Archive for the ‘Hardwood Flooring’ Category

Flooring Installation Tip: How Weather Affects Flooring

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

You may not realize it, but the inside of your home has its own “microclimate”. Whether it’s hot and muggy or cold and dry, the “weather” in your home affects how you feel. It also affects how your floors “feel”, too.

Flooring materials like ceramic tile or vinyl don’t care much about atmospheric changes inside your home. But carpet and wood-based flooring (solid wood, engineered wood, bamboo, cork, or laminate) physically change as temperatures and humidity inside your home vary. These materials will grow or shrink as the “weather” inside your home changes.

Before installation, carpet and wood-based flooring must be acclimated to normal living conditions in your home. Flooring manufacturers require that, before installation, their materials adjust to whatever are “normal” living conditions in your home. The acclimation period varies with the type of flooring you are installing.

Most carpet today is completely synthetic. The face fibers, carpet backings, and (more…)

Laminate Flooring Inspection: Glueless “Hardwood” Flooring

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

box of glueless hardwood flooring | Glenn Revere

As a Certified Flooring Inspector, I am asked by manufacturers, retailers, installers, and homeowners to inspect all types of flooring. These inspections cover all sorts of complaints: manufacturing related, installation related, site related — even buyer’s remorse. The inspection I’ll share today is “something else.”

A major manufacturer asked me to inspect one of their engineered wood floors. The complaint was “floor falling apart.” That potentially covers a wide range of problems, from bad manufacturing to homeowner abuse.

I scheduled the inspection with the end-user, a retired building contractor. The well maintained home was in (more…)

Carpet vs Wood Flooring: 6 Deciding Factors

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

50/50 photo of carpet and wood flooring

So you’ve decided to finally replace the floors in your home. Congratulations! Now, how do you decide if you want carpet, wood, or some of each? Both types of flooring have their pros and cons.

First, you have to understand the differences between solid wood and engineered wood flooring. (Laminate is a completely different type of floor.)

Solid wood is, as its name implies, a solid piece of one species of wood cut from a tree, usually 3/4” thick and 2”- 3” wide. It has been used in homes as flooring for hundreds of years. It is most often stained and sealed after it is installed in your home.

Engineered wood is a piece of plywood with (more…)

Know the Difference Between Wood Flooring Types

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

photo of wood flooring

Before I became a Certified Flooring Inspector, I did not realize that there are two types of wood flooring: solid wood and engineered wood floors. (Laminate is a hard surface type of flooring, but is not considered wood.)

Both types of wood flooring have certain things in common. Both can only be installed in an enclosed, temperature controlled environment. While wood flooring is not a living thing, it is (more…)

Caring for Wood Floors: How Your Home’s Indoor Environment Affects Wood Flooring

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

wood flooring

When you feel cold inside your home, you turn up the heat. If you have air conditioning, you turn it on when you feel hot. Did you ever think about how the living conditions inside your home affect your wood flooring? Most people don’t, but it is important. Here’s why.

While wood floors are made from”dead” trees, the flooring reacts to temperature and humidity changes inside your home as if it were alive. Your skin reacts to low humidity. So does wood flooring. High humidity and high temperatures affect your skin. These conditions also affect your wood floors. What is comfortable for you is also ideal (more…)

Flooring Inspection Safari: Swollen Laminate Seams

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

swollen flooring seams

If you have a wood or laminate floor in your home, you must be aware that water is not a friend of your floor. You should quickly clean up spills. You should use only a DAMP towel or cleaning pad when you maintain the floor. And you should absolutely NOT use any type of wet-jet or steam mop on these floors! The story that follows illustrates what happens when excess water meets a wood-based floor.

I looked at a laminate floor that had been sold for use on two floors in a townhome as a “commercial” quality by a big box store. The homeowner complained almost immediately that she saw “bubbling” along one seam near the kitchen in the dining area. She complained for the next two years that more and more seams showed this problem. The installers looked at the flooring and said that the “bubbling” (what we in the industry call swollen seams) was from (more…)