FAQ's for Surfaces
I need more cartons of a specific colour – where can I purchase it?
If you cannot get more cartons from your original retailer, contact our customer service department at 1-800-459-4409. We can look for other retailers in your area that carry the same product. There are no guarantees, however, and Quality Craft does not keep products in stock.
What is a Janka hardness rating?
Hardwood flooring is tested on the Janka hardness rating scale. The procedure measures the force needed to lodge a 0.444-inch steel ball into the wood species to a depth of half the ball’s diameter. The harder the species of wood is, the higher the rating will be.
Can I install hardwood flooring over concrete?
You can install hardwood flooring over concrete that has cured for at least 60 days prior to installation. It is crucial to avoid all direct contact between the concrete and the hardwood floor because the soil beneath the concrete can transmit humidity into the floor. You must install a moisture barrier. We also recommend installing a moisture-resistant wood subfloor over the moisture barrier, then installing the hardwood flooring.
What temperature and humidity levels do I need to maintain in my home?
Preferable temperature should be approximately 17–23 ˚C (62–73 ˚F) with a relative humidity of 35–55 percent. Humidity should never be able to drop below 30%, as this may cause gapping. We recommend using a humidifier during the winter, as wood and electrical heating tends to dry the air.
Will my hardwood flooring show colour variations?
Yes, hardwood flooring is made of natural wood, so it is a good idea to use planks from several different cartons when installing your floor.
How much hardwood flooring should I buy?
Multiply the length of the room by its width to get its area. Add 10% for waste during installation and for replacement repairs in the future. Divide the total area by the area in each carton to get the number of cartons that you need to purchase.
Do I need to use a moisture barrier?
Hardwood flooring requires a moisture barrier be laid down first to prevent any moisture from getting to the floor.
Which direction do I install hardwood flooring?
The preferred choice is to run hardwood planks from the main entrance of a home or room toward the opposite wall, or along the longest dimension of the room. You also need to install the planks perpendicular to the floor joists in a house with a plywood subfloor. Installing them parallel creates the possibility that the floor will sag between the joists and open gaps between the boards. If you prefer a layout that requires the boards to run parallel to the joists, you need to shore up the subfloor by adding a layer of 9.5 mm (3/8”) plywood.
What kind of sealant can I use?
Use any sealant that is specifically recommended for wood flooring.
What should I do if a plank is damaged?
Any damaged planks should be repaired by a professional installer.
How do I repair minor scratches or nicks?
For scratches, nicks and small chips, use color fill or flooring repair paste. Rub with steel wool or light sandpaper, rub in mineral spirits and let dry, fill, sand and apply varnish or polyurethane. For larger chips, you may consider replacing the entire plank.
How is hardwood flooring made?
Hardwood flooring is made of a wood backing with a wood wear surface, or solid wood, coated with several layers of aluminum oxide.
Where can I install hardwood flooring?
You can install hardwood flooring in almost any room that is above grade, with some exceptions, as long as it is installed over a 12.7 mm (½”) or thicker plywood subfloor. It is not recommended that you install hardwood in damp locations such as bathrooms, saunas, rooms with damp concrete, rooms with floor drains, rooms that could potentially flood or anywhere that may require wet mopping. Hardwood flooring is not suitable for below grade installations, such as in basements. See our FAQ on “Which Flooring Type is Right for Me?” to compare hardwood with engineered, laminate, vinyl and carpet tile flooring.197.76 KB
Can I install hardwood flooring over radiant heating?
No, hardwood flooring is not suitable for installation over radiant heating.
Can I install hardwood flooring if I have pets?
Hardwood flooring is not designed for the abuse a pet can cause and long claws can leave scratches in the finish. If you have pets, wee recommend keeping their nails well-trimmed.
Can I use throw rugs with hardwood flooring?
Yes, but certain precautions should be taken. Make sure all rugs are non-staining. Some dyes used in rugs may bleed through onto your floor and discolour the surface of the hardwood floor. Also, be sure the rug does not have a rough backing material that may scratch the surface of the floor. Clean dirt and debris from under the rug regularly and move the rug to different locations occasionally.
What should I do before installing hardwood flooring?
- Read all installation instructions included in your carton before you begin, as improper installation will void warranty.
- Inspect each plank carefully before installation. Hardwood is made from natural products and, therefore, may have natural defects – our floors are manufactured in accordance with industry standards, which tolerate up to 5% defect. Natural variations in colour, tone and graining should also be expected. The installer must be selective, and discard or cut off unsuitable pieces. The use of stain, filler, or putty to correct defects during installation is a normal procedure. Our warranties do not cover materials with visible defects once they are installed.
- Remove the planks from the cartons and let them acclimate in the room for 72 hours prior to installation.
- Gather your tools. You will need a circular saw, a hand saw, a power nailer, measuring tape, chalk line or spacers, a wax stick or putty, a mallet, a hammer, a nail punch, 7D or 8D nails, a pull bar and a tapping block. If installing over concrete, you must install a moisture barrier between the subfloor and the hardwood flooring.
- Subfloors must be carefully checked for moisture problems. Acceptable conditions are: less than 3 lbs./100 sq. ft./24 hrs. on calcium chloride test OR less than a reading of 5.0 on a Trames Concrete Moisture Encounter (moisture meter). To correct any subfloor problems concerning moisture, either wait until the subfloor dries to specifications or use an appropriate moisture barrier.
- Ensure your subfloor is even before installation. To check for evenness, hammer a nail into the center of the floor. Tie a string to the nail and push the knot against the floor. Pull the string tight to the farthest corner of the room and examine the floor at eye level for any gaps between the string and floor. Move the string around the perimeter of the room noting any gaps larger than 3 mm (1/8”). Any floor unevenness of more than 3 mm (1/8”) per 1 m (3’2”) must be sanded down or filled with an appropriate filler.
- Nail or screw any loose areas that may squeak and replace any damaged areas. Remove any existing baseboards or moldings.
- Clean the surface with broom or vacuum and ensure that it is dry and free of wax, grease, paint or other debris.
What happens if my first row of planks is not straight?
It is very important that your first row be absolutely straight as it is the foundation of your installation. If your first row is not properly aligned or joints are not sealed tightly, there may be gaps between the planks. This will allow residue or unwanted particles to get caught in the grooves and result in poor alignment. Do not continue to install your second row of planks if your first row is installed incorrectly.
How do I clean my hardwood flooring?
- Sweep, dust or vacuum your hardwood floors on a regular basis – once or twice a week. By performing a regular routine, you will remove tough spots, dirt and girt which may cause scratches or stains.
- Clean and remove spills as soon as they happen as excess water can damage the surface and seep into the seams of the flooring. Use a soft cloth or wet/dry vacuum to remove the spill, then dry the surface thoroughly.
- Your hardwood flooring should be cleaned periodically with a professional wood floor cleaning product recommended by a wood flooring professional.
- Do not use wet mops mixed with oil-soap detergent, water or any other cleaning material to wash your floor.
How do I make my hardwood flooring last?
- Use rugs and carpet runners in areas with high traffic. Make sure to clean and vacuum rugs thoroughly to keep dirt from filtering down and scratching the hardwood underneath.
- Use mats near sinks and dishwashers to protect the floor from spills and other kitchen mishaps.
- Attach felt pads or soft rubber casters to the bottom of furniture to protect against scrapes and scratches.
- Keep your pet’s nails trimmed regularly to avoid scratching.
- Use a humidifier in winter months to minimize gaps.
What causes gapping, cracking, cupping, squeaking and loose planks?
Gapping, cracking and cupping are usually caused by improper humidity levels. Be sure to maintain the recommended humidity levels. Squeaking and loose planks are often signs of inadequate nailing, installation over improper sub-floors or problems with the adhesive.
Will the colour of my floor change over time?
Most floors will change in colour over a period of time, but to what extent depends largely on the species of wood and where it is situated. If your floor is in a room where there is a lot of sunlight, then the colour change may be more noticeable.