooring can expand if excessive water is used while cleaning. Your mop should be damp, not wet.

After damp mopping, a clean dry cloth should be used to wipe your floor thoroughly.

Placing doormats or walk-off mats at each entryway will collect excessive moisture and dirt before they enter your home.

Do’s and don’ts you should know about.

  • Glides or floor protectors on the bottom of your furniture will prevent possible scratching or abrasion.
  • It’s important to lift heavy furniture instead of dragging or pulling the piece.
  • Use pieces of carpet face down under heavy objects when moving them across your floor.
  • Spot cleaning and occasional complete cleaning of your laminate floor can be done using the manufacturer’s recommended products.
  • Never use abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder.
  • Don’t use soap-based detergents or “mop-and-shine” products.
  • Never flood your floor with water or cleaner. In all cases, less is best, especially when it comes to water.
  • Don’t wax or polish your laminate floor.
  • Never try to refinish or sand your laminate floor.
  • Durable but not indestructible, your laminate floor can be damaged by heavy or sharp objects.
  • But the good news is that the finish on your laminate floor can help protect the floor from sunlight and the typical fading you find with aging hardwood floors.
  • Keep in mind that if a repair is necessary in the future, the replacement product may be a slightly different dye lot and/or texture than the initial installation.

For additional care procedures please refer to the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions and recommendations.

By understanding and following these basic care guidelines you can be confident that your laminate flooring will provide you with many years of beauty and lasting performance.