All About Engineered Wood Floors

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					All About Engineered Wood Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Janka Wood Hardness Rating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Solid vs. Engineered Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Color Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .        5
Wood Flooring Species Hardness Rating . . . . . . .                              8

Before Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Recommended Subfloor Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Calcium Chloride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Gapping (Cracks), Cupping, Warping, Checking . . 14
Preventing Cracks in New Wood Floors . . . . . . . . . 15

Cracks in Hardwood Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Cupping and Crowning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Spiked High Heels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Floor Care and Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Mannington Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Anderson Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

FAQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
                All About Engineered Wood Floors

                               FROM TREE TO LUMBER
Logs are cut from the main stem of the tree between the root butt and the first branch. A
cross section of a log depicts the many variables in the grain, which make each floor
unique. Tree rings often tell a story. A year of poor rainfall is indicated by narrow annual
rings. Water, which makes up 50% of a living tree, carries up to 27 different minerals,
causing multiple color variations within any specific tree. The mineral streaks, irregular
shape of the growth rings, and lumber cutting system chosen will also affect the
appearance of the wood floor.
Proper harvesting and replanting are very important, but intelligent processing of the log
and reduction of waste are also key issues. Knife-cut technology. It reduces log waste
up to 50% when compared to sawn or solid-lumber floors. Today, in Europe, thick, solid-
lumber floors are nearly extinct. Thin, lumber-engineered (multi-ply) floors now make up
15% of certain countries’ total floor covering purchases.
In North America, you will find the cost of a board foot (1 x 1 x 12 inches) in engineered
flooring is more than with solid-lumber floors. But consider the additional labor,
technology, and adhesive used in construction of engineered flooring. And when you
see how engineered flooring stretches timber resources and designs-out most
weaknesses of old-fashioned solid floors, it certainly is the best investment in hard-
surface flooring – no matter the cost – for any home or office.

                    Engineered wood floors - How are they made?

Engineered wood floors are built having multiple thin ply layers (see picture below) that
are glued together. The inner cores are generally either a hardwood and/or soft plywood
type of material, which incorporates the tongue and groove system. The top thicker
hardwood veneer wear layer is glued on top surface of the core and is available in
almost any hardwood


There are some engineered wood flooring manufactures that allow their flooring to be
floated as well as glued down. Their boards generally range in width f rom 3 to 5 inches
and up to 48 inches long.

Engineered wood floors are slightly more resistant to higher moisture levels than solid
wood flooring, which adds to their appeal to use in damp basements, or in tropical
regions of the country. Engineered flooring can be direct glued-down over a concrete
slab above or below grade, or stapled down over a wood subfloor. Engineered flooring
can be installed on any grade level.

Engineered wood floors come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood
species. Some brands of engineered flooring have a thin wear layer that can only be re-
coated and cannot be sanded and refinished new again once they get worn. They have
an average lifespan of between 30 - 40 years depending on traffic.
Engineered wood floors are also manufactured two ways, one having a more expensive
Sliced cut where the hardwood wear layer is sawn like regular lumber this shows truer
look of the wood and finer graining.

Engineered wood floors can also be Rotary cut, which the veneer hardwood wear layer
is peeled off the log using big lathes. This peeling method shows dramatic wilder

Some engineered wood floors have a very thick wear layer. These floors can be sanded
and refinished new again, up to 4-5 times if needed, which adds to their appeal. These
thicker wear layers should last 60 - 100 years before needing replacement depending
on the amount of wear and tear the floor will get.

                          Janka Wood Hardness Rating

The Janka test measures the force required to embed a 11.28 millimeter (.444 inch)
steel ball into wood to half its diameter. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a
wood species to withstand denting and wear. It is also a good indicator of how hard a
species is to saw or nail.
The hardness of wood usually varies with the direction of the wood grain. If testing is
done on the surface of a plank, the test is said to be of "side hardness." Testing the cut
surface of a stump would be called a test of "end hardness."
The results are stated in various ways, which can lead to confusion, especially when the
name of the actual units employed is often not attached. In the United States, the
measurement is in pound-force. In Sweden it is in kilogram-force (kgf), and in Australia,
either in newtons (N) or kilonewtons (kN). Sometimes the results are treated as units,
e.g., "660 Janka."
Douglas Fir, a relatively soft wood, has a Janka hardness rating of 660 (using pound -
force). Brazilian cherry, a very hard wood, has a rating of 2350 (also using pound-force).
A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable
for use as flooring.

                             Solid vs. Engineered Wood
Many people believe that hardwood and solid wood are synonymous. They 're not. If you're hearing the
term engineered wood for the first time, you most likely think that it is somehow inferior to soli d wood.
That's not necessarily true.

Solid wood is milled from one solid ¾" piece of wood. Solid hardwood floors expand and contract more
than engineered woods and are particularly susceptible to moisture. As the wood expands and contracts,
it may buckle or it may leave gaps. Two common methods of counteracting these gaps include beveled
edges and leaving ex pansion gaps—gaps bet ween the wood and the wall—hidden by the base molding.

You'll find most of the popular wood species, such as oak, maple, cherry and others available in
engineered wood. Sometimes called pressed wood, engineered wood comes in 3-ply or 5-ply versions—
three or five bonded layers of wood. Engineered wood floors succumb to little, if any expansion and
contraction and are perfectly suited for rooms susceptible to moisture. If you want wood floors in the
bathroom, the kitchen or in any room where moisture accumulates, consider engineered wood for its
greater stability. If you plan to lay a wood floor directly over concrete, you must install engineered wood to
maintain structural integrity.

                                COLOR PROPERTIES
 This chart describes the Color Range to be found in each wood, as well as advise what
 degree of color change to expect in a wood. This change is from when the wood is
 freshly milled/sanded/ installed to where the color stabilizes over the next year.


 Color Variability #1 - the range of color to be found in a species: 1 = very uniform in
 color, 2 = medium range of color variability, 3 = wide range of color variability, 4 =
 extreme range of color variability. U = unknown so far - need more

 Color Fastness #2 - the change in color to be expected in a species as it ages, either
 from exposure to sun or as it oxidizes over time even in the absence of sunlight. 1 =
 little color change, 2 = medium degree of color change, 3 = large degree of color
 change, 4 = extreme color change. U = unknown so far - need more

                          Domestic Species - to North America
  Flooring Trade   Color Variability   Color Fa stne ss                   Color Change
      Name                #1                 #2                                 #3
                                                          slight change from a straw color ambering
Ash, White                4.0                2.0
                                                          to a more golden color
Cherry, N.                3.0                4.0          pronounced dark ening from pink to a dark red
Maple, N.                                                  slight ambering from a cream/whit e to a more
                          4.0                2.0
American                                                                   golden cream
                                                           slight ambering from a pinkish tan brown over
Oak, Red                  2.0                2.0
                                                          slight muting of color variation to straw/medium
Oak, White                3.0                2.0
                                                          medium change from a dark brown ambering to
Walnut, N.                3.0                3.0            a more golden brown & muting of the color
American                                                                    variation
Imported Species - to North America
Flooring Trade     Color Variability   Color Fa stne ss                   Color Change
Name                      #1                 #2                                 #3
                                                          pronounced dark ening from a golden brown to
Afrormosia                1.0                3.0
                                                                     a uniform medium brown
                                                          will mute and become a more uniform, darker
Amendoim                                                    tan-brown with reddish highlights over time
                                                          medium change of muting of the varied browns
Angelique                 2.5                2.0             to a medium/ dark brown wit h golden cross
                                                                            grain tones

Ash, Silky                                                  ages to a slightly darker tan color over time

Ash, Victorian
                                                           slight muting of the varied straw/tans ambering
(Oak,                      3.0                2.0
                                                                               over time
Beech,                                                     slight muting of the orangey tan and ambering
                           2.0                2.0
European                                                                      over time

Bloodwood                  3.0                2.5                  medium dark ening to deep red

Brushbox,                                                  slight muting of color variation and dark ening to
                           2.0                 U
Northern                                                                     a deep brown
                                                            medium degree of darkening from pink/rose
Bubinga                    1.0                2.0
                                                                    color to a burgundy red

Cherry, Bolivian                                                      darkens slightly over time

                                                           pronounced dark ening from tan/salmon color to
Cherry, Brazilian          3.0                4.0
                                                                       deep reddish brown
Cherry,                                                    medium degree of muting of the color variation
Caribbean                  3.0                2.0          and darkening of the lighter pieces to reddish
(Mayan/Aztec)                                                                 brown
                                                           medium degree of color change, first dark ening
Cherry, Chilean                                               to a medium pinkish-red color and then
                                                                        ambering slightly

Chestnut                                                   ambers over time to a medium tan/ brown color

Chestnut,                                                    medium degree of darkening from a golden
                           2.5                2.5
Southern                                                        brown to a uniform medium brown
Cypress,                                                    slight muting of the color range and ambering
                           4.0                2.0
Australian                                                                     over time
                                                             pronounced dark ening from a light orangey
Doussie                    2.5                3.0
                                                                brown to a deeper mahogany color
Gum, Sydney                3.0                2.5
                                                              slight muting of the colors over time and
Blue                                                            darkening to a medium brownish red
                                                           pronounced dark ening from a golden color to a
Iroko/Kambala              2.0                3.5
                                                                        medium brown color
                                                            undergoes a medium degree of color change
Jarrah                                                        over time by muting to a medium to dark
                                                                      burgundy-red as it ages
                                                             medium degree of muting of the colors over
Kempas                     3.0                 U
                                                           time and darkening to a medium brownish red
                                                             medium degree of darkening over time to a
Lacewood                   2.5                 U
                                                                     medium orangey brown
Flooring Trade      Color Variability   Color Fa stne ss                    Color Change
Name                       #1                 #2                                  #3

Mahogany.                                                     pronounced dark ening from light orangey
                           2.5                3.5
Honduran                                                           brown to deep mahogany color
Mahogany,                                                       medium degree of darkening to deep
                           2.5                2.5
Royal                                                                   mahogany color

Mahogany,                  2.5                2.0             slight muting of the color range over time
Maple,                     2.0                2.0
                                                             slight ambering over time to a more golden
Patagonian                                                                  cream color
                                                           medium degree of muting of the color variation
Merbau                      3.0                2.5
                                                             and darkening over time to deeper brown
                                                           pronounced dark ening from a vivid orange to a
Padauk, African             2.0                4.0
                                                                             red/black color
                                                             over time, will amber to a darker yellow-tan
Pine, Heart                                                                       color
                                                            pronounced change from a brown when fresh
Purpleheart                 3.0                4.0           sanded to purple in days back to a purplish
                                                                            brown over time
Rosewood,                                                 medium degree of lightening of the brown color
                            4.0                3.5
Bolivian                                                        and muting of the color variation

Rosewood,                                                  medium degree of muting of the color variation
                            4.0                2.5
Caribbean                                                           and darkening over time

Rosewood,                   4.0                3.0
                                                           pronounced change from a purplish burgundy
Honduran                                                              color to a tan brown
Rosewood,                                                    medium color change from a pink red to a
                            4.0                4.0
Patagonian                                                  deeper red with muting of the color variation
                                                             medium color change from a pink red to a
Rosewood, Tiete             3.0                 U
                                                            deeper red with muting of the color variation
                                                             medium change from a golden brown to a
Shedua/Mutenye              3.0                2.5
                                                               darker brown under the black striping
                                                           pronounced dark ening from a tan salmon color
Tamarind                    2.0                3.0
                                                                      to a darker reddish brown
                                                             slight muting of the color variation w/lighter
Teak, Brazilian             3.5                2.5
                                                                     pieces darkening over time
                                                            pronounced color change from fresh sanded,
Teak, True                  3.0                4.0          darkening to a golden brown with substantial
                                                                 muting of the color range over time.
                                                          pronounced dark ening of the background under
Tigerwood                   4.0                3.0           the stripes from an orangey tan to a deep
                                                                            reddish brown
                                                            medium degree of muting of the color range
Walnut, Brazilian           3.5                3.0        and darkening from a greenish brown to a deep
                                                            medium degree of muting of the color range
Caribbean                   3.5                3.0
                                                                  darkening to a medium brown
                                                            medium degree of muting of the color range
Walnut,                     3.0                3.0           darkening from a gold/greenish color to a
Patagonian                                                                medium brown
                                                            medium degree of muting of the color range
Walnut, Peruvian            2.0                2.0
                                                                    darkening to a dark brown
                                                            pronounced dark ening from a yellow brown
Wenge                       1.0                3.0
                                                           when fresh milled to a chocolat e/black brown
                                                           medium degree of ambering and darkening of
Zebrawood                   4.0                2.5          the straw/tan background into a gold/brown
                                                                          with dark striping

 http://www. Technical_Info/Species_Tech_Info/Color_Properties.htm

                     Wood Flooring Species
Wood Flooring Species                        Hardness

Ipe / Brazilian Walnut / Lapacho               3684

Cumaru / Brazilian Teak                        3540

Ebony                                          3220

Brazilian Redwood / Paraju                     3190

Angelim Pedra                                  3040

Bloodwood                                      2900

Red Mahogany, Turpentine                       2697

Spotted Gum                                    2473

Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba                      2350

Mesquite                                       2345

Santos Mahogany, Bocote, Cabreuva              2200

Pradoo                                         2170

Brushbox                                       2135

Karri                                          2030

Sydney Blue Gum                                2023

Bubinga                                        1980

Cameron                                        1940

Tallowwood                                     1933

Merbau                                         1925

Amendoim                                       1912

Jarrah                                         1910

Purpleheart                                    1860

Goncalo Alves / Tigerwood                      1850

Hickory / Pecan, Satinwood                     1820

Afzelia / Doussie                              1810

Bangkirai                                      1798

Rosewood                                  1780

African Padauk                            1725

Blackwood                                 1720

Merbau                                    1712

Kempas                                    1710

Locust                                    1700

Highland Beech                            1686

Wenge, Red Pine                           1630

Tualang                                   1624

Zebrawood                                 1575

True Pine, Timborana                      1570

Peroba                                    1557

Kambala                                   1540

Sapele / Sapelli                          1510

Curupixa                                  1490

Sweet Birch                               1470

Hard Maple / Sugar Maple                  1450

Coffee Bean                               1390

Natural Bamboo (represents one species)   1380

Australian Cypress                        1375

White Oak                                 1360

Tasmanian Oak                             1350

Ribbon Gum                                1349

Ash (White)                               1320

American Beech                            1300

Red Oak (Northern)                        1290

Carribean Heart Pine                      1280

Yellow Birch                              1260

Movingui                                  1230

Heart Pine                                            1225

Carbonized Bamboo (represents one species)            1180

Cocobolo                                              1136

Brazilian Eucalyptus / Rose Gum                       1125

Makore                                                1100

Boreal                                                1023

Black Walnut                                          1010

Teak                                                  1000

Sakura                                                995

Black Cherry, Imbuia                                  950

Boire                                                 940

Paper Birch                                           910

Cedar                                                 900

Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf)                       870

Lacewood, Leopardwood                                 840

Parana                                                780

Sycamore                                              770

Shedua                                                710

Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly and Shortleaf)         690

Douglas Fir                                           660

Larch                                                 590

Chestnut                                              540

Hemlock                                               500

White Pine                                            420

Basswood                                              410

Eastern White Pine                                    380
              Before Installation please review our
                  12-Point Moisture Checklist
                                 Outside the Home
1. Check the overhang of the eaves on the house. Is all rain water funneled away from
the foundation?
2. Check the gutters and down spouts. Is all rain water properly exhausted away from
the foundation (minimum 10 feet)?
3. Check the natural slope of the terrain surrounding the home. Will normal rainfall flood
the foundation (at least a 5% grade or 6 -inch fall in 10 feet)?
4. Are there raised flower beds or planter boxes adjoining the home’s foundation? (If so,
a special moisture membrane has to be installed by the landscaper.)
5. Is there an outdoor pool or body of water elevated above the level of the home’s
foundation that can overflow or leak into the home’s foundation?
6. If the home has a crawl space, do the perimeter vents through the foundation open to
allow proper cross ventilation? (Opening area sho uld equal 1.5% of the square foot area
within the crawl space.)
                                      Inside the Home
7. Is there a sense of damp, moist, or stagnant air when entering the home? Are the
heating and air-conditioning systems operational? Temperatures of the sub -floor,
adhesives, and flooring should be above 60oF (16oC) during installation.
8. Do outside doors adjoining patios appear properly caulked and weatherproofed?
9. Is the slab known to contain a 6-mil poly moisture barrier or equal?
10. Is the soil within the crawl space properly covered with 6-mil polyfilm moisture
11. Is the moisture level and alkalinity in the concrete slab suitable for installation?
Conduct a moisture test on concrete that is on-or below-grade prior to installation.
12. Are all major appliances properly vented to release warm, moist air where it can do
no harm? Visually inspect plumbing in the area where the flooring is to be installed.
For more details consult Western Floor Covering Association’s moisture guidelines for
floor covering.
Call 1-800-624-6880

        Ensuring that moisture does not cause failure of your installation:

1. Open and shut all windows and doors to make sure they operate correctly and can be
sealed tightly. All casings must be properly caulked and be weather-tight so no open
gaps exist.
2. Make sure gutters and down spouts are properly sized and clear of leaves.
3. Vent systems for crawl spaces must be protected from flooding. The vent opening
area must equal 1.5% of the total square foot area within the crawl space.
4. Visually i nspect plumbing, such as outdoor sprinkler heads, making sure the building
foundation is dry. Inspect major appliances for water tightness and check the water
supply line to the ice maker to check for any leaks.
5. Check the natural slope of the terrain surrounding the home. Will normal rainfall drain
away from the foundation?
6.Dry under layment (wood sub-floors) must not exceed a reading of 13% on a wood
moisture meter. (Delmhorst Instrument Co., 51 Indian Lane East, NJ0708, J-Series
Wood Moisture Meter) Telephone: 800-222-0683, Fax: 973-334-2657. Wet lumber will
shrink, resulting in loose (and squeaky) flooring planks. Fir or pine will swell or shrink
0.0026 inches (per inch) for each percentage of moisture gained or lost.
7. For determining the moisture level in concrete sub-floors, we recognize the calcium
chloride test method. This test measures the quantity of moisture passing through
concrete. The calcium chloride test requires a minimum of three days to obtain accurate
results. Three pounds or less is considered acceptable for most floor coverings. For
moisture and alkali prevention.
8. Know the humidity level in the environment where the flooring will be installed.
Humidity should be balanced at between 35% to 55% RH. Damper or drier indoor
conditions will cause squeaks, cracking, or checking within the finished plank and other
signs of early aging.
9. Grade level is not a concern if all conditions for a proper installation are satisfied.
Wood flooring may be installed on, above, or below grade (basement installations are

                 Recommended Subfloor Surfaces
Minimum Subflooring - 5/8‖ (19/32, 15.1mm) CDX Plywood subfloor/ underlayment
(Exposure 1), 4’x8’ sheets, maximum 16‖ on center joist construction.

                                  Concrete subfloors:

Concrete slabs should be of high compressive strength and constructed to prevent
groundwater from permeating the concrete. Engineered hardwood flooring can be
installed on, above, or below-grade. In addition, it can be installed over above -ground,
suspended concrete floors. The suspended concrete must be a minimum of 1 1/2
inches thick and must be structurally sound. The exception to this is lightweight
concrete (which usually contains high amounts of gypsum) having a density of 100
pounds or less per cubic foot. Test for lightweight concrete by using a nail to scratch the
surface of the concrete. If the concrete crumbles or turns to powder, it is not sound and
you should NOT install the hardwood flooring. Use the floating installation method
(products 3‖ or wider) only for lightweight concrete subfloors.

                                    Wood Subfloors:

Preferred Subflooring ¾‖ (23/32‖, 18.3 mm) CDX grade Plywood subfloor/
underlayment, 4’x8’ sheets or ¾‖ (23/32‖, 18.3mm) OSB subfloor/ underlayment grade,
PS2 rated, sealed side down, with joist spacing of 19.2‖ (475) on center or less.
Follow panel manufacturer’s recommendations for spacing and fastening. Typical panel
spacing and fastening for joist systems, 1/8‖ (3.2mm) around perimeter and fastened
every 6‖ (150mm) on bearing edges and every 12‖(300mm)along intermediate supports.
Installation of flooring should not be made over joists spacing greater than 19.2 on
center or parallel to the joists unless the subfloor has been properly strengthened,
applying a second layer of underlayment may be necessary to bring the overall subfloor
thickness to 1-1/8‖.
        • Test the moisture content of the wood subfloor and wood flooring with a pin
        type moisture meter. Wood subfloors must not exceed 13% and the wood
        flooring should be within 4% of the wood subfloor.
        • For existing wood floors install new flooring at right angles to the existing
        • Do not glue, staple, or nail down hardwood flooring over particle board, floating
        application is acceptable (products 3‖ or wider).
        • Do not install over existing glue down hardwood floors.

                               Calcium Chloride

The calcium chloride vapor emission test was developed over 40 years ago to quantify
the volume of water vapor radiating from a concrete slab surface over time. This test is
directly specified by the vast majority of the Floor Covering Industry as the primary
measure of moisture acceptability for floor covering installation.

Use this test to model the amount of moisture that emits from 1,000 square feet of slab
surface in 24 hours. The result is expressed as "pounds" which is the equivalent weight
of water, emitted as vapor, over 1,000 square feet in 24 hours. Use this result to
compare to Manufacturer's specifications for floor covering or coating tolerances.
Always reference a copy of the Manufacturer's specifications when reporting results
using this test.

This test requires the use of a gram-weight scale with a gradation of 1/10th (0.1) gram.
The calcium chloride container is weighed before and after exposure to the concrete
slab. It is highly recommended that the test be weighed prior to, and directly after
exposure on the same scale. This is a very sensitive and highly accurate test when
conducted properly. Differences between two scales and extended time between
weighing can offset the test result.

DO NOT conduct this test unless the building environment is representative of the
actual working climate. While the test can measure moisture in a wide range of building
climates, the results are only meaningful when conducted in a similar building
environment as the finished floor system. Obtaining meaningful results is only possible
when tests are conducted in a representative interior climate.

Gapping (Cracks), Cupping, Warping, Checking.
It is important to note that almost all movement in a wood floor is due to moisture and
that movement will happen in all wood floors. Therefore, the more constant the moisture
content is maintained, the less likely there will be any problems with the floor. Gaps
between the boards and checks (cracks in the board) are a result of the moisture
content being too low. Warping or cupping is the result of the moisture content being too
high or uneven. In either case, it is usually a result of not allowing the wood to adjust to
its environment before it is installed.

Surface C hecking - Occasional cracks or checks in the surface of wood due to low relative
humidity (dryness) are inherent in all wood products. Some species of wood are more
susceptible to this phenomenon than others. Surface checking is defined as cracks in the
face of the floor, which are visible from a standing position in more than 10% of the floor.
Wet mopping and/or installation over a radiant heat ed slab will aggravate surface checking. m

Cupping, or "washboard"- Across the width of one piece of the flooring material, the
edges are high, the center is lower. Generally develops gradually.
       CAUSE:
Moisture imbalance through the thickness is the only cause. The material was
manufactured flat and was flat when installed. Job site or occupant provided moisture is
greater on the bottom of the piece than on the top. Find the source of moisture and
eliminate it. Common moisture sources and their corrections are:
Airborne Relative Humidity– dehumidify air space or– humidify air space during the
heating season
Wet basement – ventilate, dehumidify
Crawlspace – total groundcover with black plastic 6 mil; vents; add exhaust fan on timer
Rain handling provisions – correct to drain away from house
Reduce excessive lawn & garden moisture, waterproof foundation
Repair leaks, i.e. plumbing, roof, doors
Don’t hose patio
In kitchen, the dishwasher and icemaker are notorious leakers
Expansion is also the result of site moisture and may have moved the floor tight to
vertical surfaces. If so, remove flooring along the wall, or saw cut, to relieve pressure.
Allow time for the corrections to take effect – to permit the floor to improve on its own. It
may become acceptable. After stabilized, sand flat and finish.

Warping -Warping will occur if the floor repeatedly becomes wet or is thoroughly
soaked even once. Slight warping in the area of heat vents or heat-producing
appliances is also typical.

             Preventing Cracks in New Wood Floors

                               CRACKS IN THE MAKING

At the time flooring is delivered, usually the plastering has been finished, most of the
trim is up, and the windows and exterior doors have been fitted and are in place.

Sometimes the flooring is delivered on a damp day or even during rain, so that the
exposed boards and ends of others in the bundles absorb more or less moisture. If laid
in this condition, the flooring will shrink a few months later and show cracks.

Very bad results may also be expected if the flooring is laid or even stored inside the
house before plaster or masonry of the walls has had time to dry thoroughly. Moisture
evaporates from damp walls into the air within the house. Then some of it will be
absorbed by the flooring. It is prudent to accept a delay in completion rather than to
have the floor laid while the walls are still damp and thus risk unsatisfactory results.

Another condition that causes flooring to pick up moisture during construction, is less
obvious but more common. Between the time the floor is laid and the house occupied,
the general temperatures within the house both day and night are likely to be lower and
the humidities higher than they would be if the house were occupied. At this stage, the
house should be heated to keep relative humidity low enough to avoid absorption of
moisture by the wood.

                                  COMPRESSION SET

If several days of damp weather occur immediately after the floor is laid and befo re the
finish such as varnish, shellac, or floor seal can be applied, the moisture content of the
floor is likely to increase greatly. Absorption of moisture is much slower after a floor has
received even the first coat of its finish.

Even moderate absorption of moisture from the air can cause boards to press against
one another as they swell. Heavy pressure of this sort can result in some crushing of
wood fiber.

Technically known as compression set, this crushing is the common cause of floor
cracks. A relatively narrow margin of each board has to take the brunt of the
compression, though the whole board takes up some of it. After a board has once been
compressed this way, it never completely recovers.

When the flooring loses moisture after the house is occupied, each board shrinks away
from its neighbors. The width of the crack is roughly equal to the amount of crushing, or
"set," the board underwent while at the higher moisture content. The drying and
shrinkage are most likely to occur during the winter when the house is heated. The
average humidity is then lower than it was during the construction period.

Any subsequent pressure contact between the boards as a result of moisture changes
will increase the compression set, and the width of the cracks, when the wood again
dries out. Such pressure may occur during a period when the house is unoccupied or
unheated for several weeks during cold or damp weather. Foreign matter in the cracks
adds to the pressure. A kitchen floor of exposed boards, in which repeated scrubbings

cause the cracks to grow wider and wider as the floor grows older, shows the effects of
a series of compression sets.

                          HOW TO PREVENT FLOOR CRACKS

The cure for cracks in a floor lies wholly in preventing them. See to it that the floor is put
down dry, and then see that compression set does not occur afterwards.

Assure yourself that the dealer has properly protected the stock while it was in his
Do not allow it to be delivered on a rainy day.
Make sure that the plaster or masonry walls are dry before the flooring is delivered.
Discard all badly crooked boards or use them in inconspicuous places. Cutting them to
shorter lengths helps lessen the crook in each piece.
Most important, prevent moisture absorption by the flooring after it is delivered to the

 Air humidity can be lowered, and flooring kept dry, by maintaining some heat in the
house from the time the workmen leave until they return on the next workday, even
during warm summer weather. Whenever possible, the heating plant should be installed
before the interior trim goes in, so as to be available for supplying the necessary heat.
Otherwise, a temporary heating stove should be used. It is good practice to open the
bundles and spread the flooring out so that all surfaces are exposed to the air for at
least 4 days. This allows time for the flooring to reach a moisture equilibrium with the air
in the heated house before it is laid. The temperature inside the house should be
maintained at least 15° F. above outdoor temperatures and should not be allowed to
cool below about 70° F. during the summer or 62° to 65° F. when the outdoor
temperatures are below freezing. Temperatures a little higher than this will do no harm,
but severe overheating must be avoided. After the floor receives its protective coat of
finish, temperatures should be kept approximately the same as they will be when the
house is occupied. Very little heat, of course, is required in warm, dry weather, but
spells of damp or cool weather are likely to occur in any month of the year.

The recommended temperature conditions will tend to reduce the hazard of
carelessness in the preliminary seasoning or storage of the flooring after manufacture.

Another important reason for keeping down moisture in a house nearing completion is
that better and smoother floors are obtained with mechanical sanders when the floor
and the atmosphere are dry. Furthermore, protecting the flooring in this way also give
protection for other interior woodwork and finish, such as doors, trim, and cabinets.

(From US Dept. Agriculture Leaflet No. 56) htm

                       Cracks in Hardwood Floors

                          Cracks Between Boards -- Causes

Cracks are the most common cause of complaints on wood floors, and this problem in
recent years has been exacerbated by pastel nd white (or pickled/bleached) finish
colors, which tend to make normal cracks appear much larger than when earth-tone or
natural finishes are used.

It is normal for the interior of homes to become dry during heating seasons, for obvious
reasons. Under this circumstance wood floors also dry out and shrink slightly. Properly
made and properly installed wood floors should be expected to have "hairline cracks"
between boards in dry months in most areas of North America. Depending on the width
of the boards (or parquet members) used, the size of the room and the severity and
duration of low outside tempera tures (and hence the intensity of heating), the term
"hairline cracks" can have various interpretations.

Generally, "hairline cracks" can be considered to be normal if, in strips 2-1/4" wide or

They close up during non-heating months, and
They are not wider than the thickness of a dime in some locations, and vary from the
thickness of a piece of stationery in most areas to scattered larger cracks up to the
thickness of a dime.

 Plank or strip floors sometimes "panelize" due to movement of underfloor construction,
or if the finish cements individual boards into panels, so that all the shrinkage is
concentrated into only a few cracks, with other joints remaining tight together. In this
event, the cracks that do appear will be considerably wider than the thickness of a dime.

Plank floors, because wider widths can shrink (or expand) individually 2 or more times
as much as 2 1/4" strip flooring. Cracks that result can therefore be much larger than in
strip, and still be normal. If the floor expands so that cracks disappear in high humidity
seasons, it should be considered normal.


When the complaint is cracks between boards, the moisture content of flooring will
normally be quite low. This will no doubt be the case also of the subfloor and joists,
although the problem may have been caused by a very moist environment at some
earlier point.

Energy-conscious home buyers have, in recent years, demanded building practices
sometimes detrimental to wood building components. Vapor retarders, ostensibly made
to prevent warm or cool air loss, also seal in the new home's moisture. Literally
hundreds of gallons of water used in concrete, masonry, thin-set tile mortal, plaster and
many other building components evaporate into the home's interior and take far too long
leaving it, thanks to vapor retarders. This will often cause wood flooring to expand
before or soon after installation. When this happens, the strips, planks or parquet units
close on one another, and if the pressure is sufficient, will literally move sideways, or
cause them to crush against one another.

Then, usually when the dry (or heating) season arrives, the total moisture environment
changes, and the flooring and underfloor structure will dry out. If the earlier moisture
absorption was great enough, the drying season will produce abnormal cracks. And if
henceforth the environment remains normal, the cracks will probably never close
completely in humid months.

MOISTURE CONTENT -- 6% to 9% average of readings.

MEASUREMENT CHARACTERISTICS. First, using the 2-1/4" strip as our example, it
is practically impossible to install a set of twenty 2-1/4" strips tight enough to span only
45". The actual total will be about 45-1/8" or more, even when every strip measures
exactly 2-1/4" when installed.

If the flooring was either too moist when installed and was slightly oversized, or went
through an expansion after installation, the span will be well over 45-1/8", and re-dried
individual boards will now measure very close to 2-1/4". The difference will show up in
cracks. And individual boards will often be crushed so their actual width is perhaps 1/32"
less than the original manufactured width.

Plank flooring will have all the characteristics described for strip flooring except that
under identical circumstances plank will exhibit more movement per board, hence larger
cracks. Wide planks are also more likely to be cupped -- a slight amount being normal.

Inadequate nail spacing -- recommended at 10" spacing for strip flooring on 5/8" or
thicker plywood and 8" for plank and on 1/2" plywood (with a nail into each joist and one
between) -- can also contribute to cracks. Inadequately nailed flooring has more
opportunity to move under pressure, and since each piece stays in the new location
caused by side wise movement, cracks are the result.

Squeaky floors are another indication of floor movement after installation, especially if
the subfloor is boards or plywood. Sufficient side movement will loosen nails slightly,
resulting in squeaks when foot traffic puts pressure on the floors.


There are several other reasons for cracks in floors, and these have little relationship to
jobsite moisture problems. Some are:

Foundation settlement. When outside walls settle -- or the center supports under
 the house's center beam -- the area of the floor actually stretches, causing cracks over
 joints in plywood subfloors. This can be detected in foundation walls (See Inspection
 Procedures) or by checking the levelness of the floors.
Over-drying above forced air heating ducts. If the cracks are restricted to
hallways or other areas above heating plants, etc., check for insulation (See NOFMA
"Installing Hardwood Flooring" for correct insulation techniques).
Improper subfloor materials. Nail-holding capability is an imperative consideration
in floor installation. If the subfloor does not hold nails, cracks can occur from less -than-
abnormal moisture absorption or heavy traffic.

Either kiln-dried boards of NO. 1 or NO. 2 Common Pine or other dense, Group 1
Softwoods or exterior plywood are suitable subfloor materials for nail down strip or plank
floors. If plywood, 5/8" (19/32") or 3/4" (23/32") performance rated products are
preferred. Also, 3/4" (23/32") OSB is a comparable substrate.

When parquet is the chosen floor the subfloor should be either SE plywood, preferably
5/8" thick or heavier, or boards. Either should have an underlayment of 1/4" or heavier
plywood (offsetting seams or on a diagonal) nailed in 4" grids to the subfloor.

Wood-fiber composition panels, commonly referred to as fiberboard, OWB (Oriented
Wafer Board), particle board, or others, are widely considered to be unsatisfactory
subfloors or underlayment for any type of hardwood flooring.

According to test results currently available, these types of composition panels expand
from moisture, like most any wood product, but do not shrink appreciably when the
moisture dries out. In this process, according to one maker's tests, they lose nail
retention power. Hardwood floors depend on lasting nail retention in the subfloor in
order to perform well over the life of a home -- perhaps 100 years or more. Inadequate
nail-holding characteristics should be avoided at all costs.

Heavy vehicular movement, such as fork lifts or truck in public buildings, factories and
commercial buildings. Flooring installed for normal foot traffic often cannot support
heavy loadings without shifting.

Regardless of what moisture environme nt a floor has been exposed to, or exists when
inspected, removal and replacement of a wood floor to alleviate cracks is usually both
unnecessary and self-defeating. New flooring material which has not acclimated to the
home's environment is likely to have a different moisture content than is required to
remain stable in the home. Handling, storage and shipment of hardwood flooring often
exposes it to periods of high humidity, higher, at least, than floors already in place
during heating months when the question of replacement is most likely to arise.

All parties involved are usually well advised to leave the offending floor in place and
effect repairs if possible. Once an existing floor has been acclimated to a home's
environment, it is far more likely to remain stable and, with professional repairs, can
regain the appearance it had when new with no loss of service.

NORMAL CRACKS: If truly normal, in the sense the cracks close up in summer
months, no repairs are practical. Any filler used to fill up cracks when they appear -- i.e.,
when the floor is dry -- will be pushed out as the wood expands when it picks up
moisture. In the process fillers, some of which are as hard as the wood, can crush and
damage edges of boards. Thus, fillers may cause uglier cracks than those Mother
Nature forced on the floors, and the process of filling solves nothing.

ABNORMAL CRACKS: Even floors which have gone through a very high period of
moisture absorption, then dried to leave abnormal cracks, can be repaired by a
professional so that the cracks very nearly disappear. If the floor has a surface finish
(i.e., Polyurethane), matching filler should be troweled into all cracks. When dry, the
floor can be screened and a new coat of Polyurethane applied.

If the polyurethane or other surface finish has been waxed, however, a new coat of
finish probably will not adhere. A better solution is to steel wool with No. 00 or finer
wool, clean and wax.

In the process of expanding and re-shrinking, grain direction in boards may play a role
in the evenness of the resulting surface. Boards with vertical (quartered) grain may
become higher than adjacent flat-grain boards, thus requiring re-sanding.

                           Cupping and Crowning

Kiln -dried wood boards which are subjected to moisture only on one side will expand
on that side, and will warp by bending away from the moist side. This can be easily
demonstrated with a narrow piece of paper; simply moisten one side. The paper will
immediately "cup" away from the wet side, creating a convex surface on the wet side
and a concave surface on the other side.

Similarly, hardwood flooring will cup for one reason and one only -- from gaining or
losing moisture on one side faster than on the other.

Normally when cupping is noticed, the surface of boards will be concave -- edges higher
than the center of the boards. This will mean that the backs of the boards are absorbing
water vapor-to an extent expansion has begun. If unchecked, heavy expansion may
ensue, followed by buckling of the floor. Often, however, only enough moisture is
present to cause the cupping, and this will be the extent of damage.

Rapid cupping may occur when an impervious surface finish is applied, cutting off
evaporation through the surface. The cause will still be moisture accumulating in the
back sides of boards.

Extent of moisture changes can be illustrated by the following example when checking
the moisture content of the flooring with a moisture meter having insulated needles:
 : Surface of flooring -- 9% - 10%         : Subfloor -- 13% - 15%

 : Back of flooring -- 11% - 12%           : Joists -- 14% - 16%
These are approximations, intended to illustrate that higher readings occur as the
insulated moisture meter probes are driven deeper into the construction. Actual
readings may be lower or higher, depending on how far the moisture condition has

Usually when readings like the above are found some evidence of the moisture source
will be obvious, especially in a crawl space, when the full inspection procedure is
followed. In a basement the moisture source may not be quite as obvious. A sling
psychrometer or digital thermometer hygrometer may be needed to establish humidity
levels beyond question. An observant inspector will usually notice high humidity,
however, because the air in the basement will feel cooler than its dryer counterpart in
the rooms above. Lack of visual evidence of evaporation below the floor does not
disprove its presence by any means. Concrete basement walls and floors are ready
evaporators, as can be demonstrated with a moisture meter.

If cupped boards are dried soon enough, they usually return to a flat position. However,
if they remain cupped long, the stresses within boards may change to the extent drying
will not remove the cupping. (This is more common in wider boards.) In that event,
moisture readings taken during the inspection can be at or near normal.

CONVEX CUPPING ("crowning") of the floor surface may also occur for all the reasons
previously described, but most often the reason is a different one. It usually follows
cupping of the concave type, which often occurs before the house is ready for floors to
be sanded and finished. If the flooring is sanded with boards cupped and edges high,
the high edges of boards are cut flat by the sanding machine if the operator does his job

correctly. In profile, after sanding, the boards will then have abnormally thin edges -- flat
on top, with edges of the reverse side of boards still curved upward, or cupped.

If these boards later dry and flatten to their original position, the thin edges recede,
leaving the top of boards convex (edges lower than the centers) and the back again flat
against the subfloor.

NORMAL CUPPING Some cupping should be considered normal, especially in wide
planks -- 5", 6", 7" and wider -- and particularly in plain-sawn boards. In such boards (as
opposed to quarter-sawn;) the growth rings of the tree travel in a slightly curved pattern
from one side of the board to the other. This curved pattern produces, with normal
moisture content changes, a slight convex or concave cup, depending on how the rings
curve within individual boards.

This type of cupping is usually not noticeable unless the floor is viewed across the
boards and against a strong, low light source, such as a patio door or window wall. It is
often noticed while the house is still unoccupied but furnishings usually make the
cupping seem more normal as the strong light reflection is softened and angles of view
are changed.

SOLUTIONS -- CUPPED FLOORS. Cupped floors have gone through a site-
related moisture escalation. Re-dried and repaired, the floor already in place is, in most
cases, the best choice for a trouble-free floor in the newly-established environment.
Replacing a cupped floor is usually the worst choice, especially if replacement is made
before the moisture condition causing the problem has been corrected. The
replacement is almost certain to react to the moisture situation by cupping, like the first
floor, and the whole process must be repeated.

There are, of course, exceptions, when the only solution is to replace the flooring. But
the problem has usually reached a far more serious level before replacement is needed.

The first step in repairing a cupped floor is to remove the source of moisture. To cure it
the source must first be found. In crawl-space or concrete slab subfloors, be sure all
outside drainage moves rainwater away from the house. Water flows through many
types of soil almost as rapidly as on the surface of the ground. If the building sits on a
hillside the natural flow of water may take it under the foundation in large volume, where
some will evaporate. Close this source by installing soil tile on the high side of the
building to drain subterranean water around the house. Generally regrade if necessary
to move water away from the house.

In crawl-space construction lay 6-mil polyethylene film over the entire area of earth (or
concrete or whatever surface exists), weighted down with bricks to prevent its shifting in
a breeze. Be sure the entire area is ventilated on all walls and that vents are open. If
there are dead ventilation areas provide mechanical means, either temporary or
permanent, to circulate air. A humidistat-switched automatic fan, with a tunnel to an
outside vent, is one such arrangement; coupling the fan to the air conditioning/furnace
fan is also a good arrangement.

In basement construction, the soil drainage solution applies, but it may be necessary to
dig out and waterproof the exterior of basement walls, and install drainage near the

bottom of footings as well as intermittently up the side of the basement walls. Because
of the expense involved this should be considered only as a last resort. Mechanical
dehumidifiers in the basement plus summertime ventilation may ease the problem
enough to allow the subfloor and surface hardwood to dry.

The next step is to allow the floor and all underfloor construction to dry thoroughly. The
process by which hardwood floors take on moisture and expand takes many weeks,
unless water in liquid form has been in the picture. By the same token, its removal may
also take several weeks, or even months. Once a program of drying has been set up,
evidence that it is working can be seen within a short time. Its progress should be
monitored by taking moisture readings on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, and no repairs
should be attempted until the readings have remained balanced between face and back
for 30 days to be sure that cupped floors have flattened as far as they are going to.
(Floors with a surface finish react much more slowly to moisture changes.)

WHEN THE FLOOR RE-FLATTENS: If cupped floors flatten when they have dried, new
considerations of a complete repair may arise:

Fastenings -- nail installation: The cupping action may have loosened nails to some
extent. If so, this will express itself by squeaks or looseness when the floor is walked on.
Face nailing or fastening from underneath with wood screws will correct the problem.

Adhesion -- mastic installation: Some types of wood floor mastic have re-tack
properties which will allow the mastic to re-adhere even after the floor has been pulled
loose and reset. If walking on the floor produces popping sounds, or the floor sounds
"hollow" when tapped, adhesion has probably been lost. In this event the affected parts
of the floor must be removed and replaced to accomplish an effective repair.

If an asphalt cut-back mastic was used originally, the dried-out floor can be removed
and replaced (a few pieces at a time), as the mastic can be reactivated with a light
spray of kerosene. Headless pins of hardened steel can be used also where mastic
adhesion has been lost. These pins can be driven into either wood or concrete

Once fastenings are secure, the floor can be filled where cracks exist, and either given
a new coat of finish, after screening, or buffed with No. 00 steel wool, cleaned, and re -
waxed. If the original finish was a surface type (i.e., Polyurethane), it can be re -coated
only if it has not been waxed.

WHEN THE FLOOR REMAINS CUPPED after thoroughly drying it has most likely set
new stresses and most boards will remain cupped indefinitely. In this case the only
practical repair is a complete resanding and finishing job. Cracks should be filled as a
normal part of the finishing process and fastenings checked and repaired before

                               Spiked High Heels
Ladies, take care of your shoes and you'll take care of your floors.

The fashionably high heels (and even styles with wedge heels) contain a steel spike --
the equivalent of a blunt 10-penny nail -- to strengthen the heel. If the leather or plastic
cap is allowed to wear down, or all the way off as frequently happens, the nails holding
it and the center spike can become exposed.

The shoe then can cause indentations and scratches, not only in wood flooring but also
in less dense resilient materials. Even carpet, terrazzo, ceramic and metal surfaces can
be damaged.

It has been projected that a two-ton car exerts only 28-30 pounds per square inch of
pressure on its supporting surface, a full grown elephant 50-100 PSI, but a 125- pound
woman as much as 2,000 PSI when taking a normal step. That's because the lady's
heel measures only about 1/20th of a square inch in size. Her weight is concentrated in
a tiny area and therefore its effect is multiplied many times.

Hardwood flooring manufacturers do not accept damage to floors caused by such heels
as incurring a warranty obligation, nor do flooring installers. Such damage is not the
result of manufacturing defects or installation method. Hardwood is a product of nature
and therefore susceptible to abuse or mistreatment, and no type of finishing material
will, as some people seem to believe, toughen the surface of the wood. In fact, finishes
are softer than the wood and thus magnify the damage.

The solution is really quite simple. Just check your heels frequently. When they show
signs of wear visit your local shoe repair shop and have new caps or taps (or "lifts" as
they're called in the shoe manufacturing and repair industries) put on. The cost is
relatively small whereas the cost of sanding and refinishing a wood floor to remove
indentations or completely replacing some other type of floor covering is not.

And if that's not a good enough reason for keeping shoe heels in good repair, here's
another, the exposed nail heads or heel spikes increase the chances of slipping and
falling, with the potential for ankle, back or other injury.

So treat your shoes right and you'll help maintain the original beauty and durability of
your floors and, perhaps, avoid a painful accident.

                   Floor Care and Maintenance
Remember, like any floor covering, our real wood floors will show signs of wear over
time, depending on the size and lifestyle of your family. By observing a few precautions
and setting up a regular cleaning routine and maintenance program, you can expect
years of beauty from your floor. The following are examples of the reasonable and
necessary maintenance you are expected to perform. They are not intended to be an
exclusive list.

           o   Sweep or vacuum regularly since built-up grit can damage the surface of
                the wood. The vacuum head must be a brush or felt type. Be certain the
                wheels of the vacuum are clean and do not damage the finish. DO NOT
           o   Remove spills promptly using a soft cloth and recommended cleaning
           o   NEVER wet-mop, damp-mop, or flood your floor with water or other
                products. This can severely damage the flooring and will void the
                warranties. The use of Dry Swiffer® by Proctor & Gamble, or other similar
                product, is highly recommended. Do not use hardwood floor cleaning
           o   The use of approved maintenance and floor-care products, including but
                not limited to BonaX Swedish Formula Hardwood Flooring Cleaner and
                Basic Coating Squeaky Hardwood Floor Cleaner, is highly recommended.
           o   IMPORTANT: Do not use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax products or other
                household cleaners that contain lemon oil, tung oil, silicon or ammonia
                since these warranties do not cover damage caused by non-
                recommended products. Use of these and other such products will harm
                the long-term performance of your floor and may also affect its recoat
           o   Keep pets’ nails trimmed, and paws clean and free of dirt, gravel, grease,
                oil, and stains.
           o   Place protective pads beneath furniture legs and feet to reduce scratches
                and dents.
           o   Use a dolly and protective sheets of plywood when moving heavy objects,
                furniture, or appliances.
           o   Make certain furniture casters are clean and operate properly (a minimum
                1‖ width is recommended).
           o   Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on floor.
           o   Exposure to the sun and its UV rays accelerates the oxidation and aging
                of wood and fabrics. This causes the stain and/or wood to fade and/or to
                change color. We recommend that you rearrange rugs and furniture
                periodically so the floor ages evenly. These warranties do not cover
                damage from the sun and its UV rays.
           o   Use area rugs in high traffic areas and pivot points (e.g., stair landings,
                room entries, etc.), especially if you have a large family or indoor pets.
                          Mannington wood
                  Still the Flooring with Worlds of Elegance

For warmth and charm, nothing surpasses the beauty of wood floors and their
exceptional beauty makes them easy to live with. Our 7-step UltraWear® Plus
finish with ScratchResist™ adds a durable surface that never requires waxing or
refinishing and provides greater resistance to everyday household scratches. Of
course, our UltraWear® Plus finish also makes our floors easy to maintain.

                            The finest hardwoods.

We use only premium select wood species for our top face and 100% North
American hardwoods for our inner plies for beauty and durability that shows.

                               Amazing strength.

Our 5-ply, cross-grain construction makes every Mannington Hardwood Floor far
stronger than a single, solid piece of wood. We warrant they won't warp or

            Introducing ScratchResist™. Unbeatable Durability.

Our 7-step UltraWear® Plus finish with ScratchResist™ is a
polyurethane/aluminum oxide finish that provides unsurpassed protection
against normal wear. Each UltraWear® Plus step is an ultraviolet cured process
we pioneered. It gives our solvent-free finishes wear-and-scuff-resistance along
with depth and clarity you just can't get any other way. Waxing? Polishing?
Forget it!
ScratchResist™ helps to protect against fine scratches that dull the finish of
wood floors. Now available on all Mannington Wood Floors..
ScratchResist™ finish helps your wood floor look new longer by resisting
everyday household scratches.

                             Universal installation.

Most Mannington Wood Floors are made to be installed virtually anywhere. On,
above, or below ground level. In kitchens, basements, attics-places where
ordinary solid wood floors can't survive.

                                   Precise fit.

Our UltraFit™ tongue & groove system is precision engineered using diamond-
tip tooling. That means you get a uniform and stable fit whether you glue, staple,
nail, or float your installation.

                                    Easy care.

Along with exceptional durability, our UltraWear® polyurethane finish delivers
long-term protection against normal wear and scuffs. Just follow simple
maintenance techniques like regularly sweeping or vacuuming, cleaning spills
promptly, and strategically placing mats, rugs, and casters. No damp mopping is

                         Planet-friendly manufacturing.

It takes more than twice as many trees to produce a traditional solid wood floor
as it does to produce one of ours. Plus we use water-based stains and finishes
that don't contain harsh solvents, and our adhesive system is formaldehyde-

                      Construction of Hardwood Flooring

Mannington offers a broad selection of wood floors in an exciting range of wood
species, gloss levels, constructions, and popular finishes. In choosing the style
of flooring you prefer, consider these options:

                        5-Ply Cross Grain Construction

There's strength in numbers. Every Mannington hardwood floor is constructed
with five plies for optimum strength and durability. Each ply is laid cross-grain to
those above and beneath it. With each ply reinforcing the next, and with the
stongest resins bonding all layers together, the combined result is far stronger
than a single solid piece of wood — warranted not to warp or buckle.


The appearance of your floor will depend on the species of tree from which it is
made. Each species has its own identifying grain pattern, like a fingerprint or
signature. The pronounced grain of oak, for instance, would never be mistaken
for the more subtle grain of maple. Mannington offers many different species,
each offering its own distinct grain visual.

                                   Grain Visual

Sliced cut top faces replicate the elegant appearance of solid wood floors and
showcase a tight and uniform graining pattern. Rotary cut top faces create a
wide and bold graining pattern. This cutting method produces the rich grain
visuals displayed in most of our collections.

                                   Board Width

Board width is crucial in how a floor will look in your home. Perhaps you'll prefer
the refined, narrow widths of a 2 ¼" strip or 3" plank. Or perhaps the wider
expanse of 5" planks will suit your décor. Mannington offers all three board
widths for ample choice.
                                   Gloss Level

Our three gloss levels should be matched to the traffic you anticipate for your
floor. A high gloss finish is approporate for low-traffic rooms such as dining
rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. A semi-gloss finish is ideal for moderate-to-
high traffic areas such as family rooms. And a satin finish is suitable for high-
traffic areas including kitchens and dens.
                                  Board Thickness

The thicker the floor, the stronger the floor. And the less likely that it wil be to
warp, twist or cup. While all Mannington Wood Floors feature 5-ply or 7-ply
construction, they come in different thicknesses. All of our Gold Series floors are
nominal 9/16" thick or nominal 1/2" thick. Silver and Bronze Series floors are all
nominal 3/8" thick.

                                    Edge Style

The edge style of our boards is just as important as their width and finish in
establishing the character of your floor. A square edge means boards fit flush
against each other for a smooth, traditional look. A micro bevel or full bevel edge
creates an angled effect where boards meet, to create more depth and

                           How We Grade Our Floors

Our Gold, Silver and Bronze collections offer clear guidance in selecting your
floor. The Gold Series floors represent our finest and most uniform floors. Hand-
selected, they display a consistent grain, and few knots and mineral streaks.
Silver Series and Bronze Series floors display a greater diversity in naturally
occurring grain, knots and mineral streaks.

                                 Anderson Wood
At Anderson we take many additional steps to improve the quality of our floors by
properly preparing each log. Once timber is delivered to our mill, each log is graded and
cleaned prior to processing into thin lumber. Unlike all regular saw
mills and most of our flooring industry competitors, we ―de -bug‖
each log. This process ensures that no insects or fungi enter our
plant in the raw material. We actually cook each log in near-boiling
water up to 48 hours, not only to kill any living organisms, but also
to soften the wood fiber for a smoother cut.

                  Knife-cut flooring advantages

Once the log is brought up to temperature, we carefully remove
the bark and place the log into a lathe for cutting. At this point,
cutting a log is like cutting a diamond. If we don’t focus on a quality cut, the resulting
veneer could be flawed. Our lathes are designed for quality output, not high output.
Let’s look closer at the point when the cut takes place.

                                 Knife checks in lumber

The most serious concern when designing a quality Cross -Locked Engineered™
hardwood floor at Anderson Hardwood Floors is the reduction of knife checks. These
are parallel-to-the-grain fractures produced in the veneer at the time of its manufacture
and which may go unnoticed, only to cause problems later.
Seasonal humidity fluctuation causes deep knife checks to migrate to the surface and
appear as cracks or splinters in the plank’s finished surface. At Anderson, we have
designed each of our floors to minimize the possibility of fractures in our finished
flooring. That’s why we discontinued our 1⁄2‖- thick, three-ply laminated wood flooring
program. The thicker 1⁄6‖-thick veneer surface did not exhibit the long-term durability
problems due to excessive veneer checks. Don’t fool yourself with thick, rotary-cut
veneer surfaces. Choose Anderson and avoid splinter complaints.

                       Alternating Grain Direction Adds Stability

Once the thin lumber sheets are dried, they are ready for the Cross- Locked
Engineered™ process. This is where Anderson separates itself from most of t he
industry. First, by alternating the direction of the grain (detailed by arrows), we balance
wood’s natural tendency to warp! Second, we use hard hardwood core materials
subjected to tremendous heat and pressure. Third, four independent glue lines (detai led
by granular layers between plies) fuse all five plies together in a case hardening
process. Fourth, this combination of ingredients and techniques increases the hardness
of Anderson planks up to 20 percent, resulting in no delaminating and less marring of
the flooring in your home.

                           Added Strength of Hardwood Core

At Anderson and Appalachian we don’t try to be just another pretty face when it comes
to designing the best floor. Our floors have substance, they are harder, more stable,
better milled, and are finished better than those of the competition. There are major
differences between engineered wood planks that have 3 plies and those manufactured
by Appalachian and Anderson with 5 plies.

As indicated from the chart below, overall performance is improved due to increased
stability, hardness, and greater moisture protection. Although it may not seem possible,
5-ply engineered wood planks also have a better log yield than a 3-ply plank.
Compare the core strength The core is defined as the layers of wood beneath the top
ply or face and the bottom ply. Most of our competitors look at saving costs when it
comes to the core structure. Cheaper, softer woods, sometimes that are less decay-
resistant and less-durable, appear to be the norm today.

Call us old-fashioned but we still only use oak or better for our core structure, providing
only the best performance for you. The harder the core, the more dent- or mar-resistant
the surface of the wood floor under heavy loads.

We focus on precision milling Once we e ngineer the lumber we have to focus on
precisely cutting our tongue & groove flooring. Plank milling offers consumers many
choices in pattern profiles. Milling lumber consistently is easier when working with
Cross-Locked Engineered® lumber eight times more stable than solid oak lumber. But
milling or cutting the best plank for easy installation is another story.

Acrylic Impregnation In 1991, Anderson developed a method for improving the hardness
of red oak by injecting acrylic plastics into the oak’s cell structure. But, after reviewing
the results with our environmental engineers and our distributor council, we chose to
cancel the new product’s introduction. Instead we introduced a more environmentally
friendly product with superior hardness now called Pecan Plank. A process of intense
pressure and heat appears to generate harder surface characteristics than the acrylic

Our acrylic process had raised environmental concerns. The process required methyl
methacrylate monomer (MMA); gamma radiation or VASO-64 catalyst; and methyl ethyl
ketone (MEK) solvent. These are some of the most toxic materials on earth and are
very difficult to handle and dispose of in the manufacturing process. Reports from the
field found both installers and owners strongly objected to impregnated fumes or ―off-
gas‖ during installation. Even though impregnated products are still accepted within our
industry, they run contrary to our ecological position.

Again Anderson and Appalachian Floors define the benchmark in finish technology.
Now we’re providing premium finishes with an exclusive gloss retention layer called
Luster-Lock® – so unique that the competition once again is watching us advance the
industry standards.

                             The science of Luster-Lock®

Our chemists never want to rest on their laurels; they constantly look ahead. While our
premium finishes set a standard for wear resistance, lab tests showed the possibility
that gloss retention might be a problem after several years of use. The solution was
found in micro-sized grains of aluminum oxide. This substance is used heavily in
computer chips, abrasives, sandpaper, space shuttle heat shield coating, and now in
Anderson Family premium finishes with Luster-Lock®. The particle is homogenized and
suspended in acrylic monomers, polymers, and a photo initiator compound. Once
applied over the finish the compound is bombarded in our factory with intense ultraviolet
rays that cross-link the finish into Luster-Lock® to create the most durable, long-lasting
finish available on wood flooring today.

                               Fights household invaders

You may not have thought about this at length, but wood flooring, as well as all other
types of floor covering, is always under attack by a motley crew of ugly invaders brought
in by pets, foot traffic, household spills, staining agents, furniture legs, dust, dirt, and
debris – just to name a few.

Our finishes are impervious to nail polish, wine, acetone, bleach, lipstick, juice, and
most other household spills. They all just wipe away. Our competitor’s finishes, on the
other hand, allow Stain Invaders to enter into the finish through the small holes created
by whiskers and unfilled grain. The Luster-Lock® surface is also smoother, 20% thicker,
more protective, and looks new longer than our competitor’s.

The newest and the best So, as you have just learned, the last thing an Anderson
Family floor with Luster-Lock® is going to do is surrender to all these potentially harmful
―Invaders‖. This gives you the time to relax and enjoy your hardwood floor for years to

                   What about Freedom and Black Rock Finishes?

In the spring of 2000 Anderson introduced Freedom Finish™ with Luster- Lock®. Now
joined by Black Rock, these finishes feature pure urethane technology which has
remained the same but now includes a surface Luster-Lock® gloss retention system.
The wear resistance won’t compare to the premium finishes, but the glass retention
capability is the best in the industry. Anderson Family finishes with Luster Lock® – only
the best from Anderson.

Here at Anderson and Appalachian we know all about these unwelcome attackers.
That’s why we continually strive to better the performance of our floors so they can
easily handle the daily wear and tear of today’s active families. Our chemists have been
literally obsessed with improving the cross-linking of acrylic monomers for more than a
decade. After all their hard work, they have finally achieved success because Luster -
Lock® hits a new standard.

                           Fends off gloss-reducing invaders

Luster-Lock® has micro-fine crystals which – combined with superior cross-linking
acrylic monomers – make it difficult for scratch invaders (shoes, furniture legs, etc.) to
harm the surface. Even Cinder Invaders (dust, dirt, sand, etc.) have a difficult time
attacking the floor’s finish layer.

Compare a RhinoTuff® Floor (RhinoPoly Finish® with Luster-Lock®), Black Rock
Plus™ or Duratina™ Floor with those of a competitor. Abrasive Cinder Invaders hardly
damage the RhinoTuff®Floor’s finish. They simply bounce right off. But the competitor’s
finish makes Abrasive Cinder Invaders very happy – they have a regular feeding feast
on these finish layers, creating deep open pores where the raw wood floor is exposed.

With the special Luster-Lock® ingredient in our premium finishes (micro-sized crystals),
we know our floors will now look newer longer.

A Note about Scratches: Luster-Lock® is designed to enhance the gloss retention
properties of the finish. It will not eliminate scratches from sharp objects under pressure,
such as unclipped dog nails or damaged shoe heels.

                                Wipes out stain invaders

Not only do our premium finishes with Luster-Lock® repel Scratch Invaders they also
frustrate the heck out of Stain Invaders. m m

1)    What is aluminum oxide finish and why is it better?
2)    How do I clean my wood floor?
3)    What is the difference between laminate flooring and wood flooring?
4)    My floor has cracks in it. Is this normal?
5)    What can damage a wood floor?
6)    How should I handle and store my wood floor prior to installation?
7)    Can you lay wood flooring over radiant he at floor?
8)    Why is my wood floor loose and squeaky?
9)    Can install A hardwood floor in any room?
10)   Will my floor age or change in color?
11)   Why do wood flooring products vary in color and shading?
12)   Can I install a solid wood floor over a concrete slab?
13)   What wood floor can I install over a concrete slab?
14)   Can we install a hardwood floor over an existing vinyl floor?
15)   What to I do to re move scratches in my wood floor?
16)   Can I install a hardwood floor if I have pets?
17)   Can an engineered wood floor be refinished?
18)   Can I use throw rugs on my hardwood floor?
19)   How do we stop a wood floor from gapping?
20)   What should I use under furniture legs?
21)   What doe s greater stability mean?
22)   Does engineering destroy the natural beauty of hardwood floors?
23)   Besides different species, what else accounts for the different appearances
      in hardwoods?
24)   What is the Janka hardne ss test and why should I be aware of it as a
25)   Is there a benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of other wood?
26)   How can I test for moisture content of a concrete slab?
27)   Should I test for moisture in the substrate before installing any flooring?
28)   What is the most common moisture test method?
29)   When installing wood underlayments, what precautions should be taken?
30)   Why should I test for alkali and what should I do if it measures above 9?
31)   What is me ant by grade level?
32)   Can I use an adhesive re mover to re move adhesive residue from a subfloor
      before installing a new resilient floor?
33)   Why shouldn't you install flooring directly over paint or other coatings on a
34)   What is me ant by porous and nonporous in relation to subfloors?
35)   What is lightweight concrete?
36)   What is a sleeper-constructed subfloor and why can’t I install flooring over
37)   What is APA trade marked plywood?
38)   What is me ant by pot life?
39)   Why do flooring manufacturers recommend not smoothing true expansion
      joints with any type of underlayme nt product?
40)   What doe s it mean when a specification states that commercial and
      institutional environments must have a compressive strength of 3,500 psi
      for floor fills, patches, and toppings?

1. What is aluminum oxide finish and why is it better?

Aluminum oxide crystals are derived from ceramic, one of the hardest manmade
materials on earth, and are suspended in the finish and baked in a Ultra Violet oven
which creates a finish 5 to 7 times harder. Because of this a 25 year finish wear
warranty is applied.

2. How do I clean my wood floor?

If the finish manufacturer is known, follow the manufacturers recommended cleaning
procedures. However, if the manufacturer is not known…
        For surface finishes, including urethanes:
Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up
spills promptly with a dry cloth. Use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills.
Do NOT wax a urethane finished floor. Waxing a urethane finished floor will cause the
wood floor to be slippery, requiring continuous waxing as your maintenance, and any re-
surfacing will require a full sanding process.
For general cleaning, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner. If the luster does not return
to traffic areas, the floor may require recoating.
Acrylic impregnated floors require a spray and buff system as recommended by the
        For waxed floors:
Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up
spills promptly with a dry cloth or dry paper towel, use a slightly dampened cloth for
sticky spills and buff with a dry cloth to restore luster. When the floor looks dull, buff first
to see if luster can be restored before waxing. When areas of heavy use no longer
respond to buffing, wax only those areas and buff the entire floor to an even luster.
When the whole floor needs attention, clean the floor with a solvent based wood floor
cleaner and then wax. Your floor should only need to be completely rewaxed once or
twice a year depending on traffic.
Cleaning a waxed floor with water will leave white water marks.

3. What is the difference between laminate flooring and wood flooring?

Laminate flooring consists of synthetic backing with a high-pressure laminate surface.
Laminate is not renewable and therefore has a short usable life span. However, some
manufacturers offers wear, fade and stain warranties between 5-25 years.

Wood flooring consists of wood backing with wood wear surface or solid wood. Wood
flooring with proper care will last generations. Wood floors can be refinished, re-sanded,
and re-coated to look like new again.

4. My floor has cracks in it. Is this normal?

Because wood is a natural product it will react to changes in its environment. The most
common causes of separations are Mother Nature and dryness. The loss of moisture
results in the most frequent reason for shrinkage of individual pieces and cracks. Most
cracks are seasonal – they appear in dry months, or the cold seaso n when heating is
required, and close during humid periods. This type of separation and close is

considered normal. In solid 2 ¼" wide strip oak floors, "dry time" cracks may be the
width of a dime’s thickness (1/32nd"). Wider boards will have wider cracks and the
reverse is true.

The cure is to minimize humidity changes by adding moisture to the air space during dry
periods. A constant Relative Humidity (RH) of 50% with a temperature of 65-75 degrees
(Fahrenheit) provide stability to the floor.

5. What can damage a wood floor?

Grit and dirt - Grit and dirt will eventually cause scratches and dents, which shortens
the lifetime of the floor. Always use door mats and vacuum/sweep on a weekly basis.
Water and wet mopping - Any excessive water causes wood grain to raise and the
wood to expand, crack, splinter and possibly, in extreme cases, to discolor or mildew.
Oil Soaps and Ammonia Cleaners - There are many over the counter oil soap based
or silicone, wax, or ammonia based cleaning products that will damage and dull the
finish of your wood floor. The best suggestion is to only use the manufacturers
recommended cleaning products on your wood flooring.
Furniture and High Heel Shoes - Any furniture that rests directly on top of a wood floor
should have felt protectors, or furniture coasters, under all its feet. Purchasing chair
glides is a very cheap insurance policy for your wood flooring. For extremely heavy
objects such as a piano, use rubber cups. High heels or shoes with any sharp exposed
nail or stone will exert up to 8,000 lbs per square inch of pressure on a floor. That's
enough to damage any type of floor covering.
Sunlight - Exposure to the sun and its UV rays can cause wood floors to fade, change
color, or experience surface checking, and even cause color changes in its protective
polyurethane finish. To avoid these problems we recommend using draperies or shades
to help block out the sun's harmful rays.
Spills - Spills in general must be wiped up immediately to prevent stains. Most new
finishes, however, prevent spills from affecting the wood if they are wiped properly.

6. How should I handle and store my wood floor prior to installation?

       UNLOAD IN DRY WEATHER - If possible, unload flooring in good weather --
never unload in the rain.
       DELIVERY - If the atmosphere is damp, cover each truckload of flooring with a
tarpaulin until it can be unloaded. Never deliver or store unprotected flooring in rain,
sleet, or snow.
       REGULARLY CHECK STORAGE AREA - Be sure there are no roof leaks, wall
leaks, or condensation problems. Cracks in concrete block walls can permit rain or
melting snow to leak on flooring. The use of continual dry heat may dry flooring below
it’s manufactured moisture content, which may later result in buckled floors, if the
flooring is delivered to the job and installed immediately, without acclimation. Delivery
to the job 3-4 days prior to installation permits acclimation and helps prevent problems
later. Flooring should not be delivered to a job until the building has been closed in,
with outside windows and doors in place, and until cement work, plastering, and other
materials are thoroughly dry. In winter construction, the building should be heated prior
to delivery of the flooring with heat maintained until the floor is installed and finished.

7.     Can you lay wood flooring over radiant heat floor?

The most important factor in a successful wood flooring installation over radiant heat is
a dry slab and dry subfloor. Turn on the radiant heating system before installing the
wood flooring to dry the area. If this isn't done, moisture left in the slab will enter the
wood flooring as soon as the heat is turned on. The result is floors that will expand,
contract, shrink, crack, cup and bow excessively. If the heat can't be turned on, then
everyone involved-down to the homeowner-should understand and accept the
compromises that will appear down the road.

Not all species of wood are good candidates for an installation over radiant heating. It's
best to follow the manufacturer's recommendation for a species' suitability over radiant
heat. When possible, choose a species that is known for its stability. Laminate flooring
is a very good choice due to its dimensional stability. Strip flooring is a better choice
than plank flooring, because narrow boards expand and contract less than wide boards
do. Using narrow boards also means there are more seams in a floor to take up

8. Why is my wood floor loose and squeaky?

Some causes are inadequate nailing, flexing weak subfloor system or nailed over
particle board type subfloor. Check sub floor thickness and joint direction. Other
possibilities are insufficient or incorrect adhesive, which subjects the floor to excess
moisture or excessive drying.
       CURE:
Add face nails, counter-sink & putty. Strengthen subfloor from below. Inject adhesive or
pull-add-relay. Lubricate squeaks with graphite, wax, baby powder. Wedge sub floor up
from joints.

9. Can install A hardwood floor in any room?

Any room except a full bath. With the variety of products available and a choice of
installation options, hardwood flooring can now be installed in any room of the home.
The only consideration is whether the floor will be installed on-, above- or below-grade.
For example, because of potential moisture problems, solid hardwood is not
recommended for installations below grade, such as in a basement. Engineered
products, which are inherently dimensionally stable, are better choices for this area. All
types of hardwood can be installed on- or above-grade.

10.    Will my floor age or change in color?

You can expect to see shade differences in your floor over time. The cause is usually
from exposure to the ultra-violet rays of the sun, whether direct or indirect. This color
change will be more noticeable in lighter colors, which will darken over time. In addition,
certain species like Brazilian cherry, will naturally darken over the years. These changes
are due to the natural characteristics of wood and are not covered by most
manufacturers’ warranties.

11. Why do wood flooring products vary in color and shading?

Wood, being a product of nature, will have characteristics such as grain, knots, pin
holes, and many other beauty marks of nature. Each piece of flooring will react
differently to stains and finishes. This is what gives wood flooring its warmth and
differentiates it from processed flooring products.

12. Can I install a solid wood floor over a concrete slab?

It is not recommended to install solid wood flooring over a concrete slab. Although this
is the general rule, there have been successful installations of solid wood flooring
installed over dry, concrete slabs. This entails several additional steps. A plastic barrier
is set over the slab and taped at all seams. Then some sort of moisture-resistant wood
subfloor (marine plywood) is built on top of the plastic film. Then the flooring is nailed to
the wood subfloor. If you decide to take the chance be sure to consult with the
manufacturer as to their recommendations. Be aware, you may be voiding your

Check with the manufacturer of the wood floor to see if they will warranty this type of
installation and what their recommended installation procedures are for this type of

13. What wood floor can I install over a concrete slab?

With the improvements in hardwood floors most engineered and longstrip engineered
plank floors can be used over a concrete slab. Manufacturers do not recommend using
solid wood floors over a slab. Engineered planks and strip wood floors can be glued
directly to a clean, dry, well-cured concrete slab. Some engineered wood floors can be
glued at the tongue and grooves and then allowed to be floated over a special padding
that is laid over the concrete slab. Longstrip engineered planks can be floated over the
slab with a padding underneath. There are some new "hybrid" engineered floors that
can be floated over a concrete slab and come with a click (glueless) tongue and groove
locking system.

Note: New concrete slabs need to be fully cured for a least 60 days. All wood planks
should be acclimated for 24-48 hours prior to installation. Be sure to read and follow the
manufacturer's recommended installation procedures.

14. Can we install a hardwood floor over an existing vinyl floor?

Yes and no. Is the vinyl flooring is tightly secured to the subfloor? Does the vinyl flooring
have a thick cushion attached? If the vinyl floor is thin and well secured to the subfloor
you may be able to float a wood floor over it. In some situations you may be able
nail/staple a wood floor over it also. If the wood subfloor is sound you may be able to
nail a solid wood floor over the top. Be sure to get the manufacturer's installation
procedures for going over an existing vinyl floor and be sure to check if this type
installation is warranted by the manufacturer.

15. What to I do to remove scratches in my wood floor?

This really depends on the type of wood floor you have, the finish you have and how
deep the scratches are in the top layer. For small minor scratches in a urethane finish
you should be able to order a touch-up kit from the store you purchased the flooring
from. Be sure to use the manufacturer's recommended finish products and test first by
applying a small amount in an out of the way area. For deep scratches you will probably
have to have a professional do a screen and recoat. This is where they use special
sanding screens to lightly abrade the floor's finish to help the new urethane bond better
to the existing finish. With some wood floors you may be able to just replace the
damaged boards. It is best to leave the sand and recoat, or board replacement to a
professional flooring installer, or refinisher.

16. Can I install a hardwood floor if I have pets?

Although many homeowners have pets, hardwood flooring is not designed for the abuse
a dog or cat can cause on a floor. Urine may permanently discolor the finish of the wood
floor and large dogs' claws will probably leave scratches in the finish. The type of wood
floor you buy, the color and the finish will also be factor in how much punishment the
floor's finish can withstand before showing scratches and excessive wear.

17. Can an engineered wood floor be refinished?

Some of the better quality engineered wood floors have a 1/8" thick finish layer and can
be sanded and refinished 1 or maybe 2 times. The sanding and refinishing of an
engineered wood floor is best done by an experienced hardwood flooring refinisher. If
you have heat vents in your floor you can remove a heat cover to get a side view of your
wood floor. This will help you check to see how thick you finish layer is. Always consult
with the manufacturer to see if the recommend sanding and refinishing of the
engineered wood floors.

18. Can I use throw rugs on my hardwood floor?

Before using any throw rugs on your wood floor you should know the type of finish you
have on the floor. All rugs should be non-staining, meaning the colored dyes will not
bleed. Generally in the presence of moisture, some dyes used in rugs may bleed
through onto your floor and discolor the wood floors surface. 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. To prevent possible shading of the wood
underneath the rug, move the rug occasionally.

19. How do we stop a wood floor from gapping?

Gapping in solid wood floors cannot be stopped completely. Wood expands and
contracts with changes in humidity. Using a humidifier during the heating months may
help reduce the amount of gapping in solid wood floors. Also, some wood species may
gap expand and contract less than others. Engineered wood floors are much more
dimensionally stable than solid wood floors and will show little or no gaps between

20. What should I use under furniture legs?

Most flooring stores carry the recommended felt pads for using under chair legs and
other furniture. The felt pads come in various sizes. Some pads just stick on the bottom
of the legs and others need to be nailed on. Never hit the pads directly with a hammer.
Follow the directions provided with the pads. Check and clean the pads often to prevent
debris, dirt and small particles from being trapped in the pad, which may cause
scratches in the wood floor's finish.

21. What does greater stability mean?

The instability of solid hardwood is usually moisture or heat related. Under adverse
conditions, solid hardwood floors can warp, cup, swell or split apart. Engineered
hardwood flooring overcomes these problems by constructing a multiple-ply plank which
counteracts twisting and remains flat and intact. This makes engineered hardwood
flooring a better choice for installation over radiant heat sources, over concrete whether
it’s below grade or above, and in rainy climates.

22. Does engineering destroy the natural beauty of hardwood floors?

A. Not at all. The top hardwood layer is the same genuine hardwood you have in soli d
hardwood floors. This ―show‖ veneer is available in most species of natural hardwood.

23. Besides different species, what else accounts for the different appearances in

Hardwood veneers have the same surface appearances as solid hardwood flooring
because they’re both natural hardwoods. Different appearances result from the different
ways the hardwood are sawn. The different sawing methods are: i) Flat Sawn or Plain
Sawn, ii) Rotary Cut, iii) Off-Set Rotary Cut, and iv) Sliced Cut.

Flat Sawn (also referred to as plain sawn) - can be flat grain (which has a cathedral or
gothic effect) or vertical grain (which has a radial or edge grain effect).

Rotary Cut – method of cutting wood in which the hardwood layer is peeled off the log
using large wood lathes. This peeling method shows dramatic, wilder graining.

Off-Set Rotary Cut – method of cutting wood which gives a sliced appearance and
grain pattern with the added cross grain stability of sliced, without the sliced cost.
Hardwoods are more dimensionally stable across the grain, and off-set rotary cutting
takes advantage of this property. The yield is lower than a regular rotary cut creating a
slight price increase vs. standard rotary.

Sliced Cut – method of cutting wood in which the hardwood layer is sawn like regular
lumber. This shows method finer graining.

24. What is the Janka hardness test and why should I be aware of it as a

As a consumer of quality wood flooring, you naturally want to know how the product you
are thinking about purchasing will withstand wearing and dents. The Janka hardness
rating is your standard measurement for this purpose. The Janka test is conducted by
measuring the force needed to lodge a .444-inch steel ball in the wood species to a
depth of half the ball's diameter. The higher the rating, the harder is the species of
wood. Of course, the Janka hardness rating is also useful when assessing how easy or
difficult it is to hammer a nail into the hardwood or cut it with a saw.

25. Is there a benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of other wood?

Red Oak is a very popular, durable species. It has a Janka rating of 1290 and serves as
a benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of other wood species.

26. How can I test for moisture content of a concrete slab?

Currently there are several methods to test concrete for moisture. One of most
recognized by the floorcovering industry is the Calcium Chloride Test Method which
requires that three CaCl tests be performed per 1000 square feet of concrete and one
additional for each additional 1000 square feet of concrete.

27. Should I test for moisture in the substrate before installing any flooring?

Yes. All flooring manufacturers recommend some type of moisture testing and
standards that must be met before the installation of their products. For example,
resilient flooring and carpet manufacturers recommend the calcium chloride test. Wood
manufacturers may recommend other means of testing. If recommended limits are not
met, failure of the flooring installation may result. At this point, the flooring and the
adhesive manufacturer are no longer responsible for the failure of their product due to

Keep in mind that moisture testing cannot predict long-term moisture conditions. Tests
are only indicators of moisture conditions at the time they are run.

28. What is the most common moisture test method?

The calcium chloride test kit, which is a quantitative test, is the method recommended
by most, if not all, resilient flooring manufacturers. This test, now an industry standard,
ASTM F-1869, must be run in all areas where there is a concern for moisture. Calcium
chloride tests are normally run for 60-72 hours depending upon the manufacturer. The
results are expressed in terms of pounds per 1000 square feet per 24 hours. To install
resilient flooring, the results must be 3 to 5 pounds/1000 sq. ft/24 hours or whatever the
flooring manufacturer recommends. Calcium chloride test kits can usually be purchased
from flooring and sundry supply distributors.

29. When installing wood underlayments, what precautions should be taken?

Use only the underlayment boards recommended by the flooring manufacturer for the
type of flooring being installed. Wood underlayments must be acclimated by placing
them in the area where they will be installed for at least 24 hours before they are
installed. Panels should be lightly butted and not filled or flashed unless the board
manufacturer specifically recommends filling the joints. Differences in thickness of wood
panels should be corrected by sanding. If not acclimated, the boards will expand and
contract at rates different from the subfloor over which they are installed and this will
increase the risk of tunneling and/or ridging. Filling or flashing joints between pa nels
may also increase the tunneling and/or ridging over these joints and especially in
conjunction with lack of acclimation.

30. Why should I test for alkali and what should I do if it measures above 9?

pH is the symbol used in conjunction with a number to indicate acidity or alkalinity. The
numbers on the pH scale are 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. Below 7 is acid while above 7
is alkaline. Testing is done using a wide range pH tape and distilled water. Alkali testing
material is now found in all calcium chloride test kits. The allowable pH range for the
installation of flooring is normally between 5 and 9. Flooring adhesives are designed to
be alkali resistant up to a pH of 9. Above 9, the alkali becomes excessive and can
actually burn your skin and start to dissolve concrete aggregate. Alkali comes to the
surface of concrete with water and once the water evaporates, it leaves the alkali salt
residue. If alkali is too high, it is best to use clear water or soda water to clean the
surface, allow the concrete to dry, and retest. Traditionally, acids have been used to
"neutralize" the concrete, but acids may leave a residue which is as detrimental to the
flooring installation as the alkali. Excessive alkali may cause white deposits at tile joints
and when excessive, may actually corrode or burn the edges of the tile. It can build up
under flooring causing bumps to occur. Alkali may eat away at adhesive causing failure
of the bond and damage to the flooring itself. Alkali can also cause dusting of the
concrete surface. Alkali testing can only show the amount of alkalinity at the time the
test is run and cannot be used to predict long-term readings.

31. What is meant by grade level?

Grade level, when speaking of resilient flooring, is where the flooring will be installed i n
relation to the ground around the building. A suspended or above-grade subfloor is one
which has a minimum of 18" of well-ventilated air space beneath it. Normally, this would
be over the basement, but in some homes, this could be over a crawl space. An on-
grade subfloor is one which is in direct contact with the ground or over a fill which is in
direct contact with the ground. A below-grade subfloor is one which is partially or
completely below the ground surrounding the building and is in direct contact with the
ground or over fill which is in direct contact with the ground.

32. Can I use an adhesive remover to remove adhesive residue from a subfloor
before installing a new resilient floor?

Many adhesive removal products contain solvents that leave a residue within the
subfloor. This residue can negatively affect the new adhesive and bleed through the
new floor covering. Floor covering warranties do not cover instances where existing
subfloor conditions cause damage to the flooring or installation failure.
33. Why shouldn't you install flooring directly over paint or other coatings on a

The bond of the flooring to the subfloor is only as good as what you bond to. If you bond
to old paint, sealers, polish, or other foreign matter, you are dependent upon t he bond of
that material to the subfloor to hold the flooring in place. Since we cannot determine
how strong that bond may be, it is best to bond directly to the substrate.

34. What is meant by porous and nonporous in relation to subfloors?

A porous substrate is one which is capable of absorbing water or liquid, such as
concrete or wood. Liquid beads up on the surface of nonporous substrates which are
typically existing resilient flooring. If there is any doubt as to porosity of the substrate, it
can be checked easily by placing a few drops of water on the surface. If the water is
quickly absorbed, the substrate is porous. If the water beads up and remains on the
surface, the substrate is nonporous.

35. What is lightweight concrete?

Lightweight concrete is concrete made with lightweight aggregate (shales, clays,
pumice, etc.) or with the addition of chemicals which foam and produce air spaces in the
concrete as it hardens. This should not be confused with products which are
manufactured and used as floor fills and toppings.

36. What is a sleeper-constructed subfloor and why can’t I install flooring over

This is a wood subfloor installed over an existing concrete subfloor on or below grade
without 18" of well ventilated air space. Concrete on or below grade will have some
moisture in it due to its proximity to the ground. When there is not enough ventilation,
moisture will build up causing not only installation failure, but possible rotting of the
wood. Since suspended concrete today may contain excess water due to steel pan
construction, wood over concrete on any grade level is not recommended.

37. What is APA trademarked plywood?

APA trademarked plywood is plywood underlayment approved as suitable for the
installation of resilient flooring by APA - The Engineered Wood Association.

38. What is meant by pot life?

Pot life is the amount of time a product, which must be mixed, remains workable in the
original mixing container. This is generally applicable to two-part epoxies and powder

39. Why do flooring manufacturers recommend not smoothing true expansion
joints with any type of underlayment product?

True expansion joints are those placed between separate pours of concrete. These
joints are designed to absorb the movement of the concrete and are normally filled with
elastomeric fillers which absorb the movement of the separate pieces of concrete. If an
underlayment is placed across or in these joints, the movement of the concrete will
cause the underlayment to break up or will push it out of the joint. Additionally, any
flooring placed across these joints will break or crack with the movement of the
concrete. Expansion joint covers, which are designed to span these joints, should be
used in these areas.

40. What does it mean when a specification states that commercial and
institutional environments must have a compressive strength of 3,500 psi for
floor fills, patches, and toppings?

Compressive strength is expressed in pounds per square inch. This means the material
can withstand 3,500 pounds per square inch without breaking. Because of the
concentrated floor loads that exist in commercial and institutional environments,
concrete must be higher in compressive strength than for residential applications.

NOTE:       This paper is intended for general knowledge. Please refer to the
manufacturers’ installation guidelines, warranties, and all other subjects that pertains to
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