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Flooring Questions & Answers

We get a lot of flooring questions. So here are a list of frequently asked questions and their answers pertaining to flooring.

Q: Should I install my new flooring before or after my new cabinets?
A: I like to install my new subfloor material then my cabinetry. Main reason is so I don't damage the new flooring and the second is to save some cost. If you are installing a thick flooring like hardwood then install the cabinets on a plywood that is equal to or slightly less than the thickness of the new flooring so that the counter still ends up close to the right distance off the floor.

Q: Can I install my laminate floating flooring tight to walls and other objects?
A: No, most manufactures recommend leaving a 1/4" - 1/2" space. Read your installation instructions.

Q: Laminate flooring or hardwood?
A: That is a very personal choice and a lot depends on budget as well. Laminate flooring tends to generally be cheaper but there are some real high end laminates that can break the bank as well. Pets can really play havoc with a new wood floor but most laminates have a very hard surface. Weigh the pros and cons for your household.

Q: How much of a stagger between the end joints should I leave in my laminate flooring from row to row?
A: Most manufactures recommend 8"-12".

Q: I want tile floors but they are usually so cold, how could I prevent that?
A: You could install an electric heat mat under them. They work really well whether you are doing a new home or reno.

Q: How wide should my grout line be?
A: It really depends on your taste but no less than 1/8" and no more than 3/8". I usually tell people to go a size smaller than they think they want as the lines can sometimes seem wider than what you pictured.

Q: How long after laying my tiles can I grout them?
A: It depends on what you used to lay them but generally 24 hours. Read your product instructions, it should tell you.

Q: How long do I wait before walking on my new tile floor?
A: Most floors can take light foot traffic after 12 hours of being laid and the same for after grouting. It's better to wait 24 if you can.

Q: Can I use hardwood in my bathroom?
A: I would not recommend it because of the moisture. Many vinyls offer a realistic wood patterns that would be better.

Q: On vinyl flooring can I just glue the perimeter?
A: Some do recommend that but I prefer to glue the whole area.

Q: Should I refinish my existing hardwoods or replace them?
A: If the existing ones are sound, not needing to much repair and are thick enough to sand, then I would refinish them. If they are less than 1/2" thick or are missing many planks and severely gouged, then you may want to replace them.

Q: How much of a stagger between the end joints should I leave in my hardwood from row to row?
A: 6" minimum.

Q: How long should I acclimatize my new hardwood before I install it?
A: Bring the boxes into the room they will be installed for at least 2-4 days before installing.

Q: Can I install hardwood on my concrete slab floor?
A: I would only install engineered hardwoods over a stable concrete floor that has a low moisture content because of its plywood type construction it is much more stable.

Q: Solid hardwood VS. engineered hardwood?
A: Engineered hardwood is a much more stable product and many are refinshable more than once if need be. 3/4" solid hardwood is refinishable many many times so they may be more desirable in high traffic areas. Both can be purchased either unfinished or prefinished in a variety of colors.

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