Frequently Asked Questions

Can we install hardwood flooring if we have a dog or other indoor pets?

Yes, many hardwood floors are installed in homes with pets, however, a pet's claws may scratch the finish of wood flooring. Laminate flooring is much more resistant to scratches and claw marks. Also, pet damage to the flooring is not warranted by the manufacturers in most situations. Keep the pet's claws trimmed and clean up any messes immediately.  It is best not to put the pet's food or water bowl directly on your flooring, unless it's waterproof (and yes, we have waterproof options!).

What is the most durable hardwood floor available?

Most hardwood floors are treated with up to 10 coats of an aluminum oxide finish. While this certainly helps the durability of the floor, it is the hardness of the floor that will give the best indication of durability. Refer to the Janka Hardness rating for a true indication of hardness on selected species.

Is it safe to use hardwood flooring in a kitchen?

Use caution when installing hardwood flooring in a kitchen. A kitchen is prone to food and liquid spills which can raise the wood's grain or permanently stain or damage a hardwood floor's finish. Be sure to wipe up spills immediately with a dry, clean cloth.

Any of the waterproof lines we carry would be ideal in a kitchen. They look and feel like wood floors, but offer all the benefits of tile. Visit our Upland showroom to see samples!

Is a solid wood flooring better than an engineered wood floor?

No. The thicker and better quality engineered woods will last for years and years and can be refinished once or twice. Also, the technology and factory applied, UV-cured urethane finishes with melamine that are used today by hardwood flooring manufacturers makes a really tough, durable finish and is available on both engineered and solid wood floors. Engineered wood floors are also much more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood flooring so they can be used in many situations where solid wood is not recommended.

Can we install hard wood flooring over a concrete slab?

Engineered wood floors can be glued down or floated over a dry, clean, fully-cured concrete slab that is on or below grade. If moisture or humidity is very high at times of the year, perhaps a non-wood flooring option would be a better choice.  There are installation methods used by some hardwood installers to install a 3/4" solid wood floor over a concrete slab, which includes a vapor barrier and building up a wood subfloor on top of the concrete slab. This is not recommended by most hardwood manufacturers--and it also adds considerable cost to the project. Installing an engineered wood floor over a concrete slab would be preferable.  

Can we put hardwood flooring over an existing floor?

In some situations an engineered wood floor can be floated (or glued down) over the top of an existing floor. The existing flooring has to be fully adhered to the sub-floor and be compressed enough so there is no bounce. For example, it is possible to install over a low profile commercial type level loop carpet, or glued-down vinyl flooring or tile. Be sure to read the manufacturer's warranty to see if installing over an existing floor covering is covered under the warranty. Also, be sure the installer follows the manufacturer's recommended installation procedures.

My space is 1000 square feet, but we're being told to order 1100 square feet of material. Is that really necessary?

Yes. As a general rule, you should plan to order 10% more flooring than is needed for the installation.  Much of the material will be cut to fit the exact space, and once the boards are cut, they likely cannot be used elsewhere in the room because the end tongue or groove will have been removed. Once that happens, that board can no longer adjoin with another board, so there is some waste involved.  

You may need to order slightly more or less depending on the room. For example, if you need to work around stairs, a bay window, a fireplace, and a closet, you may need to have more than 10%, but if the room is square with no interruptions, less than 10% may work. When measuring your floor, we will be your best resource for helping you estimate the material that will be needed to complete the job.